Angela Dunn is Proving that a Good Coach Isn’t Defined By Gender


My guest today and I have quite a bit in common.

Angela Dunn

We are both runners, coaches, and members of Altra’s Red Team.

Today I will go a few easy miles with Angela Dunn as we cover those and many more topics.

Long-Term Vision

From a young age, Angela’s eye’s were crossed and therefore required multiple surgeries growing up.

The surgeries improved her eyesight, but her depth perception was still deficient which impacted her coordination.

Running in her mind was her best chance at excelling at a sport given her less than ideal eyesight.

Angela first joined a team in 7th grade and continued running competitively through college.

Trails can be a challenge for Angela given the need to see obstacles along the trail that could trip her.

As someone familiar with challenges, her running has also been derailed due to injury, graduate school, growing her business, and chronic migraines.

It was during a time of major life changes that Angela qualified for and ran Boston.

Angela’s best advice for when life gets in the way of running is to adjust your goals and meet yourself where you are.

No One Size Fits All

Angela is a firm believer that each training plan must be personalized to each individual.

Getting familiar with clients and their backgrounds is a critical part of ensuring a successful coach/client relationship.

As a coach, Angela tries to lead by example and be transparent.

Everyone could benefit from a coach regardless of experience.

Outsider feedback on training can bring realizations that otherwise may not occur.

Angela began her coaching career as an assistant coach for a college team.

She was there for 5 years until her husband’s job took them across the country.

Angela was determined to continue coaching and applied for numerous coaching positions in her new state.

Frustration Bred Success

Each coaching position that declined Angela, went on to hire a male coach.

At the same time, Angela was also working on her Master’s Thesis aptly title, “Underrepresentation of Women in Coaching.”

Her final push to take a different approach was when she was offered an assistant coach position underneath a male that was less qualified than her.

This frustration led her to open her own coaching business called Goalden Peak Performance.

Creating her own business ended up being one of the best decisions she has ever made.

Coaching clients near and far is a much different experience than coaching a college team.

Each experience has had benefits as well as negatives.

Mental Training

Angela Dunn

Angela completed graduate school with a degree in Sports Psychology.

It comes as no surprise that she implements mental training into her coaching.

In order to prepare for a race mentally Angela suggests:

  • Visualize the course and if possible run all or part of the course to familiarize yourself with what you will face.
  • Do NOT compare yourself to others. You only have control over what YOU do.
  • Give yourself process and performance goals you can control – Running negative splits, not walking up hills, etc.
  • Outcome goals such as wanting to place or win a race are discouraged because there is little to no control over them.

Angela encourages all her athletes to focus on self-improvement.

If you strive for personal growth, then you will always succeed.

Improvement in running has a shelf life and Angela is thankful for coaching to give her the ability to keep helping others advance.


Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Angela by reading her Blog and following her on Instagram and Twitter.


Angela Dunn is the owner of Goalden Peak Performance, where she works with her athletes to improve both their mental and physical fitness in the pursuit of their goals. #runchat Click To Tweet


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