I've been running since 1990, running marathons since 2008, and started trail running in 2012. I'm a "middle of the pack" runner about to turn 60 who'd been getting faster on my own, but stalled out a few years ago after a couple of injuries that each stopped me cold for a few months each. While I was not improving, I had a feeling that I might not yet have reached my potential. Several people recommended Joe as a running coach, so I signed on 3 months before a 50K trail run that promised to be a challenge. Joe came up with a training plan for me, and was always available to meet to discuss issues that I was having. He added a couple of new concepts to my training that I would not have thought to try on my own, and they gave me an instant boost and within a couple months, my "comfort" speed had increased by a mile per minute, at least for up to 10 miles or so. He also helped me tune my nutrition and drop-bag strategy for the unsupported 50K, and helped settle my nerves as I started second-guessing our race strategy at the last minute, and encouraged me to power-walk the hills. The race went well, though he kicked my butt! I expect that what I learned will continue to help me improve and speed up during the coming year, and I plan to work with him next year and tackle several more Tejas Trails races that I've thought about running for years. I'd highly recommend Joe as a trail or road coach, especially for older runners (45+) who want to remain youthful and refuse to start winding down into "old age"!
Joe's coaching has been invaluable on my journey to & through endurance trail running. Thanks to the knowledge he's shared and the advice he's provided, I've grown immensely as a runner. He's guided me through my first 66k and 50 miler, and he's currently helping me prep for my first 100 at a level I'd never have reached on my own. Joe isn't just another coach looking to make a quick buck. This is a man who's been in the trenches of the hardest races. He lives in the heartbeat of trail running in the U.S., and he's rightfully a legend in the trail-running community. And above that, he wants to see others learn more about this sport and help them grow into better runners. Joe's coaching is on a whole other level, and I'm incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to learn from him.
- Kyle Swetlishnoff
I've been training with Joe since December of 2015 and have already knocked two hours off my marathon time. Joe's knowledge of the trails, racing and the community in general gives you an advantage that not a lot of people have. If you're looking to increase your speed, get faster uphill/downhill, or just looking for assistance in navigating the trails... Joe's your guy! His coaching philosophy is one that most people relate with. He gives you a plan and guides you every week, but it's up to you as to what you want to get out of it. To get faster, he'll have you run faster. To get more confident on hills, rest assured your plan will include hills. Joe has made me a stronger, faster and more efficient runner in the short amount of time that I've trained with him. I look forward to my continued running journey with him.
- January Cummings
I could not have accomplished my running goals without Joe's mentorship and direction. His perspective and experience as a coach, race director and ultrarunner are invaluable to me. And no one matches Joe's ability to understand what motivate and inspire an athlete.
- Liza Howard
Before working with Joe, I'd only ran one trail race, a slow 10K. I hired Joe as my coach immediately after that race because I wanted to get stronger, run farther and faster. In the years since, I've completed dozens of trail races, including a handful of ultras, and I now have six podium finishes and a trail series win under my belt. Joe is extremely knowledgable, as well as an excellent teacher and motivator. He will create a training program that is uniquely customized to your abilities, and he will work with you every step of the way to help you achieve your goals. If you want to take your trail running to the next level, Joe is your answer!
- Amy French
I was asked to write about my experience with Joe as my running coach. I waited a while to write this because I could not put a finger on what Joe provided me that was different from other coaches. It wasn’t until recently, coaching myself, that I realized exactly why Joe is a great coach. For me, it all boils down to his many years of experience. He has been there and done that. He has gone through all of the trendy mistakes that so many runners go through and makes sure you don’t make the same mistakes. I recently started another training cycle, utilizing what Joe had provided me and added some twists that I thought would work for me; only to get burnt out and injured half way through my cycle. Reflecting back to when Joe was coaching me, he would never have let that happen. His training philosophy is solid and he trains runners for longevity and success. Something that is very difficult to do on your own. Joe is a wonderful mentor, friend, and coach.
- Dan McIntyre
I was very hesitant to at first to contact Joe about training, knowing the tremendous experience and level of athletes he has coached in the past. But I had some very lofty goals for 2015 and knew I needed his guidance. With Joe's help I accomplished several of my goals. I might have bitten off more than I could chew with them, but Joe's only reaction when I told him my ambitions was that is sounded like his kind of fun. In 2015 I completed Bandera 100K, Rocky Raccoon 100 mile, In a 6 week period completed: Nueces 50 Mile, Trans Lantau 100K in Hong Kong, Grasslands 50 mile, Austin Rattler 75K, Hells Hills 50 mile, and Possum Kingdom 52 mile. I also completed the Hachie 50K, and did another 50K during the Fossil Valley run. I had a few DNFs later in the year due to injury (Leadville 50 miles in, Cactus Rose 75 miles in) and a DNS at Big Cedar 100, but was still able to finish 2nd in my age group and 4th overall in the Texas Trail Championship Series. Given the talent that was in front of and behind me in the series, I know that my placing wouldn't have been possible without Joe's advice and support. Joe won't tell you you're goals are crazy or out of reach. He knows what it takes to get there so trust his advice and don't be afraid to get ambitious with your race goals.
