When I started working with coach Harboe, I was training for my second half marathon and had been running for a little over 2 years. I had successfully completed a full marathon in spring and wanted to get another race in before the end of 2018. With her help and race strategy I finished a fall half marathon faster than my initial goal time. From there we went into preparing for marathon training for the spring of 2019. My hope was to run a sub 4 hour marathon, which would be 28 minute personal best. We picked a marathon and got to work.
Training was demanding but I soon saw results in increased speed and stamina. One of the big things she helped me with was running smart and not going fast when slow was the way to go. It was eye opening how much better my overall performance got when I stuck to the plan and ran slow instead of over doing it. Unfortunately I injured myself on a long run, then deal with the sudden loss of my grandmother and unplanned travel to say my goodbyes. This put a big strain on training and we decided to push the race to a later date. Coach Harboe was so very supportive and helped me tremendously during these trying times.
I loved having her daily feedback after each run and it also helped me not to give up and keep pushing. In the end I did not get all the training sessions I needed and although I felt fitter than ever before I was not very confident that I would hit my goal time. On June 1st 2019 I ran the Newport Marathon on a beautiful summer day. The race was great and I was cruising along almost effortlessly for the first 18 miles. Then the sun came out , my mind balked and I slowed down. It was all in my head at this point and it was due to all the strong training that I did get in that I managed to pick it up again and run thru the finish line feeling accomplished and strong. The fact that I was able to clear the last steep hill running and have strong form at mile 26.2 is a testament to all the hard training and great coaching. In the end I did not hit my goal time, but I still PR’d with a 4:18 hr finish. I know now that I can run faster and am stronger than I think I am. With Coach Harboe’s continued help and guidance I am confident that I can crush my future running goals.
Federal Way, WA
A very difficult thing about raising a child is watching them face a challenge and not having the background or “tools” to help them overcome it. Our 13 year old son was struggling with passing the running portion of a Physical Readiness Test required to qualify for two summer camps he had his heart set on attending. His lack of progress was not due to a lack of effort or desire, but rather the lack of proper training and the mental conditioning he needed to succeed. My wife and I came to the realization that if he had been struggling in academics and we couldn’t help, we would find him a tutor. Since he was struggling with athletics we decided to find him a coach. Through an internet search we found the website CoachUp and through that website we were lucky to find Coach Stephanie.
The timeline was tight in order for our son to reach his goals. He needed to cut his one-mile time by over two minutes in under three months in order to be accepted to the camps. After the very first session with Coach Stephanie, we saw a dramatic improvement in our son’s mental approach to training and in his form and technique. There was an overnight change in his attitude towards training. It went from something he dreaded to a realization that it was a means to a goal.
I believe there were two things which attributed the most to his transformation; first having an obvious expert as his personal coach who was positive, direct and didn’t doubt for a second that he would attain his goals. Second was the measured and thoughtful approach to training that Coach Stephanie had that basically said, ‘We have three months to reach your goal, let’s take three months to do it by making small improvements every day.’ This attitude immediately reduced the anxiety of our son and allowed him to make huge strides in his training in short order. Coach Stephanie kept contact with us between one-on-one training sessions, delivering training schedules and tips via email and text on a regular basis.
In the end, in just over two months, he went from failing the running portion of the test to cutting over two minutes off his mile time and being within striking distance of the National Level for his age group. Within 4 months of attaining that goal, and by continuing to apply Coach Stephanie’s training program, he is well over National Level in both Push-ups and Sit-ups and has set the goal of reaching National Level in the 1 mile within the next couple of months. The transformation both mentally and physically in six months has been nothing short of astounding!
Jeff W., father of Jackson
The first time I laid eyes on Stephanie she was running. As someone who loves running for a plethora of reasons my eyes were drawn to her smooth, strong gait, muscular lean form, and look of patient determination. “Wow!,” I thought, “That is what a beautiful run looks like!” Getting to know Stephanie did not disappoint. The fabric of my successes in running have been woven on the loom of her knowledge, experience, and implementation. The first of those successes was in the completion of the first year of Stuttgart CYS Youth Cross Country, a program which she worked to establish. I was honored and excited to coach the 40+ elementary and middle school runners and cheer them on as the broke through their barriers and celebrated successes. Without Stephanie none of that would have been possible. This past weekend’s Austin Half-Marathon PR was such a rush! But the time improvement was just a small part of it. Stephanie’s careful coaching built my strength, endurance, confidence, and mental agility. When I lined up to start the race I felt calm and in control. I was able to employ the many lessons in active recovery, steady pacing, fueling, and fortitude that Stephanie had provided throughout my training. The race was not just survival, but a carefully calculated and executed mission. With her as my coach, I made the leap to begin training for my first Marathon. I trust her implicitly and look forward to finding out what I can achieve with her guidance and direction!
