May 26, 2024

Featured Coach: Corbin Harris


Featured Coach: Corbin Harris

Hi, my name is Corbin Harris and I am a coach based in central Kentucky. I grew up in the state of Kentucky before attending Campbellsville University to run track and cross country, where I returned to lead the distance program in 2020. Along with coaching on the collegiate scene, I have also grown to love the roads and want to help others aspire to reach their goals through my coaching company – 4Glory Running

How did you start your running career?

  • I started my running career in 4th grade after I attended my elementary school XC practice just because it was at my piano teacher’s house. I ran one practice and was one of the fastest, so I figured I would stay with it! That led me to join the team, quitting soccer and focusing on XC in the fall and baseball in the spring. However, it wasn’t until college that my sole focus came to running.

What inspired you to become a running coach?

  • I always thought coaching would be fun, but never thought it was the avenue I wanted to pursue until my alma mater needed a coach and I thought I would help out for a year when I was looking for a job post-pandemic. A few weeks into the job, I fell in love with the career, not for the sport, but for the ability to pursue relationships and help people reach their goals.

Podcasts, Music, or silence on long runs?

  • Either podcasts or silence. If I am out for an easy long run, I will usually turn a podcast on, but if I am adding quality, I want to be in my head to force myself to think through it.

Any podcast, book, or movie recommendations (can be sport-related or not)?

  • Books: Running with the Buffaloes, Atomic Habits, Do Hard Things
  • Podcasts: Citius Mag and The Running Effect
  • Movies: Miracle

Favorite quote?

  • In summary – “You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to show up each and every day. That is how you be great”

Favorite meal after a big workout?

  • AM Workout – Dark Chocolate Kodiak Pancake topped with PB and Banana w/ an egg on the side
  • PM Workout – Emma Coburn’s Beet Pesto Pasta topped with Salmon

Best city (or particular road/trail) to go for a run or ride in?

  • Love city runs, but hard to pick one. Loved my time in Pittsburg exploring some of the parks and routes on the river.

How would you describe your style of coaching?

  • Relational. I like to try to get to know people more than I know running.

Any moment you'd define as your proudest as a coach or PT?

  • Not just one. Helping each athlete achieve their own goals is always pretty special. Each comes with a different feeling.

Favorite vacation spot?

  • Only been once, but Hawaii was amazing, as one could assume. I would love to go back!

Race recommendation for new runners (and why)?

  • Hamilton Nightglow was a good first marathon for me. So so lowkey and was a four-lap course, so my friends got to see me multiple times! Started at around 7 PM and once I was around halfway on, the lights came on and provided a cool racing atmosphere.

One piece of advice to someone just starting on their running journey?

  • The key is consistency. You don’t have to do anything special besides knowing how to show up each day. You are only as good as who you are on your worst days, so try to be consistent and limit those bad days.

Who are you following in the space/industry?

  • Since I am working in running full-time, my eyes are all over the running scene – from running groups like Tinman and OAC to following Steve Magness’ Scholar Program, I am always looking to see what others are doing and how to improve what I do.

What are your favorite training apps and resources and why?

  • Clear communication and data from Final Surge have been huge to the development of my coaching. It allows me to see more than paces and distances, but provides in-depth information and gives athletes detailed parameters to communicate with me.

Coach Corbin's Coaching Style

How do you approach working with new athletes, particularly those who may be just starting out or are returning to the sport after a break?

  • Talk with them about their goals and build backward from those in a way that is controlled and manageable. We can’t train for a marathon all at once, so I try to take a progressive approach to ease people into running, making it as fun as possible.

What are some common mistakes that runners make, and how do you help your athletes avoid or correct them?

  • Most athletes run way too fast. From experienced runners (running too fast on their recovery days) to new runners feeling like they can’t run or they don’t enjoy running because they are going too quick. I try not to set paces for easy runs, but will just discuss with athletes how they are feeling afterward and see how they are also able to respond to the next day’s session.

What do you believe sets your coaching style apart from other coaches in the industry?

  • What I do is not anything special, but I do try to put an emphasis on each athlete, rather than having an end-all; be-all training plan.

How do you help your athletes set and achieve their goals, both in the short term and long term?

  • We sit down and initially discuss where the athlete wants to be in their career or in the upcoming year(s) and then we will look back to see how we can regularly accomplish wins with short-term goals to build them up to their long-term ones.

How do you incorporate strength training and cross-training into your runners' training plans?

  • Strength training is extremely important as a runner! I am personally not certified as a strength and conditioning coach but will provide guidance if an athlete requests it. I will often use cross-training modalities for a new runner, a runner who needs to stay low-impact/low mileage, or someone who is injured or returning from injuries.

How do you help your runners stay motivated and focused throughout their training?

  • I try to provide them with opportunities to find wins each day and week. I will communicate with them consistently about why we are doing what we are doing and help them focus on being consistent, even when it is hard.

Can you share a success story of an athlete you've worked with who has made significant progress under your coaching?

  • My biggest success story would come from the first athlete I had brought onboard through 4Glory Training. After coming off of back-to-back stress fractures and nearly 5 months without running, Brett came to me in hopes to build for the Amsterdam Marathon. With running beginning in May and the marathon happening in October, we had time to take a progressive approach as long as we were consistent in our build. The build went without any injury setback and Brett actually came out with a near 5-minute PR in Amsterdam, running 2:33.

How do you stay up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the field of running and coaching?

  • I am always listening to podcasts, enrolling in USTFCCCA Courses, and the Scholar Program

What advice would you give to someone who is considering hiring a running coach or starting to work with one for the first time?

  • Make sure whoever you hire, you are able to communicate with and be vulnerable with. Coaches are here to help you reach your goals, so sometimes for us to help you in the best way we can, we need a deeper insight into life than just training.

What does your ideal athlete for coaching look like and why?

  • Male or Female does not matter, but ideally working with someone who has some marathon experience rather than the new runner. I have worked with runners who came to me off of no running and they were able to run sub-4 hours after a 10-week build, but my preference is someone with a little experience. Anyone willing to work and be consistent works great with me.

What is the best cross-training you recommend?

  • If available, I love bodyweight suspension systems (LEVER or AlterG) but if not, the bike or elliptical can accomplish the demands we are looking for.

Lightning Round:

If you had to pick one: morning or evening runs?

  • Morning

If you had to pick one: hot temp run (90F) or cold temp (20F) run?

  • Hot Temp ALL DAY

If you had to pick one: 5k vs 10k vs 13.1 vs 26.2?

  • 26.2 is my favorite distance! Wish I could safely race it more!

If you had to pick one: speed vs endurance?

  • Endurance

If you had to pick one: road or trail run?

  • Road… two of my last three trail runs, I have fallen – I will stick to the roads.

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