Coach Brendan Cournane
This was an amazing accomplishment – and one I doubted several times over the last 20 years. It is very rewarding and humbling to have reached this goal.
I appreciate all the kinds thoughts, words and prayers from friends, family and colleagues along the path of this incredible journey. As I ran the last two miles of the Antarctica Marathon, I thought back through the years of how this all started.
It was 1985, when I completed my first 26.2-mile run: the Chicago Marathon (then called America’s Marathon/Chicago). Steve Jones just missed a world record and Joan Benoit Samuelson set the American record that day. At the 22-mile mark I said to myself, “I will never do this again.” That was about the time I was passed by an 80-year old woman and another who was 8 months pregnant.
It took a layoff of almost 10 years, but in October of 1995, I improved my time by more than an hour and a half and I qualified for the Boston Marathon! I’ve gone on to qualify for Boston in over a dozen years and I have completed Boston 6 times.
In the years since that first marathon experience, I studied coaching techniques and philosophies, learned how to improve my performance. I honed my skills and developed ways to impart that knowledge to others.
My training philosophies can be summarized as:
• Good form will carry you through℠
• Know what kind of runner you are
• Quality over quantity
• Endurance before speed
Since 1996, I have used these principles to helped thousands of runners, run-walkers and walkers of all abilities and skill levels achieve their goals of successfully completing running events — from 5Ks through ultra marathons. I have also helped many runners qualify for the Boston Marathon.
I am also the training coach for many charity teams participating in marathons around the country such as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon and Disney Marathon Weekend Events. Check out my Charity Partners page for links to a charity with which I partner for marathon training.
Through personalized training programs and group training I’ll help you improve your running efficiency, technique and form, speed and endurance. If you’re unable to participate in person, I offer a virtual training program that gives you access to my training regardless of your location.
Whether you are looking for a program to improve speed and endurance or training help on those long runs, you’ll learn through my training program that “Good form will carry you through℠ “
Coach Brendan’s Certifications
I continue running – training and racing. I can often be seen on the running path around Chicago and at races around the country and the world, usually in my signature chili pepper shorts. I’ve been privileged to run some of the most remarkable courses in the world.
In 2008, I achieved a goal by completing a marathon in each of the 50 States; and along the way I qualified for the Boston Marathon in over a dozen races and was privileged to complete the Boston Marathon 6 times.
In May of 2009 I ran along the Great Wall of China and throughout the countryside a few hours outside of Beijing.
In March 2010 I returned from Africa where I ran the Kilimanjaro Marathon in Moshi, Tanzania. For recovery, I trekked to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro – at 19,340 feet, this is the world’s highest freestanding mountain and the highest point in Africa.
And in November of 2012, I was in Port Douglas, Australia, where the ‘starting gun’ was a total solar eclipse which began the Solar Eclipse Marathon.
By virtue of the variety of races and the locations I’ve run, I use my experience to help my runners prepare for races both exotic and fast, helping to bring out the best performance in each on race day.
I’m a devotee of the run/walk method of endurance racing, and often I complete marathons following a run/walk technique. In fact, I qualified for the Boston Marathon utilizing a run/walk strategy as well as continuous running strategy.
My personal best in a marathon is 3:16 (running) and 3:26 (run/walking).
I have had a monthly column, “Trial Runs” in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and have been published in Marathon & Beyond, the American Bar Association Journal, Shape Magazine, Chicago Athlete, Windy City Sports and Competitor magazines as well as on Active.com. I’ve been quoted in Running Times and Runner’s World and interviewed on many Chicago radio and TV stations. For a complete list of media coverage, please visit my News Page.
Coach Brendan is a proud member of Running USA.