- Jake Richter
Joe has incredible experience and knoledge of trail running from the runner's perspective. This is what makes Joe such a valuable coach - advising on both what to do and what not to do, how to create a race strategy based upon my current level of running and what I need to do to be successful on just about any Texas, Southwest and US trail races. I appreciate his style, his humor and his guidance and would highly recommend him to beginners and experienced runners as Joe has a lot to teach and you'll have fun learning it!
- Fumi Ishimatsu
I have been trail running regularly for a couple of years, and off and on for a couple of years before that. I had some coaching for a time, and I'm an avid reader and do-it-yourselfer, so I have read a lot of books and articles on training and running trails. Needless to say I thought I knew how to train myself and didn't need a coach. I put together training plans and trained on my own for several ultras and had a lot of fun, and was getting stronger but my performance was not what I wanted considering the time spent training. I was wanting to start running mountain races but realized as I read through race docs that I wasn't fast enough to make the cutoff times for the races I really wanted to do. I decided it was time to step it up and start training seriously. I ran with Joe during group runs a lot and knew he had extensive experience with both running all the races I wanted to do, and coaching other runners as well. I signed on with Joe to coach me for the Jemez 50 mile, and we went to work. Within a couple of months I was finishing in the front part of the middle of the packers in races I was only using as training runs, and I was much stronger on ascents and descents. While lots of coaches can assign workouts etc that will lead a person to getting faster, the thing that sets Joe apart in my opinion is his hands-on approach and vast experience as a trail runner. Joe gives me advice on running a race that is invaluable and that I could not get anywhere else except through learning the hard way by personal experience. Joe can tell me what parts of a race to run hard, and when to just back off and go with the flow based on the terrain at various sections in the course. Advice like that, and tons of other seemingly small bits of wisdom have made all the difference in the world in my performance and enjoyment of running ultras. If I was trying to train this hard on my own I would be injured by now. Joe saw I was showing signs of fatigue, talked to me and had me back off at the perfect time. This would've been another of those hard learned lessons if I had not had Joe's expertise. I highly recommend Joe's coaching services, he's a great coach and it's quite apparent that he cares about his runners as people first and foremost.
- Richard Murphy
After knowing Joe for 5 years he has a true gift and passion for the ultra community and coaching. He was able to look at my life (single daddy to 2 little girls) and my work schedule (shift work) and still devise a training program that fit my life and goals while pursuing another 100 mile buckle.
- Laz West
I met Joe on the Barton Creek Greenbelt one day in 2000. He was running with a group on the trails. Since then, Joe has been a true friend and confidant who has helped me in many areas of my life. Within a year, I ran my first 50 miler and went on to run the Bandera 100k the next year. I could not have done it without his support and encouragement. He has always made himself available to me and has shown me love. He is an great athlete as well as an amazing person.
- Brice Remaley
One of my colleagues had mentioned that I should get into trail running after I had just finished Austin Distance challenge in 2007. I said ‘ok’ and he mentioned that why don’t I meet him at St.Edwards park where he will be running with a group. I showed up & we both started running up the hill on left side but because I was pretty new to the trails I was kinds of fumbling my way thought it. We were on the 2nd ledge and he mentioned that I should take a right at the end of the ledge to go up the hill but I forgot and at the intersection I ran into Joe. He immediately knew that I was newbie but still showed me the way and mentioned we can chat later after the run. That is Joe, he will know your strengths and weaknesses and will tailor his coaching based on that. He will show you & teach you about uphill, downhill running but it will depend upon how much you want to push yourself and improve. I have trained under Joe for years & its his knowledge of the trails & from him running & directing so many races that helps you to become a better runner.
- Bhavesh Patel
Joe was my first trail running coach, and there’s no one who knows trail running better than he does. I worked with him for several years, progressing from 30K races up to 50K, 50 mile, and 100K. Even when I trained on my own for my one and only 100 mile race, all the lessons I’d learned from Joe were what prepared me to craft my own training plan. After a 6 year hiatus from long distance running, I recently signed up for Jemez 50K, and I knew that there was no way I was going to train for this ultra without having Joe as my coach. It goes beyond his expertise, which is of course considerable. Joe takes the time to listen to each runner’s individual goals and personal situation, and his plan takes all those things into account. He’ll push you hard, and he won’t feel sorry for you, and you will see results beyond anything you thought you could do.
