Michael DiNicola: Coach Interview Questionnaire

What is your background/qualifications that led you to coaching?

I ran varsity track and cross country for Niskayuna High School, The University at Albany and the College of Saint Rose.  After college I worked as a math teacher for 7 years and coached while teaching.  I coached student athletes in cross country at Bishop Maginn High School and The College of Saint Rose.  When I left my teaching job to pursue a career as a higher education professional, I stopped coaching.  Fast forward to 2015, when I joined the Albany Running Exchange Racing team, and from being exposed to a nurturing team atmosphere I became interested in coaching again.  I sought out professional coaching courses through USATF and Jack Daniels run smart project and have been certified as a VDOT and Level 2 endurance coach. 

Years of experience coaching? Years of experience running?  
I have been a runner for 30 years.  I’ve coached a combination of high school, college and adult athletes for a total of 8 years. 

Do you have a personal coach, why or why not? 

I work with Dick Vincent and Mark Mindel.  Both coaches hold certifications alongside personal accomplishments and have a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer. 

What distances do you specialize in/PRs in those distances? 
I like the 5k up to the marathon.  Some PRs from my masters years running (40+) include 17:17 for the 5K, 54:46 for the 15K, 1:19:33 for the half marathon, and  3:03:13 for the marathon (my first and only marathon)

Do you program unique schedules for each athlete, or have pre-written programs for specific distances/time goals. How do you program around your athlete’s schedules?  
I provide individual plans for each athlete.  Nothing is from a cookie cutter.  Everyone has unlimited contact with me.  We adjust to life as we go. 

Do you specialize in coaching specific distances and or surfaces? I.e. road or trail? 
Road 5K up to the marathon

Do you prescribe cross-training as a part of your training schedule?  

Yes – I think cross training can be used for recovery and is a great replacement for an “off day.”  One should learn how to cross train while healthy so they can stay fit during injury

Do your athletes have the ability to contact you as needed? Or are check-ins planned on a weekly/monthly basis? 

All contact is on an “as needed” basis. 

What is your first step when an athlete comes to you with a pain/niggle/ or injury?  I encourage them to do two things:  1) see a health care professional so we know exactly what is going on; 2) do alternate activities to stay fit while recovering from that injury.  I have a lot of personal experience doing both.

Do you offer free consultations to your prospective clients? 


What is the address of your coaching website?


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