I’ve been running half marathons since I was 17 in 1994, and full marathons since 2003. I had always trained independently, with plans found in magazines and half a clue about what I was doing. After having my first baby at 38, I thought my best running days were behind me. Think again...
I found a pamphlet about coaching after running the wonderful WFPS half marathon. I had always wanted to run the NYC marathon, and more specifically dreamed about qualifying for it despite their rigid (harder than Boston marathon) qualifying times. It was three-four minutes faster than my half marathon PR, so I was embarrassed to even bring up to a coach that it was my goal. No questions or reluctance from Jonathan! He believed right from the start it was possible!
The plan was great, easy to follow with set times to hit, and never overwhelming. Even with a baby and busy work schedule, the runs were achievable. And so was the goal! I qualified for the NYC marathon!!!!
Running the NYC marathon was amazing, and I again enlisted Jonathan’s help with a training plan. I meg my number one goal in that race as well, enjoying and finishing the marathon!
I can’t recommend coaching with Jonathan highly enough :). Old or young, experienced or newbie, it’s well worth it!!
Jonathan has helped several people I know from the running community achieve PRs, including a dear friend who encouraged me to train in a more disciplined manner. Jonathan worked with my schedule, which included dance, contortion and hot yoga, and gave me a running plan that accommodated all my classes. After two months of training, I was blown away by the progress in my endurance and speed. I am not a “natural” long-distance runner. I find it extremely challenging, but I was crushing my training runs and I felt great.
I had never been in better cardiovascular shape, but right before my half marathon, I got sick as did my training partner. I did not achieve my goal time, but I made it to the finish line with a respectable time. I’m not sure I would have completed the run if I hadn’t trained. Unfortunately, for the rest of the running season, I duked it out with some old gymnastics injuries. Even though I was not at my best, I still wanted to proceed with a half marathon I signed up for the previous running season. Jonathan gave me a plan that got me to the finish line in a pain-free, smart manner. He also helped me manage expectations and take it easy on myself.
There's no question I had a frustrating run season due to illness and injuries, but Jonathan coached me through it. Before my final run, I received active release technique and deep-tissues massages. I had a glorious experience at the WFPS run and felt elated when I crossed the finish line because I knew all the training wasn’t in vain. I knew that I could get back the endurance and speed and that I will achieve PRs next season. I ended my last race in love with running and I don't think that would have been the case if I didn't have such an amazing running coach.
I know I'll crush my goals next season with Jonathan as my coach.
- Candice Ball
I contacted Jonathan this summer in regards to training. I was in a rut and not meeting my goals.
Jonathan made a training plan specifically for me. I became a strong runner. His advice helped me tremendously. I never imagined I would be able to run as fast or strong when I started his plan. I'm excited and anticipating the next phase in my training. Thanks Jonathan Torchia.
I started working with Jonathan in the fall of 2016 when I decided to get serious about my running. I had only been running for a little over a year at that time and had the dream of someday running the Boston Marathon. Jonathan came highly recommended as a coach who would guide, inspire and empower his athletes to realize and develop their full potential.
With his guidance, I was able to qualify for the Boston marathon twice and ran Boston in April, 2018. His training plan prepared me both mentally and physically for some of the harshest race conditions the race has ever seen (think cold, wind and driving rain).
Thanks to Jonathan, I ran a solid race in Boston and re-qualified for Boston again at the Fargo Full Marathon five weeks later. Setting a personal best at WFPS this October is proof that hard work does pay off and anything is possible.
I have remained injury free and am motivated to set the bar higher as we set new goals for 2019 and beyond. I am excited to have Jonathan in my corner as I train for for the Fargo Full in May, 2019 and hopefully the New York City Marathon in November 2019. Someone recently asked me if hiring a run coach is worth it. My reply? Definitely! Every penny. His experience and passion shine through in everything he does.
My thanks to River City Run Coaching for helping me believe and achieve!