- Marcia Inger Navratil
Joe has as much knowledge and experience of trails, running and ultra distances as anyone in the United States. Not only does he have personal experience having run trails for decades, he has completed some of the toughest trail ultras including Hardrock 100 multiple times and even a double doing Hardrock 100 and the 135 mile Badwater ultra-marathon back to back. As a race director of trail races or more than 10 years, he is intimately familiar with runners of all levels and all the issues they encounter. No matter what type of event you may be training for whether a tough mountain 100 miler or an easy 25K, Joe can help you reach your goals as a runner. He has worked with countless runners over the years and when you follow his advice, you are guaranteed to improve and lessen your chances of getting injured in the process. In addition to personal coaching, Joe’s twice a week training runs allow you to meet other trail runners, learn local trails, and Joe is usually present to answer questions and provide support each week. I highly recommend his services.
- Deborah Sexton
Joe scouted me at my first 60K night race 3 years ago. He saw skill and determination in me and was excited to coach me into the runner I am today. Since then I have completed countless 50 milers and 4 100 milers. His training plan that involved speed training, fartlek training, hill training, and tempo running quickly and efficiently enhanced my running abilities and made it easy for me to understand what I needed to do to properly train to get better. His training plan was also very practical for someone with a full time job to follow and stick with. To this day, while racing, I recall his words and shout outs to me during a race that would help me tremendously and give me the courage to prevail and prevail harder. I know any runner he inspires to coach will have this same positive and triumphant outcome.
- Cara Bass (Garrett)
Joe keeps it simple, which is very important to me. I live in a different city and Joe and I would talk weekly. If I missed him when I called, he ALWAYS called me back. I believe his skills would help runners at any level, beginner through expert.
- Mark Hutchens
Looking from the outside, when somebody hears you are an ultra-distance runner, and thinks you a crazed maniac or begging for artificial knees or dismisses it as utterly pointless, they fail to understand the inside of running. But if you know Joe, you know that despite the discomfort, grueling hours, and sacrifices necessary to transform into a runner, there are profound rewards. Personal fortitude, self-knowledge at the limits of mental and physical fatigue, and entrance into the obscure community of ultra runners, comes by many trials and trails. Joe can be tough and blunt about how you ought to trainÑthe miles you run, the speed and intensity, the need for downtime to recover- but he is realistic about the lifestyle of the ultra-distance runner, as demands of career, family, and other obligations must always balance with the heavy demands of training. Joe's formal training and many years of coaching is informed by his impressive background in ultra-distance trail and road running. This background gives him an unparalleled experiential base of knowledge, initiating beginners and fine-tuning elites alike. From race strategy sessions over lunch to story-telling over beers, Joe is available and responsive to help hit your stride. He works closely with you to design tailor-made training plans to achieve your goals and to discover your unique needs as to hydration and nutrition over the long-haul of endurance running. While books and blogs might help you along, Joe's holistic approach to the lifestyle, his wisdom and competence, and willingness to council the runner as a comrade, is what makes him an outstanding coach, and the center of ultra-running in Austin.
- Christopher W. Haley
Training under Joe has been a great experience. It has allowed me to improve as a trail runner and push myself in ways that I would not have done training on my own. Hill of Life repeats on my own: forget about it, but it's a must when you train with Joe. Without his valuable expertise from years of trail running experience I would not have completed my first 50 miler.
- Caleb Simpson
I was lucky enough to meet Joe Prusaitis before he and Joyce started their company. His mentorship has been (and continues to be) invaluable. The tips, the encouragement, and the sense of family have proven just as important as the training plans he has customized based on my target races and hectic schedule. I recommend Joe to anyone, at any skill level, who loves running around in the woods, or who thinks they might.
- JoAnna Brand
I could talk about how paramount Joe has been to the success of my goals of running long, hard, big miles all over the country but I'm not going to go into those details. I think the allure of running with Joe are the people he surrounds himself with and are drawn together by him, his "tribe" so to speak. First, you can not find races with more knowledgeable and helpful volunteers than those that Joe puts on. And I'm not just saying that because I frequently am one of these people. Joe recruits the best-motivating and veteran in their trail running abilities. They will get you where you need to be on game day. Then, of course, are the people that are there day to day-to train with, talk trails with, grab a beer with, and go through life's ups and downs with. It is an unstated rule that there is to be no drama on the trail, which means that whatever you are going through personally, you will always have running with the group to leave it all behind. Close friendships and marriages have been forged in Joe's group because it is a special place where people who love to trail run get together and celebrate this love. Everyone is equal: those that are fast, slow, inconsistent; as long as you don't complain. So come on out and try it. You may come away with some cuts and bruises, and maybe even get lost a few times, but you'll also come away with new friends that will be there every tuesday and thursday ready to run.