I have known Stephanie since childhood and I always admired her strength, perseverance, her athleticism, and brain! Over a span of 30 years, I would talk to her about starting to be a runner and was always interested because of her passion for it, but just it just never stuck. I could run only about 30 seconds before I had to walk because I thought I was going to pass out and it became discouraging. About 2 years ago, I decided to stick with it and Stephanie provided me with “homework” that was geared to my abilities and it gave me a sense of success because it put me out of my comfort zone AND I could actually do it!! She not only provided me with “homework”, but also gave me encouragement and a positive outlook, and pushed me when I needed it the most, of course, during an actual race. I went from running 30 seconds at a time to now running 10ks. The future may hold even more distance, only time will tell! Thank you Steph for not only having patience for me and giving me advice, but sticking with me all the way!
2017 Point Defiance 30kThere are no words to express how much a positive difference Stephanie has made in my training and running ability. In ten weeks, Stephanie was able to coach me from being barely able to sustain a 10:30 pace for 10k, to finishing the Tacoma Narrows Half-Marathon at a 9:55 pace, and four weeks later proudly finishing the Point Defiance 30k at a PR of 3:38:01, an improvement of 24 minutes over my 2015 time. Working with Stephanie also recently lead to a 10k PR time of 51:02, just shy of two minutes faster than my 2016 time, shortly after completing the MCM. Stephanie has provided me individualized tailored training based upon my goals and ability. Her training has been targeted, always with a margin of execution and flexibility, and includes a variety of diverse types of training and recovery. Stephanie always provides feedback, insight, tips and personalized encouragement for each training session, emphasizing goals and how to get the most benefit from each session. Outside the weekly e-mailed schedules, Stephanie also monitors input from training sessions through Garmin Connect, and proactively engages with and is always available to answer questions or concerns via e-mail, text, or phone. She has been available to meet and run together on a couple of the training sessions, and has suggested local runs which we have also met at. That original skepticism is now gone and I finally feel as though I have a “Run Coach” who provides a personalized training schedule and level of accountability that works for me and I would recommend her to anyone at any level of running.
I was Active Duty Army when I first met Stephanie. She had posted in an online forum about being a running coach and I was interested in attempting to get 100 points in my next APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) 2 mile run. I was 90 seconds away from it at my previous APFT in October. We started working together in late January for an April APFT. She did a lot of the speed work on the track with me to help push me beyond my comfort zone. Unfortunately, I got injured two days before my APFT and could not run for 2 weeks. Stephanie worked with me through the injury, including strength workouts and bicycling while I couldn’t run then she went out with me on my first run post injury. Once I was feeling better and could run with minimal pain, we increased the speed and planned for an end of May APFT. Stephanie got up early the morning of, warmed up while I was doing the push-up and sit-up events, then ran and coached me through the run. While I didn’t make it in time to get 100 points (my injury set me back farther than I thought it would), I did take a full minute off my 2-mile time and was very happy with the outcome. Since then I have trained for and completed four half marathons and two full marathons with Stephanie. I look forward to working with her again next year!
Washington State and Wisconsin
The first time I tried to run a mile, I had a heat stroke and collapsed on my 3rd lap. The second time I tried to run a mile, I wasn’t paying attention and I knocked myself out cold by running straight into a soccer goal post. It took me 15 more years before I was actually able to get through a whole mile without injuring myself; It’s pretty safe to say I am not a naturally talented runner. Coming into my late 30’s I decided I wanted to run a marathon and talked a whole group of people into doing it with me. I hired Coach Stephanie after months of struggling to stay healthy and motivated. I can say without a doubt that Stephanie is absolutely the reason I was able to enjoy my training and complete my marathon in one piece. She worked with me around some of my health issues and was a constant source of inspiration, knowledge, and motivation. The workouts were varied enough to keep me interested; challenging enough to help me grow and a runner; and perfectly tailored to my ability. Coach Stephanie is worth far more than she charges. I can’t recommend her enough.
