Hi! I’m Jay Johnson and I’m so happy you’re here.
I’ve coached collegiate, professional and adult runners for close to two decades. I’ve been fortunate to work with three athletes that have won United States Track and Field (USATF) national titles in indoor track, cross country and on the roads during our time together. Renee Metivier-Ballie (3,000m – 2010), Brent Vaughn (Cross Country – 2011) and Fernando Cabada (25 km – 2011) are some of the quality runners with whom I’ve had the opportunity to work over the years.
My first coaching position was Head Coach of Track and Cross Country at Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kansas. Both cross country teams finished third at the Junior College national meet (Division II), while on the track athletes broke numerous school records. Following two years at Pratt I moved back to Boulder, Colorado, to serve as the Recruiting Coordinator and Middle Distance coach at the University of Colorado, where I coached for six years. I also assisted in cross country and was fortunate to be part of three NCAA Division I team titles. In my final year at CU, the men won the Big 12 Track and Field title in Boulder. The highlight of my career was seeing fifth-year seniors, who I first connected with during their senior year high school in the recruiting process, celebrating their title Potts Field.
In 2016 I published a training manual, Simple Marathon Training, to help the busy adult with a hectic life run to their potential in the marathon.
As the camp director of the Boulder Running Camps, I interact with high school runners – the soul of the sport – each summer. The camp is sponsored by Nike and 2020 will mark our 18th year.
I was a modestly successful high school athlete, having just run fast enough in the 1990’s (4:25 and 9:45) to walk on at the University of Colorado. I am blessed to have spent five years of my life running training under the tutelage of one of the best distance coaches in the world, Mark Wetmore. I studied Kinesiology as an undergraduate and Kinesiology and Applied Physiology as a graduate student, earning my M.S. in 2000. I was fortunate to compete on the 1998 varsity cross country team chronicled in Chris Lear’s book Running with the Buffaloes. That spring I was awarded the athletic department’s Male Scholar-Athlete award. My PRs are 3:49.5 for 1,500m, 8:20 for 3k, 14:20 for 5k, and 30:15 for 10k, all as an athlete at CU.
In the past I’ve written for brands such as Nike, sites such as Active.com, multiple magazines and has been quoted in a variety of publications, including Wired, Outside and Runner’s World.
I am blessed to have two amazing daughters.