- Lindsey Waddell
I had been running ultras for a couple of years, after moving up from marathons, and completed my first 50 miler at Rocky Raccoon in 2008. After a couple more 50 milers I decided to try the 100 distance and after two failed attempts I knew I needed more focus. I signed up with Joe and he provided me with a schedule, a plan, advice, and so much more. He was always there when I needed him, and his advice and experience were invaluable. A few months into the program, I was able to complete my hardest 50 miler, the 2012 Cactus Rose, the 100K at Bandera, 3 months later, and my first 100 mile finish at Rocky Raccoon this past February. I couldn't have done it without him.
- Bruce Evans
I followed Joe's training for eight months in preparation for running Rocky Raccoon 100. As a 55 year old female, I didn't know if I had what it took to finish this long of a race. Everything that Joe asked me to do though, was DEAD ON in preparing me for the run of my life. He not only gave me the schedule and training advice, but he gave me the confidence that I needed. It was never an issue of "if" I'd finish, it was "when" I'd finish! Joe helped me see my dream become a reality, and for that, I am eternally grateful!
- Malea Jaffe
Joe helped me progress from barely surviving the Hells Hills 25k to a strong finish in the Tahoe Rim 100 mile race 2 years later with many successful races in-between. Along the way, I learned an immense amount about training for endurance events, pushing my own boundaries, the history of ultra-running, and developed an lasting love affair with the trails and ultra-running. I choose to train with Joe due to his experience and knowledge but received much more.
- Ben Phenix
Three years ago when I started running with Joe, I really didn't know much about trail running or ultra running. As it has turned out, running and not just ultra running and or trail running have a as much to do with life lessons as the actual running. For example, the preparation/training that I take now to run far has slowed down the pace that I choose to work and therefore I am slowly more productive. The value that I see in training for 20, 50 or 100 miles is in the preparation and living and relates to daily life in how I relate to employees, vendors or my children or my wife. I think endurance and nature help you with respect, confidence and humility. The interesting thing about Joe is that while we are running or visiting afterwards we talk about all kinds of things and in this regard he is as much a mentor as he is a running.coach. There are few people who are willing to commit and to be as open as he is. As for running, my 20 mile pace has dropped by a minute and I'm running my second 100 mile race in a couple a months. However, these accomplishments are not nearly as important as they were three years ago. This has been a rich experience.
- Scott Smith
There are two important things that Joe has taught me with running ultras on trails, how to do it and that I can do it. How to do it, I was taught to read and navigate a trail to the point that it has become second nature when trail running, to the point without having to think too much about it. Most important of all, I learned that I could do it. If you had asked me a few years ago if I saw myself running a marathon on trail let alone anything over a marathon, I would have said hell no. He helped me gain the physical and mental endurance needed to complete ultras. He helped me break an ultra down into parts to where it is manageable and not as daunting as I saw them as being. He helped me learn a new skill which I had never in a million years thought was possible....and you can quote me on that!
- Stevan Pierce
Love training with Joe. He has helped me adapt from being a road runner to a trail runner helping me with injury prevention and confidence. Joe knows his stuff and I highly recommend anyone considering trail running to join Joe's training group.
- Laurie Viault
You provided me with: The plan: I had done a 50 miler a year earlier for my 50th birthday and had no idea how to plan to get to a 100 miler without your help and unfortunately there aren't many training plans online for that distance. You were able to quickly give me a plan which showed what my long weekend runs needed to be in order to meet my 100 mile race goal. I tweaked it as needed to add my 50 mile races and personal schedule but your plan was my foundation and I knew it had worked for you and many others so should work for me too. From the Tues/Thurs workouts I got an idea of the hill and speed work that you thought were important. Introduction to local trails: Since I was new to trail running, your Tues/Thursday workouts which move around to various different locations gave me a good starting point for the various trails in the area which is important. More trails I know the less bored I'll be with the long runs. Camaraderie: It's always more fun to run with others and the Tues/Thursday workouts were a great way to meet other runners (and the after run food and beer sit downs didn't hurt either). I especially liked the forum where we could see out of state races that folks were doing and could post if we were looking for company on the weekend for long runs. Accomplishment: Finishing my first 100, Vermont 100, and doing it under 24 hours for an over 50 year old guy wasn't too bad. Thanks for all your help.
