“Sarah is one of those rare breed of elite athletes, the kind that not only know everything about achieving at a high performance level but who actually understand what it’s like to NOT be one of those. With her knowledge, wisdom, empathy and excellent people skills, Sarah is the first person I’d recommend to runners of any level of competence who are looking to improve their running performance. Not only will they make great strides forward under her guidance but they’ll have fun doing it too!”
- winner of Wilderness Magazine's 'Outdoors Hero of the Year' Award, 2015
- winner of a New Zealander of the Year 'Local Hero' Award 2012 & 2016
- co-founder of Wild Things Trail Running Club
Sarah was an awesome coach in the lead up to Coast to Coast. I hadn't run for 10 years and had tried multiple specialists, and different techniques to overcome various running related ailments. She got me safely back into running, while balancing training with cycling, paddling and working full-time shift work. Not an easy task! Sarah is dedicated, flexible, encouraging and professional, and brings her years of experience and a wonderful sense of fun. I would recommend her to anyone looking at getting into running or aiming for a big challenge like to Coast to Coast.
- Annie Gilmour
Sarah's combination of knowledge, enthusiasm and patience has been the perfect mix for me as an injury prone runner. I am now becoming consistent with my training and improvements are taking place naturally rather than being forced. Sarah's approachable nature has allowed for a great athlete/coach relationship where all necessary information can be relayed without any hassles, for me this along with her physiotherapy background and coaching experience has been key for staying healthy. Being able to fit a structured plan around a busy schedule always worried me but the ability to discuss upcoming training and modify to suit life has been all to easy. If you are on the fence about getting a coach I would totally recommend talking to Sarah you'll be enjoying your running and smashing those PB's in no time.
-Ben Aynsley, Greymouth
-Old Ghost Ultra winner, 2016.
I cannot recommend Speedplay Coaching highly enough. Sarah has hugely improved my running. After just 10 weeks with Speedplay I went from 1 hour 47 minutes for half marathon to 1 hour 38 minutes, over the same course (The Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in Dublin, Ireland). Sarah’s enthusiasm for running shines through in her coaching style- I really enjoy my running now. It’s a far more fun and interesting program than anything I have done before. Her physiotherapy knowledge is a huge bonus- she knows when to push me on, as well as when to take things easier. The coaching is completely tailored to me- taking into account my running background, and my current work and life commitments.To anyone who is considering coaching with Speedplay I would 100% say- Go For It.
- Leah, Newbridge Co. Kildare, Ireland.
My brother John Dixon inspired and coached me to an Olympic 1500m bronze medal. His training principles and philosophy, based on New Zealand Coach Arthur Lydiard, also prepared me to win the New York City Marathon. Sarah Biss has her official Lydiard Certification coaching qualification from the Lydiard Foundation. Sarah was coached by an Arthur Lydiard protégé -- and very good friend of mine - the late Jack Ralston. If you want to be coached by someone who will always go the extra mile to help you succeed, and who understands how to apply the principles and philosophy of the legendary Arthur Lydiard to you, and your goals - then I highly recommend Sarah as a coach, mentor and inspiration.
- Rod Dixon
-Olympic 1500m bronze 1972
-Winner New York City Marathon 1983
-New Zealand record holder - marathon 2:08:59
Training with Sarah has always been a pleasure. She is knowledgeable about all aspects of running as well as having the added benefit of being a physio. As a shift worker I need my schedule to be adaptable and have a trainer who understands the stresses involved which Sarah does. My results have improved considerably in the last few months since I started training with Sarah and I’m sure this wouldn’t have happened without her expert training. I have taken a large chunk of time off my 5k PB and thoroughly enjoyed last years spring challenge due to my great training regime.
-Rachel Hanney, Christchurch
I really can’t speak highly enough of Sarah. I actually got in touch with her through a charitable organisation as Speedplay Coaching was a sponsor. I had been thinking about engaging a coach for some time but with working incredibly long hours thought there wouldn’t be a coach who could structure a training plan around my other commitments. With that said, I have never looked back. Sarah is great. She designs plans that can fit anyone's lifestyle that are creative, fun and challenging. I never find myself bored and I am continuously seeing improvement.
-Cassie MacLeod, Hamilton.