- Jane Quinton
In 2018, I had a lofty goal -run my first marathon. I signed up for the Chicago Marathon lottery (in 2017), and much to my surprise, I was selected in the draw. (This meant, I was registered and now had to train!) I remembering sending JT the text that I had been accepted. I was excited and petrified at the same time. I had signed up for a full in 2008, but didn’t get past 14 Miles I’m training because I got injured. I was so scared of getting injured again, and really anxious about running 20 miles in my training.
However, we worked on building my base and my speed pre-marathon training, so going in, I felt like I had a solid foundation. The weeks flew by, and it all seemed so gradual. I ended up positively loving my training (loved those log runs!), and at no point did it ever seem unmanageable (which is important for a working mom with two young boys).
For the marathon, I felt incredibly prepared. I was so calm before and during the race. I was able to run my marathon (in its entirety without stopping once), I NEVER hit the wall (which I had been told was a guarantee), and I had so much fun! My first half and my second half of my marathon was only 7 seconds difference, and my pacing was so even- all a credit to the preparedness from my training. My official time was 4:01:23.
I was so happy with that time. Working with JT this past year was amazing. I was challenged in ways I didn’t expect, and enjoyed finding out all that I was capable of doing. I am forever grateful for the ability to get to the start line prepared, and injury free, and for living out a dream of mine to run the marathon and become a marathoner! Thank you JT for one epic year of training!
- Maria Penner
I started going out to Winnipeg Run Club in August of 2016 with the intention of getting in some outdoor miles in preparation for the WFPSRUN in October. This group that Jonathan created was extremely welcoming and friendly and I immediately felt like I had been going for years.
I followed all of the events leading up to the fall half marathon very closely and was amazed with how connected Jonathan was with this group as well as the community. I heard about River City Run Coaching thru social media as well as speaking with some fellow runners who were being coached by Jonathan at the time. Everyone was extremely happy with he handled their individual training but what stood out for me most was that they all said that during their training they also gained a friend.
When his event rolled around I was extremely pumped and ready to crush my goal of 1hr40min. Turns out the day went well and when I came in at 1hr35min and Jonathan was the first person to greet me at the finish line! Immediately following the event Jonathan reached out to me thru social media because he had heard that I was interested in being coached to run my first full marathon. We met for coffee in November 2016 and the next day I was signed up the Fargo Full Marathon in May 2017 with Jonathan as my new Coach and a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. (Say what?? Yes you heard me)
Training began in early December and I was immediately impressed with how engaged he was with what I was doing. We were still a little less than 6 months away and he paid very close attention to the mileage I was doing and he was always just a call or text away. Never once did I feel like communication between us was a problem, even when he went away for a month long vacation he was still available anytime of day. When I ended up running into some injury trouble right in the middle of training Jonathan was extremely positive and motivating and did his absolute best to keep me from getting discouraged. Jonathan was always there to recommend different forms of cross training I could do to keep me moving forward.
As race day approached Jonathan’s presence grew more and more with almost daily check-ins. Sometimes just to ask how I was feeling, sometimes just to give some advice on nutrition, and sometimes just to talk. On the day of the race Jonathan was there with me at the start line and again was the first to greet me at the finish line. My result was not exactly what I was hoping for, but again Jonathan was there to offer his support and encouragement and within the next 6 hours I was signed up for my second full marathon of 2017.
Anyone considering hiring a coach to take their running to the next level and beyond should seriously consider Jonathan and River City Run Coaching. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to learn so many things from him over the last year, and I will be forever grateful. Jonathan you are a great coach and an even greater friend and I cannot wait to begin training with you as my coach for the Fargo Full Marathon in 2018.
Jonathan is a very motivating guy, and he had me ready to start getting serious again for qualifying. I was already registered for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, and my intention was to attempt to qualify, but with Jonathan in my corner, I felt like this would be a tremendous asset.