- Berton Keith
"With Joe, I went from never having run on a trail to completing more than 7 trail races at the 50 mile distance, one trail race at the 100K distance, and now I am training to complete my first 100 miler. I learned everything I needed to know about ultra and trail running from Joe from the basics about pacing for the long haul to proper fueling, hydration, and gear. I even learned the gory details about blister care, chafing, and other handy self-care tips. I highly recommend this training for anyone interested in striking out on the trails. While the distances may seem intimidating, Joe offers something for everyone from the trail novice to the veteran. I especially like the friendly, open people who are attracted to trail racing. You will not find any "attitude" in Joe's bunch."
- Stephanie Huie
I'll never forget the 50mi run we did alone at Bandera prior to the Pike's Peak marathon - the day I turned to the dark side of ultras. For me, the biggest thing I learned from you was mental. You taught me how to recover from the inevitable lows that you'll hit at 70 miles and 4 in the morning, before the sun's come up. You gave me the confidence to just keep going, and to trust that if I keep eating and keep drinking, eventually I'll feel better. It's that trust that got me through the physically and emotional hell around 70 miles at Big Horn. I recall you saying, and I'm paraphrasing - never worry about how you feel. If you feel great, don't get too excited because pretty soon you'll feel like shit. And if you feel like shit, don't get too down, because soon you'll be feeling great again.
Sunmart 50mi, Big Horn 100mi, Tahoe Rim 100mi, Capt'n Karls 12hr (1st place)
- TJ Thompson
Joe's group is the place for running training, whether your in Central Texas or anyplace, whether you're an experienced ultra runner or a beginning runner. Joe and his staff have the experience to get you where you need to go. The culture of the group of runners under Joe's umbrella is one of support and camaraderie. Pursue your running's wildest dreams with Joe's group, and those dreams will become reality.
(5x 100mi): 2 Hardrock 100mi, Bighorn 100mi, Cactus Rose 100mi, Rocky Raccoon 100mi, (5x 50mi), (7x 50km), (1x 100km), (10x marathons)
- John Sharp
I've only been with Joe's group a year now, but in that time I've done my first 100km, first 100 miler, and have stayed healthy and injury free. That last point is probably the most important. The overall training philosophy coupled with regular e-mails and conversations has been invaluable. I, like most ultra-runners, have read all the books and all the blogs, but putting all of that information together into a comprehensive, long range training plan was something I did not do successfully on my own. I am now running fewer miles than I was on my own, but I am faster, stronger, healthier, and having more fun than I was when I was self-coached. Moreover, sometimes questions come up literally hours before I am scheduled to run, and Joe has always been willing to respond to an e-mail or pick up the phone. His coaching is a lot more than a spreadsheet.
- Peter Bray
I, initially, signed up for Joe's Personal Trail Coaching. I live 300+ miles away, so I could only sign up for 2 months. I traveled to the Austin area to run with Joe's group on 4 occasions. These 4 occasions, in addition to Joe's training program, helped my introduction to trail running. With Joe's help, I've been able to run Bandera 50k twice, two of the Capt. Karl's night 30k races, four of the Capt. Karl's night 60k races, Nueces 50k, and Hell's Hills 50 miler. The advice I have received from Joe and several of his group members has been priceless and have helped me become a better runner. I plan on joining this group again as soon as my schedule allows. Especially, since I am now considering upping my mileage and races to 100 milers in the coming months. I would strongly recommend any new trail runner seriously consider joining Joe's training program.
- Ben Martinez
You trained me for my first ever 100K at Bandera (15:16). You were always available for questions via phone or email. I'm very grateful that you were flexible with my training schedule, which allowed me to efficiently manage my work and family life. Thank you for all your help.
- Tanya Espalin
Joe helped me achieve my goals in three ways. First, he put together a regimented training program for me to follow. I train by myself and so the written schedule, specific to the upcoming effort, was very beneficial for maintaining long term discipline. Second, he gave me advice on nutrition and equipment. His practical tips on the Grand Canyon trail run were key for me to successfully transition from a hike to a faster pace. Third, and probably most important for me, was that he checked in often by phone. He was always upbeat and encouraging while at the same time being honest and direct. For instance he used my DNF at the Wild Hare 50 miler as a teaching event to learn from as opposed to a failure to just try to forget. Overall I was very satisfied with the value that I got from working with Joe.
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Trail Run (7:10), Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim Hike (22:10), Rocky Raccoon 50mi (12:56)
- James Richardson
I initiated e-coaching with Joe as a relative trail-newbie who was looking to improve competence on the trails in terms of negotiating rough terrain and improving finish times. After consulting with Joe Prusaitis, it was clear that his coaching would be backed up by a wealth of personal experience in all things "trail." I specifically appreciated Joe's wit as well as his wisdom! His training schedules were also specific and focused around my super busy non-running schedule and most importantly, were realistic and doable. Joe was available when I had questions, doubts, and just general insecurities going into a race. Through the training, I attained several master's awards in the trail runs that I completed under his coaching regimen!