Cassie's debut ultra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uULbqllngTY
If you are looking for a coach who will understand you as a person, design and implement a dynamic training plan around your busy lifestyle, continually develop and adapt the training to towards your individual goals - this is the right place for you. Sarah Biss combines her coaching credentials, experience from her stellar athletic career, and physiotherapy knowledge into a fused holistic package. I now have understanding and purpose to each and every run. The wide variety of workouts push me physically, whilst Sarah’s relaxed and fun approach to training allows them to be pulled off and achieved. The results have spoken for themselves which has significantly made me more confident to how I approach my running now.Sarah checks in and utilizes an array of communication methods to keep in contact and analyze the running data on almost daily basis and replies promptly if any questions are raised. If there are any last-minute changes to my life schedule, Sarah adjusts hassle free. I feel understood and have developed a really cool coaching relationship. I wouldn’t consider not having Sarah assisting in my long term running goals.The injury prevention knowledge, running nutrition and regular golden gems have broadened my understanding as athlete. The other unique aspect of Sarah’s coaching is bringing the Speedplay tribe together, feeling part of a team, the perfect antidote to an individual sport.
-Paul Timothy, Christchurch.
- New Zealand Trail Running team 2019.
-Winner of the 2018 Canterbury Marathon Championships on debut.
- 6th Old Ghost Ultra 2018.
- Third place 2018 NZ Trail Running Championships (and 4th place Oceania Trail Running Championships)
Sarah is the best! She has great technical knowledge and experience. Her plans are individually crafted and amended to fit requirements. Sarah is super supportive and accessible, so while I was training in Hamilton I never felt that I was doing it alone. Can't recommend highly enough. Thanks Coach!!
-Anna O'Brien, Hamilton.
I employed Sarah to coach me with my running, after a foot fracture I needed someone to help me run longer and faster without re injuring myself. I found Sarah's programs fantastic..no injuries. I found Sarah to be supportive, very encouraging and to know what she was doing. I also asked her to coach my 10 year old daughter, she found Sarah's programs fun and Sarah has a great rapport with children. We highly recommend Sarah and will continue to use her as our coach.
-Lisa Furness, Tasman.
I engaged Sarah to coach me for my first marathon at age 40. Having been a runner for years, I was a bit dubious whether I needed a coach but she quickly proved me wrong on that. Sarah stayed in regular contact, followed all my results and constantly adapted my training plan to fit with my progress and other demands on my life. I was blown away by her knowledge running science, competition preparation and race nutrition. As a qualified physio, Sarah was also able to successfully manage my injuries along the way. I wouldn’t want to do a major event without her now!
-Karen G. Nelson, New Zealand.
I have found Sarah to be an excellent coach. Her professional running experience and education makes her a leader in this field. Add to this her physio background and you have one of the most well rounded coaches you could ask for. Sarah keeps in regular contact and is really responsive to how I am feeling whether that is due to health or injury.I asked Sarah to help because I wanted to improve my general fitness and was dealing with joint issues. Not only has she helped lift my fitness but she has helped me lift my pace and distance considerably and well beyond what I realised I was capable of - especially in light of the dodgy knee and hips!Sarah always manages to deliver me programmes that I can squeeze into my busy life - with the best bit being I don't need to think about how to achieve my goals, I just do as she tells me.I highly recommend Sarah to anyone interested in improving their running across all levels of experience and distance.Thanks Sarah.
-Jenna Neame, New Zealand.
"Wouldn't be doing this without the guidance and help from Sarah Biss and Speedplay Coaching. Only a month into training for the Old Ghost and feeling fitter and stronger already (and my clothes are starting to fit again) Amazing work Sarah".
- Maria Voigt, Tasman.
-NZ age group rep at 2019 World Xterra Championships, Hawaii
-1st female 2017 Stampede Ultra-marathon
- 1st 2018 NZ Trail Running Championships (55+ years), third NZ Trail Running Championships 35+ years, third Oceania Trail Running Championships
As an older (68) long-time Race Walker, and sometime runner I would thoroughly recommend the skills and care of Sarah Biss and Speedplay Coaching. Sarah provides a unique blend of training expertise and injury rehabilitation, using her skills as coach and Physiotherapist.When I first consulted her it was to rehab a chronic hamstring problem which was refusing to take the rigors of race walking. She got me back on track in a few short weeks, and I was able to help my Trentham United team win the national race walking title in Rotorua. Shortly after that I faced quite invasive lower leg surgery following a malignant melanoma. Thankfully I am currently clear and almost race walking at full pace again, following a good series of rehab exercises and advice. I realise my case is rather unique, but there are many “try-hard” oldies like me out there still wanting to get out and do it. If you need training and or injury rehab advice, Sarah and Speedplay is the place to go.(with grateful thanks)
- Richard Willis
Sarah is super knowledgeable and great to deal with. Highly recommend!
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