And so we began the process, with Jonathan customizing a plan for me and constantly evolving that plan every two weeks, based on how I felt, how well the runs were going, and what was going on in my life at that time. As it turned out I had a bit of an injury to contend with, so while I did my part doing the exercises and seeking athletic therapy throughout the training process, Jonathan adapted my plan to try to manage the days I was struggling due to the injury, and adapting it so that I could actually function when I would be most effective, ultimately benefitting my training, allowing me to not miss out on any of the crucial long runs.
I also benefitted form discussions Jonathan and I had regarding nutrition and fuelling, tactics to train stronger, and of course we discussed race day strategy. In the end I benefitted immensely from his tutelage and experience, I excelled because of his encouragement, his belief in me and his support.
One of my training runs included the Manitoba Half Marathon, and at mile 6 a guy from the crowd comes running up beside me in pants, jacket and an umbrella - ‘Hey man’ - he says - ‘how you feeling? You look totally fresh!’ This guy was of course my coach Jonathan. At the finish line there he was again, and we discussed how I felt, how my result positioned me in the training process, and how he was so pumped at the good conditioning I was in for my ultimate goal. That’s the kind of dedication you get from this guy. I can’t say enough about him.
Ultimately I did not BQ that day in Minneapolis, but I had a PB. No excuses, it just wasn’t my day. The hills were killer for that pace, but I will be back one day. What I’ve learned from the coaching from Jonathan will now be a practice I can put in place for every race going forward. He taught me what I needed to know going forward, to someday get that BQ.
But the one thing I got out of this journey with him that I did not count on or expect was I can honestly now call him my friend. When the marathon was all over the first message I received was from him. That message was not a message from a coach. It was the most heartfelt message a guy could receive from another guy. It was a genuine message from one runner to another, from a friend - filled with hope, encouragement, and brotherhood.
I appreciated that message the most.
In the past I have run many full and half marathons but in the spring of 2015 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. After 2 years of surgeries, chemo and radiation I decided I needed to get back into my runners and get moving.
Jonathan understood the frustration of not being at the same point as I was at the time of my diagnosis and he gave me an attainable schedule that allowed me to complete 2 half marathons and get very close to my old running times. The coaching wisdom and energy that Jonathan provided kept me going …..and it showed in my results.
I consider Jonathan to be not only a coach , but a friend who wants the best for you and he works hard to make sure it happens.
I started running 2 1/2 years ago beginning with a 5k and working myself up to a a bunch of half marathons. Last Fall, I injured my IT band badly and had to take 3 months off and seek medical attention. As I started healing and strengthening, I cautiously approached my dream of running a full marathon. I realized all to quickly that I would need help finding the right plan for me.
By recommendation, I contacted Jonathan and shared my goal with him...to run a marathon, injury free...no Advil or taping to get me through! He encouraged me and helped me believe in myself. I followed the 12 week plan he wrote up for me and was amazed with the results!
Jonathan touched base with me weekly to see how I was doing and gave me little tips along the way. I completed the Twin Cities Marathon injury free and was very happy with my time!
I am so thankful to Jonathan for his skill and knowledge and would not hesitate to contact him for help in achieving my future running goals!
I’ve been running for about ten years now. I gradually got quicker for the first five years but then stopped improving. I decided to work with Jonathan to finally beat my years old PR.
Since I started working with him I’ve gotten a PR in the half and full marathon two years in a row! The training plan he created for me worked well for my schedule and allowed my body to recover while still gaining speed.
It was just the right amount of structure that I needed. In addition to helping me reach my goals, he introduced me to an awesome running community!
I have some big goals for 2019: sub 1:45 half marathon and sub 4 marathon, but I know with Jonathan’s help I can achieve them.
- Samantha Erichsen
There is magic in Jonathan's coaching, he is extremely motivating and really seemed to care about how I was feeling, not just how far I was running. Jonathan has a wealth of experience and was able to offer on-the-fly adjustments to my schedule if necessary. He had excellent tips, strategies, and advice about training, rest, tapering, and racing. Working with Jonathan far exceeded my initial expectations.