- Mary Harokopus
Joe Prusaitis made me into an ultrarunner. When I first called him, I had done one 25K on an easy trail and was still afraid I would get eaten by a bear in the woods. I had no idea how to run on trail, how to eat, how to pack a drop bag or anything else that I now take for granted after 2 years under his careful watch. I have gone from someone who did marathons about a decade ago to someone who has completed numerous 50K's, 2x 50 milers and a 100K. I have also seen him train close friends and I notice that his approach to coaching is different for everyone, but for me, he seemed almost fatherly and during out meetings we would talk about everything from my mileage to my personal life. While always encouraging, he had no trouble telling me if I had a goal that was probably out of my reach. He never discouraged me from trying a race, but would tell me when he thought my abilities at that time might not be good enough to get me through it in the time allotted, which was always a good reality check. If anyone can make you comfortable with the idea of running a long way on a trail safely, it is Joe.
- Shannon Mitchel
The thought of finishing a 100 mile race has been on my mind for quite some time. I have previously dropped from 2 races and it wasn't until I started following a program designed by Joe Prusaitis to fit my needs that I really built the strength and endurance needed to finish an ultra. Not only I finished my first hundred mile run with Joe's help, but I also found an amazing community of fellow trail runners (and beer drinkers) and made a few great friends.
- Iva Paleckova
Joe has a great group to run with, to learn from and to challenge oneself. Probably one of the best groups in Austin to run with, trail or road.
Pikes Peak, Jemez 50k, all 3 Kapt Karl 30k, Pedernales Falls - 4th place, Hells Hills 25k, Hells Hills 50k, R2R2R, Leadville Silver Rush 50mi, Kapt Karls Reveille Ranch 30k - 4th place
- Pamela Harght
I finished the 2012 Capt'n Karl's in under 3-1/2 hours while under your tutelage. My commentary on the training is that "Joe has been there and done that. He understands the inner-workings of high-achieving endurance runners and delivers a steady dose of calm, simple guidance to keep them motivated over the long haul."
- Brian Edwards
Joe Prusaitis is not just a source of inspiration for me but also one of my favorite people in my life. I will never forget the first time I 'ran' into he and a small group of runners early one morning on the Barton Creek Greenbelt. At that time I had already completed a couple of 50k races. Joe always seems to have a great group of people surrounding him. People worth positive energy that is contagious. People that make you want to push yourself harder without being overly competitive. Since meeting Joe I have completed races that I would have never dreamed of. His training and guidance, just like his friendship and wisdom is 'Right On'.
- Brice Remaley
Joe's Training: Insights into diet/nutrition, running gear, hydration, improved speed and hill work, improved confidence in knowing what I am doing.
Pedernales 60k, Cactus Rose 100mi, Hells Hills 50k.
- Edwin Smith
Most everything else has just been the amazing races that you've put on and the ways that you have been there like a rock for everyone. Training has just been icing on the cake. I would venture to say you're a Life Coach for many of us as well as a Running Coach.
- Janice Langley
Wild Hare 30km (6:36), Rocky Raccoon 50mi (10:47), Hells Hills 50mi (11:55)
- Christine Jones
Joe's training (especially the Bandera weekend at the Lodge) helped me take 1st Place for the Women's 60 and over (I know I'm, old!) at the JFK 50 Miler in 2010. Plaque is on my office wall.
- Maureen Smith
Palo Duro 50k, Bandera 50k Ed Easton
Tahoe Rim 50k, Bandera 50k, Rocky Raccoon 50mi
- Jane Bui
- John Sanders
They say that the greatest gift you can give someone is the expectation of their success. Joe gave me the confidence to know that I was completely prepared going onto a race through both his training plans and advice. I'm especially thankful for the time he took to prepare me for Big Horn with a Pre - race aid station to aid station verbal walk through. In addition, Joe puts on a fantastic race where clients become family. Working with Joe has made me a stronger ultra runner and coach.
2011 Bandera 50km, 2011 Bull Run Run 50mi, 2011- Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim, 2011- Big Horn 100mi, 2011- Wild Hare 50mi, 2012- Bandera 100km.
