Custom Run & Strength Coaching

Grit Coaching’s custom run & strength programs harness Olympic insights and expert education and are ideal for road and trail runners, obstacle course, hybrid, and recovering athletes. Take the guesswork out of your training, and achieve peak performance with our experienced, science-driven coaching.

With first-hand experience at the highest levels of running, OCR, and hyrox/dekafit, we recognize the challenges of these niche sports. Grit Coaching understands and offers personalized training that goes beyond generic programs.

Grit Coaching delivers affordable, expert coaching tailored to your individual needs. Our programs consider your goals, fitness level, equipment/terrain and lifestyle, ensuring an incredible training plan uniquely optimized for YOU! 

We’ve competed in the Olympics, set world records, and stood on championship podiums. The Grit Coaching team has the rare combination of world-class athletic experience  and Master’s level education in sport science. 

Grit Athletic Coaching Logo

Maximize Your Potential or Miss the Mark

In a world of “instagram fitness” and generic workout plans, it can be challenging to find good quality information. 

OCR star Faye Stenning and Olympic Runner / Exercise Physiologist Jessica O’Connell saw a strong need for access to high-quality coaching and team together to offer effective, science-informed remote coaching for athletes around the world!

Personalized training can be game-changing for athletic performance. Generic, one-size-fits-all programs can’t address your unique strengths, performance gaps, and goals. 

The difference between adequate and exceptional performance often lies in the training methodology. Ineffective, outdated, or non-scientific approaches can lead to disappointing results, despite your best efforts. Our evidence based, experience-proven training philosophies ensure that every minute you spend running miles or lifting weights is thoughtfully planned.

Neglecting the importance of injury prevention can cause a major setback. Training without a focus on mobility, work:rest ratios, mindful progression in training load, and personalized prehab/rehab work not only hinders performance but also increases the likelihood of injuries, derailing your progress. Our holistic approach prioritizes health and longevity by integrating injury prevention and recovery strategies into your custom training plan.

Tailored Coaching for Every Athlete's Journey

01

RUN COACHING

Our run coaching service provides personalized training plans, expert guidance, and ongoing support tailored to your goals.

* Image Credit to Claus Andersen, Athletics Canada

02

OCR COACHING

With our specialized OCR coaching, you’ll receive comprehensive training that combines endurance, strength, and technique to prepare you to tackle your race with confidence.

03

HYROX | DEKA FIT coaching

Our coaching for Hyrox, Deka Fit, and other hybrid events focuses on building your endurance, strength, and versatility to equip you with the skills needed to excel.

04

CROSS TRAINING |
RETURN TO RUN

Tailored to athletes recovering from injuries, our post-injury support program emphasizes safe, effective training strategies to help you maintain your fitness.

Your Expert Coaching Team

Introducing Jessica O’Connell and Faye Stenning, the dynamic leaders of Grit Coaching. Jessica, an Olympic runner, brings a wealth of experience from the highest levels of competitive athletics, enhanced by her MSc in Exercise Science and her credentials as a CSEP-Clinical Exercise Physiologist with a High Performance Specialization. Faye, an elite OCR racer, complements this with her intense obstacle course racing insights and a solid foundation in strength and conditioning from her Kinesiology Bachelor’s degree. 

Their extensive certifications, academic expertise and athletic achievements form the foundation of Grit Coaching’s scientifically sound and experience-based training programs. 

Two women sharing smiles of accomplishment after completing their run, radiating joy and satisfaction.
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Personalized Training Plans

Every athlete's journey is different, and our training plans reflect that. Each program is uniquely created based on your goals, fitness, injury history, and available resources (including time)!

Running

Holistic Performance Approach

We adopt a comprehensive approach to coaching that goes beyond physical preparation by focusing on injury prevention, basic sports nutrition, mental performance skills, and more!

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Expert Coaches, Real Results

Our experienced team, led by Olympic and elite OCR veterans, provides expert coaching that translates into tangible results.

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Flexible, Accessible Coaching

We understand that you are busy! Our programming is designed to compliment your schedule by being flexible and accessible. With remote coaching and no long-term contracts, we make elite training convenient and adaptable.

Embrace the Freedom of Remote Coaching

Unlock the full potential of your training with the flexibility and convenience of remote coaching.  Geographical boundaries don’t exist with Grit Coaching, allowing you to access world-class coaching from anywhere you call home.

how it works

Embarking on your personalized coaching journey with Grit Coaching is straightforward and simple. Here’s how we guide you towards your next personal best:

Number 1

Questionnaire & Book A Call

Fill out our questionnaire via Google Forms and provide background to information on your goals and training history. Then, you’ll be prompted to schedule your first meeting effortlessly using Calendly. 

Number 2

Initial Consultation call

We’ll use this initial phone or zoom call to get to know each other and ensure we’re a good fit. This initial consultation is your opportunity to discuss your goals, challenges, and preferences, laying the groundwork for a great coaching experience. This call is free – there is no obligation to sign up!

Number 3

customized plan

Based on the insights from your consultation and questionnaire, we craft a customized training plan that aligns with your individual goals, lifestyle, schedule, and current fitness, ensuring that every aspect of the plan is tailored just for you.