His positive attitude is unparalleled and I cannot wait to work with Jonathan again for my next half marathon! With Jonathan's support and expertise you will become a stronger runner with the confidence you need to succeed!
I’ve always considered myself a runner, I just never knew how to properly train. I was losing confidence in my ability to run and no longer wanting to head out the door for a run. Enter Jonathan. I needed a routine. I started running every Thursday with WRC and started to feel apart of the running community. Hearing other WRC members being coached by Jonathan I knew he was exactly what I needed to progress and continue enjoy running.
Jonathon made a training schedule around my family and work life as well as other activities.
A previous knee injury kept me on the side line for a few runs. He was motivating, inspirational, confident which kept me going. He is an email or text away from any questions or concerns and filled with positive vibes.
Although I didn’t meet my goal for the WFPS due to my reoccurring knee injury, I still left with an 8 second PR. That was my first half marathon where I didn’t feel out of breath, exhausted or defeated. Because of Jonathan I finally understand that runners high feeling. I’m addicted and will continue to be coached by Jonathan.
I highly recommend all runners of all levels and distances needing that extra push to give River City Run Coaching a shout. Jonathan will help you crush your goals.
Thank you Jonathan for your dedication and expertise.
Jonathan did a tremendous job of preparing me not only physically but mentally as well for my first ever half marathon. He is extremely knowledgable and set me up with a challenging schedule helping me meet what I thought was an unattainable goal. Jonathan checked in on me weekly and responded to any questions and concerns in an extremely motivating manner.
I started to see significant change in my ability to run further distances in faster times and in the end I went into race day feeling great about my training. I am so happy to report my official time of 2:10:06 and can confidently say I would have been nowhere near that without the help of Jonathan.
Jonathan has been my coach for three races. Each race, his coaching has brought me something different and unique. The first time I PB’ed a half marathon by eight minutes. The second time, I tackled my first full marathon. I can honestly say I would have never run a full marathon if it wasn’t for him. He awakened the determination and perseverance that was lurking within me. The third time, he reminded that I could set my goals high and run whatever I set my sights on. This lead to Chicago, a World Major Marathon. The Chicago Marathon is the fourth-largest race by number of finishers worldwide and I can now say, I am one of those Finishers.
Jonathan’s coaching is consistent and he truly knows his athlete. There is no confusion with his methods and he will guide you towards your goal with his seasoned experience. What you need to do to succeed!!!
He truly has been a huge part of my goals and I am honored to know him as a coach and as a friend
Jonathan first trained me for the NYC Marathon in 2016. Having his plans, guidance and accountability played a critical role in feeling trained and ready on race day. He checks in, lends supports and cheers for his clients like they are family. His post race follow up also shows how committed he is to his clients recovery.
Back in May my oldest son (13) asked to run a half marathon and we knew Jonathan was the right coach to get us both ready. Having a detailed weekly schedule of days to run, how much to run and at what pace to run is the best investment one can make.
Lives are so busy - and fitting in training can be tough. Excuses often creep in, goals fall off the grid. Having Jonathan do the planning, the follow up and sometimes the tough love is EXACTLY what you need to get to that finish line.
- Cheryl Zealand
I met Jonathan 2 years ago. He is one of those people you meet and feel you have known forever. His big smile and passion for running is truly contagious. He uses such a positive approach to coaching and helps you see that with hard work and determination any goal is possible to meet.
He created a plan that allowed me to finish my first full marathon, which got me hooked. Tailoring my plans around work/life was such a huge help in not burning out, and also allowed me to enjoy the training process.
I would recommend any level of runner to work with Jonathan.
After guiding me through 2 full marathons and 3 half's he is someone I will be continuing to work with in the future to help meet my new goals in mind.