Coach Stephanie (Kuhn) Harboe is phenomenal! She not only cares about me as an athlete/runner but as a person. She is amazing at taking my personal constraints of work/family/school life and creating a program that allows balance and success. Her guidance and well thought out, detailed, and organized plans helped me reach specific half marathon goals this past season. Under her direction I was able to run a 1:24:20 at the Des Moines half marathon which was good enough for a podium position of 3rd overall female and then 5 weeks later I ran/won a 1:23:31 in 28 degree weather at the Fall Classic half marathon in Ohio. Since being under Stephanie’s direction I have never felt stronger and more capable as a runner. My goals have grown and the ultimate goal is to run a sub 1:20 half and maybe even shoot for the Olympic trials one day in the marathon. Stephanie has helped me believe in myself enough to say those HUGE goals out load! It will take a lot of work of course, but it is amazing what a great coach who knows what they are doing can help you believe and achieve. Another reason I absolutely love Stephanie as a coach is because she is available to talk and help me through mental rough patches especially when a workout or race does not go as expected. She always brings forth the positives in all situations and has taught me to do the same. The power of positive self talk and positive thinking is such a huge component to an athletes success and she has shown me that. She believes in me and pushes me to believe in myself and I love that. Also, I know there is a reason behind every workout that she gives me and its refreshing to know and trust that she has thought through every little thing. Through this past training cycle she allowed me to see that I am much stronger than I give myself credit for. This is especially true when I tackle a workout that I think looks impossible. Bottom-line, Stephanie is amazing and I am excited to work with a coach that truly cares about my journey. I am forever grateful and am excited to see what the future holds.
Alaska and Ohio
I met Stephanie in Alaska a few years back and she revolutionized my running. She introduced interval training (I hate speed workouts), had me running up mountains (not kidding when I say mountains) and encouraged me to try a marathon (yup, 60 miles of training a week to prepare). I got hooked and Stephanie became my “go-to” woman for all things running. From marathon #1 to marathon #2, I eliminated 23 minutes. It wasn’t easy; Stephanie is a beast and she requires you to be a beast, too. Work hard, no excuses. Marathon #3 was a little different since we went for the goal of finishing – I was 5 months pregnant on race day. On a side note, Stephanie flew in from Germany (to Florida) and raced along side me… talk about coach of the year. Marathon #4 is right around the corner and a new goal of getting back into shape and learning to train with a little boy army crawling around the house has been her new task for me. Marathon #5 is way off in the distance, but we already have our sights set on me qualifying for Boston. I recount these stories not because it’s fun to go down memory lane, but because it gives you concrete evidence of Stephanie’s range of expertise in helping me (and you in the future) with achieving results – whatever they may be.
Alaska, Florida, and Germany
When I met Stephanie I had just finished a mountain marathon in Switzerland which I ran for fun and not for time. I then decided to join her and a friend as they trained for the 2014 Boston Marathon in the spring. I was looking for another challenge. Her workouts were varied with hills, tempo, pacing, and long runs. It was hard and a lot of work but achievable. The strength training made a huge difference and something I had never really done on my own before. I chose to run the Wurzburg Marathon since it was a week after the Boston. We ran a midway training half marathon that I PR’d by 4 minutes. The Wurzburg was a great race and I qualified for Boston by over 20 minutes for my age qualification time. The best part was she drove to Wurzburg to watch and cheer me on! That was amazing and I was grateful! It was my first marathon to run for time and even though I was just short of my goal, I learned so much and was amazed at what I was able to do. Stephanie encouraged and challenged me along the way. She is experienced and knows what she is doing and explains the ‘why’ with each workout. I know I ran well thanks to her guidance and workouts.
Germany and Illinois
I trained for three marathons by myself. My times were good, but I noticed that I had more potential. After meeting and training with Stephanie my times improved. Stephanie made me a personalized in depth training plan, which included sprints, hills, tempo runs, long runs and of course strength training. After a couple of weeks of following the training plan, I could already tell that my body was getting stronger and my state of mind was changing. I was able to push myself through hard workouts. With her knowledge, her positive attitude and her gift to motivate people Stephanie is a superior coach. I played team sports for over 20 years and I had many different coaches and I can say that Stephanie is by far the best coach. She went out of her way to help me improve my running form, endurance, speed, and strength. The time of my last marathon that Stephanie trained me for improved by 9 minutes to a 3:13:13. I used to like running, but now thanks to Stephanie I love it. Stephanie is a great trainer; she motivates and pushes you to improve not only physically but also mentally.
Germany and Maryland