Number 4

ongoing support

Your journey doesn’t end with receiving your plan-we’re just getting started!. We provide options for ongoing support, feedback, and adjustments to your plan as needed, ensuring you stay on track, overcome challenges, and continuously progress.

Flexible Plans to Fit Your Goals

RUN COACHING

Whether you’re training for your first ever 5k, hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon, or tackle a trail race, we can help you be the best runner you can be! 

What's included?

STRENGTH COACHING

Elevate your athletic prowess with a bespoke strength training program tailored by OCR luminary and kinesiologist, Faye Stenning.

What's included?

RUN & STRENGTH

This coaching plan is specifically designed for athletes targeting obstacle course races, Hyrox & Deka Fit events, or is looking to complement their run training with a tailored strength program. 

What's included?

Cross-Training

Our cross training and return-to-run plans provide structured training support and coaching guidance to help athletes come back better. A structured cross training plan allows a runner to maintain (or build!) fitness through alternate activities when they can’t run. 

What's included?

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After qualifying for the Boston Marathon, I struggled with injuries for several months and became concerned I may not be able to compete in the race. At the recommendation of my physiotherapist, I reached out to Grit Coaching and I couldn’t be happier. In 6 months with Grit, I went from not running at all to hitting a PR in Boston! Jess and Faye provide thoughtful, science-backed, programming that's personalized to my needs and schedule. I've learnt so much from them and can't wait to hit my next PRs with them in my corner.

Johnny T Runner

Grit Coaching helped me take my performance to a whole new level of strength, speed and injury prevention. I thought I was fairly on top of my strength game, but having Jess create running-specific programming, and Faye create me strength programming for whatever event goals I threw at her resulted in my best season ever. This even included a win at Spartan Race World Championships!

Lindsay Webster GOAT OCR Racer & Top All-Around Endurance Athlete

I have been working with Jess and Faye since 2020 and this past year I went through my first pregnancy. I wasn’t sure if the girls would feel comfortable to coach me through the pregnancy. They were ready for the challenge and jumped right on it! They created a flexible plan for changes in my energy that were realistic and safe throughout my experience.

Rachel Casasanta OCR/Hybrid Athlete and MOM!

FAYE STENNING

Coach Faye in 'GRIT' athletic attire confidently poses with crossed arms.

Faye’s journey in athletics is marked by dedication and impressive achievements. Throughout her high school and university years, she was deeply engaged in running, competing for the University of Calgary’s track and cross-country teams. Her standout moments include earning the “All Canadian” cross-country status and participating in the 2008 Olympic trials for the 5000m. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, Faye embarked on a career as a personal trainer, where her passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle became a source of inspiration for her diverse range of clients.

Transitioning from competitive running, Faye soon discovered her next athletic passion: obstacle course racing (OCR). Her strong foundation in running and strength training quickly propelled her to success in the OCR world. Faye’s talents were recognized in 2016 when she joined the Spartan Pro Team, and her athletic ability was furthered with a bronze medal at the Spartan World Championships.

Continuing to compete among the elite, Faye has consistently demonstrated her skill and tenacity in OCR. She has secured two 4th place finishes at both the Spartan North Americans and the Spartan World Championship. Her record of Spartan podium finishes over the past decade showcases her enduring excellence in the sport.

Beyond the thrill of competition, it’s the OCR community that deeply resonates with Faye. The opportunity to travel, share her passion for fitness and adventure, and connect with an array of positive, inspiring individuals fuels her year after year. Faye embodies the essence of the “work hard, play hard” ethos, living it to the fullest in both her professional and personal life.

Jess O'Connell

Coach Jess in 'GRIT' athletic attire confidently poses with crossed arms.

Though Jess spent much of her free time growing up competing in Irish dancing, once she hit the track, she never looked back! As a specialist in the 5000m, she boasts a personal best time of an impressive 15:06.66. Her accomplishments include competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 5000m and formerly holding the Canadian national records for the indoor 3000m and 2 mile races. Jess’s career is further highlighted by being a 15-time Canadian national team member across track and field, cross country, and road running, a four-time National Champion, a Pan Am Games silver medalist, an NCAA Division I All-American, and achieving a personal bests of 32:22 in the 10km (road race) and 4:30 in the mile.

Jess has always been “nerdy” about her training, which shows through in her impressive academic background. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Calgary. As a CSEP-CEP (Clinical Exercise Physiologist) with a High-Performance specialization, Jess holds the highest level of certification available in Canada. Jess also holds NCCP Performance Coach certification for endurance events. She applies her vast athletic experience and educational background to her role in Grit Coaching, and also serves as the distance track and cross country coach at the University of Calgary. 

Jess’s commitment to sport extends beyond her personal achievements, as she actively works to inspire and uplift the next generation of athletes. She has passionately volunteered for Fast and Female, an organization dedicated to empowering girls and young women to remain active and engaged in sports, and has served as the athlete representative on the board of Athletics Alberta, the provincial governing body for track and field. Jess believes that balance, health, and FUN are essential for longevity in sport, and she loves sharing her love of running with others.