- Jennifer Kimble
When I started training with Joe my longest race (and run) was a 25k that took me over 3 hours to do. On the one year anniversary, of that race, I ran 50 miles at a faster per mile pace than the 25k. I never thought I'd run 50 miles when I started but training with Joe's group can't help but inspire you to want to achieve more. I wanted to learn from a coach with experience. As a former high-school coach myself, I know the difference between a fast runner blindly applying their workouts to others and a coach who knows how to work with you to develop the best plan for your needs. A coach who can help you adapt to the highs and lows that hit during every training cycle. One of the biggest surprises was finding a community of people who supported you at every turn and who were happy to share their wealth of knowledge. There is a planning and mental preparation part to ultra running that is crucial and Joe and his group helped prepare me more than I ever could on my own.
Angels Staircase 25k (3:04), Wild Hare 50k (5:33), Dorest Ultra (7:05), Bandera 50k (5:31), Gorge Waterfall 50k (5:04), Hells Hills 50mi (9:37), Maze 30k (3:06), Muleshoe 30k (3:16)
- Ben Phenix
Joe has trained me for a lot of firsts; my first 50K, 50 miler, 100K, and 100 miler. I have done all of the races that Joe has directed and have had nothing but great memories from each. Some of my most memorable events are from the destination races that we as a group try to attend and the yearly group training weekend that usually takes place at the Guadalupe Mountains. I have met some wonderful people and become part of a unique trail running family while training with Joe. Here is a highlight of some of my accomplishments. This is certainly not an all inclusive list. I have run well over 30 races since joining Joe's training group. A special thanks to Joe and the whole gang for all the help and support I have gotten over the years and for many years to come.
Run Rabbit Run 50mi (12:42), Beacon Rock 50km (7:14), Rocky Raccoon 100mi (27:21), Bandera 100km (16:21), Palo Duro 50mi ( 11:55), Tahoe Rim 50km (8:48), Sunmart 50km (6:24)
- Jeanette Spears
Three years ago, I was 50 lbs over-weight and struggling with enjoying running like I used to earlier in my life. After literally stumbling into trail running, and meeting Joe and training for a "little" race in Bandera, TX, I became addicted to an activity I never knew I loved; running through the woods and rocky hills of Texas. Since that time, I have run seven 25-30K trail races, nine 50Ks, two 50 milers, four 60Ks, one 100K, various marathon distance training runs in the Guadalupe Mountains, the Grand Canyon, etc. ...and I am now training for my first 100 mile trail race in that very same park where it all started; Bandera. Joe and my running friends uncovered a dream within me I never knew was there.
- David Jacobson
You wrote my training plan for the Leadville 100. I'd never completed a serious trail race and had a crew with zero experience. Your plan netted me second at pace bend. You took the extra time with me in addition to writing a training schedule that fit into my life as a single mom with kids. That was super important to me! I had never raced at elevation and without you would have had no idea what to expect. I finished Leadville with my kids at my side with 14 minutes to spare for the buckle. I know there were other groups training for Leadville, but those groups didn't fit my needs. You took the time and care to understand my background, strengths and weaknesses and you invested personally in my success. A group doesn't do that! So thank you for everything. You could charge an arm and a leg for the level of personalized coaching you offer, but you don't! You do this because you are passionate about what you do! Your services, expertise, passion and compassion are truly a gift and a tribute to endurance running! Thank you! I would be happy to endorse you and my sport credentials follow my signature.
- Shellie Oroshiba
USA Triathlon level 1 coach
Owner- Pure Power Triathlon Training
Every one of these races has been a battle and a great memory. I am extremely grateful for these races and the people that put them on. What I have learned about myself and our human capability through this sport is indescribable. And, if you are thinking of signing up or training for one, there is no better race director, running coach, or just general life mentor than Joe. He has forgotten more races and more miles than I have ever done or thought about. He knows ultrarunning better than anyone because he has run every damn race and experienced every bit of misery there is to be had on the trail. I trust him implicitly with my training and race prep.... he WILL get you to the finish and he WILL help you realize your goals. But, more than anything I value his friendship. He is there for gentle reminders that 'you will never know unless you try' and very colorful descriptions of everything. Joe can prepare you for trail running better than anyone but he will also prepare you for life. Be prepared to see running and the world differently after being around him. Oh, and learn your totem..... he will ask you. Now, quit being soft and sign up!!!!!!