Early this year I signed up to run the mb full marathon as it was on a bucket list of mine and I knew at the beginning of my training I could not do it alone. Having Jonathan coach me was probably the best decision I made for my running career.
As most people life can get pretty crazy when it comes to balancing full time job, home, and just life in general .. then throwing marathon training in the mix.. yikes! Jonathan and I had a chat then he took the time to work out a schedule for me that was flexible and doable.
Jonathan was encouraging from the start always checking in and offering advice. The day before the marathon I stopped by wfps marathon booth at the expo to say hi and he had some genuine motivational words that eased my nervousness and got me pumped for the manitoba full marathon!
Coach JT thanks for helping me cross that finish line ... it's been slice!!!
I have been a runner for most of my life, but after a series of injuries and a lot of mediocre races, my running had gotten stale. Jonathan understood how important running is to me, and his coaching helped me get back on track both physically and psychologically. His coaching program helped to renew and refresh my enthusiasm for running, and as a result, my speed, strength, and stamina improved.
Coaching is both an art and a science. Jonathan understands the concepts of periodization, phases of training, adaptation, and variety. But he also understands the psychological needs of his athletes, and provides encouragement and a shared love of the sport.
For several years I had been in a running rut and couldn't get a half marathon PR. Jonathan came up with a training plan and held me accountable to do all of my runs. He was very knowledgeable and kept in regular contact. Without his confidence in me, I wouldn't have believed I could do it but I managed to break my goal of a sub 1:50 half marathon!
I will definitely be asking Jonathon to help me with my next goal.
Working with Jonathan and River City Run Coaching has been an instrumental part of helping me train for my first marathon.
It's given me the motivation I needed in times when I felt my goal was impossible. Having Jonathan personalize my program and knowing he is available whenever I need to talk it through will be what gets me to the finish line!
Who starts running at 48? This girl! I reached out to Jonathan in October 2016 just before running my second WFPS Half Marathon. I had previously run five half marathons and one full marathon, all using a simple training app on my phone. I knew that I wanted to ‘step it up’ and improve as a runner but wasn’t really sure where to start.
Jonathan came highly recommended as someone who could help me achieve my running goals and create a training plan tailor made for me. We discussed goals, work schedules and so much more. He put together a plan that would both challenge me as a runner and keep me motivated and running happy.
I have been training with Jonathan for a little over a year now and I am amazed at the progress I’ve made. My running has improved significantly in both speed and endurance, all while staying injury free. Jonathan did a tremendous job preparing me both physically and mentally for my goal race, the Fargo Full Marathon this spring. Checking in after runs, advice on nutrition, hydration and race day strategy were all key components of my training plan.
Jonathan’s feedback and encouragement were instrumental in me running a PR (by almost 20 minutes!) in Fargo and qualifying for the Boston Marathon - my ultimate goal. He was there at the finish line as a coach, but also a friend. It is a moment I will never forget. I am grateful to have Jonathan in my corner as I prepare to run Boston this spring.
I am living proof that with some hard work and the expertise of a dedicated coach, anything is possible. Thank you River City Run Coaching!
I love Jonathan’s positive, motivational approach. He developed a solid plan to help me achieve my goals, and followed up faithfully to keep me on track. He was always available when I needed him, whether by text, phone, e-mail, or in-person.
- Allan Francis
I began my running journey in 2014 when I decided to train for my first Half Marathon. My goal was to finish in “under 2 hours”. By fluke and with no experience I finished the race in 2:00:54. I decided to keep going until I reached my goal and ran another Half in 2015 where my time was 2:06:24…still good but going backwards. In 2016, I ran the Air Force Half Marathon. I was not mentally prepared and at no time during my training did I feel like I would achieve my goal of “under 2 hours”. I finished this Half in 2:23. I was so discouraged and disappointed, especially because my kids knew what my goal was and they had seen my going backwards.
I called my friend Cheryl and asked her “Who is that running coach you are using”? Enter Jonathan Torchia. Jonathan sat down with me face-to-face to understand my previous experience and goals and then gave me a plan specific to what I wanted to achieve. I ran the WFPS Half Marathon for the first time a few months later in 2016 and I finished with chip time of 2:01:02….much closer to my goal and headed back in the right direction.
This year, 2017, after looking at my calendar and talking with Jonathan, I decided to run the WFPS Half again. I asked Jonathan to give me a plan that allowed me to train faster and shoot for a goal of finishing well under 2 hours.
I finished this race with a chip time of 1:57:56. It felt SO AMAZING! A goal that I had been working on for 3 years had come to fruition. I know without a doubt that I never would have achieved this without Jonathan’s plan and his mentoring. Committing to and executing the plan made my body strong and Jonathan’s mentoring and support made me mentally strong! He may not even realize this, but he has taught me that if you have a goal and a plan and you commit to it, you can achieve ANYTHING. And the best part of all? My kids (aged 9 and 13 now) have been watching me the whole time and now they know this too.
Thank you Jonathan. This means more than you know!
I started working with Jonathan after the WFPS run in 2017. He created a plan to help me finish my first full marathon in Fargo 2018. Not only did I finish, but I qualified for Boston 2019!
I wanted to keep pushing myself so I asked Jonathan to create a plan for me with hopes to PB at WFPS Half Marathon this past October 2018.
The plan he created was tailored to suit my work/life schedule.
My time this year at WFPS was 1:38:20, beating last year by almost 10 minutes!
Thank you Jonathan for creating a plan that was easy to follow and ultimately helped me to achieve my running goals!!!!
Can’t wait for Boston 2019!!!!!
I never really considered running long distances growing up. My parents and some other relatives did some half marathons and even some full marathons when I was in my teen years, and I always laughed at how crazy they are and that I wouldn’t ever want to do something like that. A number of years later (my parents have retired from running for the most part) my wife mentioned she would love to do the Seawheeze ½ marathon in 2017.
We both love Vancouver and this would be a great opportunity to see a bunch of the city. We were both very lucky to get in to the event. I hadn’t ran much since doing some sports in high school so this was certainly a scary idea. I ended up doing the race in 2 hours 41 mins with very little training and planning. I had to walk a lot of the second half. I didn’t do any more running after that race for the year.
2018 we decided we wanted to do Seawheeze again because it was a ton of fun, despite the run being very hard. This time I decided I wanted to get some help to show me how to train properly. I had been attending Winnipeg Run Club and knew of Jonathan and his coaching. I decided he would he could help train me and show me how a plan can make this race go a lot more smoothly. I signed up with Jonathan in June 2018 with the race occurring in August.
During the weeks of training Jonathan helped me with pacing, distance runs, and held me accountable to do the training. We set a goal of 2 hours 15 mins for this year. With Jonathans help I was able to finish Seawheeze in 2 hours 7 mins. A few weeks later I ran the annual WFPS Half Marathon and finished with a chip time of 2 hours 14 seconds! A huge improvement from the 2 hours 41 mins. Jonathan was right at the finish line waiting to congratulate me on the run.
Thank you Jonathan for helping this new runner and showing me what I was capable of with some hard work and determination. I’d highly recommend Jonathan to anyone looking to push themselves to reach a new goal.
I reached out to Jonathan after running the Manitoba Marathon knowing I had a lot of work ahead of me with an Ironman race in a few months. I knew I would need a coach to help me create a running plan around my swim/bike training as well as hold me accountable.
He understood my training schedule and strategically added workouts to help me prepare to cross the finish line. With only working with Jonathan for a few months I was able to cross the finish line injury free and focused on quality miles while training.
I wish I would have started with River City Run Coaching at the beginning of the year. I look forward to continuing training with Jonathan in 2019 and working towards a PB at Ironman Canada.
- Brandi Brydges