Bandera 50km (2012 & 2011), Cardiac 50mi (2007), Palo Duro 50 mi (2010), Cactus Rose 50mi (2011), Bandera 100km (2010), Big Horn 100mi (2011)
- Denver Fredenburg: CEO, Hyperwear
I started training with Joe two years ago to train for my first 50 miler, Rocky Raccoon. I never would have attempted or completed the race without your coaching, advice and trail running wisdom. After Rocky I was hooked on the trails. I loved learning all the new trails in and around Austin and have met so many wonderful people through Joe! Thank you for always pushing me and assuring me there is always time for one more loop. I have become a much stronger runner these past two years and my strength has helped me improve my marathon time as well. Joe, I can't thank you enough!! I remember my very first day with Joe's group and we did stairway to hell and I thought I was going to die:)
Palo Duro 50k (5:15), Rocky Raccoon 50mi (9:37), Rocky Raccoon 50mi (8:53) 3rd place, Colorado Bend 30k (3:19) 2nd place
- Rachael Blair
When I started running with Joe, I'd never ventured beyond 30K. As a high school athlete, I was a sprinter and never had much of a desire to run anything that I couldn't be done with in less than a minute. After college, I got involved in road racing and, on a whim, decided I wanted to run a marathon. I was looking for a training program because I knew there was no way I could get myself to run that far on my own. Nothing really worked with my schedule except for this "ultra-marathon" training--it was a bit farther than a marathon and on trail, so I thought, "why not?" I showed up to my first run at the Hill of Life expecting something more like Town Lake wearing road shoes and with no water. Someone loaned me a water bottle and I got horribly, terribly lost in spite of the fact that the trail was marked. I remember that Joe sent someone out to find me and they succeeded pretty quickly. He gave me my first two trail running lessons: never second guess yourself and take sips of water on the way up the hill to try and bring your heart rate down. That run was the first of many. I went from a minimalist runner who never carried anything to a runner who ran with a camelbak and was fully prepared for hydration, inclement weather and nutrition needs. I ran my first marathon that November, Sunmart 50K in December and Bandera 50K in January. Two years later, I completed my first 50 miler--Cactus Rose. If my own accomplishment were not enough, Joe was there advising and praising me every step of the way, complete with a big, warm hug at the end of all of those races. My success, great or small, seemed to be just as monumentous to him as it was to me. Because of Joe, I learned a lot about myself--my strengths, my weaknesses and how to use those to better myself. I learned how to be independent, but also to seek help from others. There is no doubt with this group that help is ever present. People are eager to help you succeed and take care of you like you are family, which is no doubt a product of being trained by Joe. In short, I don't think it's possible to fail in a group like this. Running with Joe has been an invaluable experience. I cannot imagine running with anyone else and I will be doing it for as long as my body allows. You really do 'get lost and find yourself" and it's an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life.
- Christine McCown
You showed me that running should be - above all else - fun. No single lesson has been more responsible for my decades of joyful running and my meager running accomplishments. I hope I have paid the lesson forward on occasion....
- Fred Fletcher
Over the last decade, I have trained under several different groups with different coaches and completed a variety of road marathons, trail marathons/50k's,and half-iron triathlons. Joe's group is the most recent chapter in that saga. I believe it is through trail running I discovered the endurance activity I most want to do, and life seems richer for the cast of characters I have met through these activities. At anytime during that last decade it would have been too easy for me to take a a break and go back to being a complete couch potato. Each coach I've had has played a role in keeping me active by creating the training programs, providing the motivation, and in creating the atmosphere and nurturing the community of athletes that enabled me to complete these events and kept me wanting to come back for more time and time again. Had I not been training for these endurance activities regularly, my lungs probably would not have been strong enough to survive a severe respiratory illness 2 years ago. Running was one of several factors that literally saved my life. When you ask what I've accomplished with all this training, it is not just about the list of races completed. For your role in getting me to this place, I thank you.
-Fuego y Agua 50k, Palo Duro 50k, Jemez 50k, Peru Trek, Tahoe Rim 50k, Rocky Hill Ranch 50k
- John Frierson
Hells Hills 25k (3:09), Hells Hills 50k (6:19), Maze 30k, Loop 30k, Saint 30k, Bandera 25k (2:59), Bandera 100k (14:29), Wild Hare 50k (6:01), Tahoe Rim 50k, Jemez 50k (8:59), Headlands 50mi, McNaughton 50k, Ultimate xc Mont Tremblant Quebec 56k (10:07)
- Guy Morin
Joe helped provide lots of great friends and lasting sense of community - not to mention inner strength.
- Paula Ring
I got to run my first 100k & 100mi. Joe Prusaitis encouraged me to try these two distances when I probably wouldn't have gone after them on my own. I didn't have much time to train, but ran the Bandera 100k in 10:33:12, then two weeks later won a 24hr Adventure Race, and then two weeks after that finished the Rocky Raccoon 100mi in 22:07:11. I haven't been able to race a ton of races, but Joe devised a nice plan for me to set me up to reach my goals of not only finishing, but placing well at every race I've entered. I've been top 3 and won a handful of 25k's, 30k's, & 60k's as well. I have trained under some of the best coaches in the U.S. in various styles of endurance racing, but have never enjoyed, nor trusted the advice of a coach as much as I do with Joe Prusaitis.
- Chris McWatters