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Mike Hamberger

Fitness Consultant, Founder

LA Running Coach is operated by Mike Hamberger, a performance specialist and recent LA transplant, who had been previously coaching in Washington, DC since 2006. In operating his private coaching business, Mike has guided more than 1000 athletes to a wide spectrum of goals, from ages 8 to 80, from 5k to marathon, and from couch potato to Olympic hopeful.  100% of Mike's Yelp reviews are 5-stars!


He is currently a PhD candidate in cognitive motor neuroscience at the University of Maryland, and has taught an undergraduate performance psychology course at George Washington University and Marymount University. He is a former track & field coach and physical education teacher at the prestigious Sidwell Friends School.


In addition to publishing academic journal articles, Mike wrote his 1st book in 2015: The Art of Run Training (2nd edition coming in 2023!). He's been consulted by numerous publications, including Runner's World and The Washington Post. Mike was also Reese Witherspoon's run coach for the film "How Do You Know".


As an All-American triathlete, his run-splits consistently ranked at the top of the field, having represented Team USA 3x at amateur duathlon World Championships. In 2010, he finished his 3rd Boston Marathon, setting a PR at 2:46:33, and at the Army 10-Miler (one of the largest races in the world) he broke the 1-hour mark, finishing in the top-100 for the 2nd time. In 2008, he finished the Marine Corps Marathon as the first DC resident across the line.

His previous experience in athletics included being a high-level, three-sport collegiate athlete in football, rugby, and track & field at Widener University. Thus, his running career began while competing as an All-Conference decathlete for two years, where he won the 1500m and 400m races at Conference Championships.


In addition to his collegiate athletics, Mike also played football and baseball in high school and now enjoys basketball, darts, and open/freestyle dance competitions as leisure-time endeavors. He grew up in Delaware, was a long-time resident of Washington DC, and recently moved to Santa Monica where he also plays for the local elite rugby team.


Where the Psychology Meets the Road
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​​I believe that understanding the research in the fields of cognitive, social, and positive psychology unlocks the key principles of performance psychology, and that understanding human nature in this way offers much insight into the art of leadership.

The ultimate goal as an athlete with LA Running Coach is to not only improve your fitness, but to reach a peak level of fitness for one (or two) particular point(s) in the year. Whether it's a local 5k, an upcoming military PFT, or goal marathon, it'll be a two-way street in determining how to achieve your success. Your voice is important.


A customized program will ensure that the training caters to your schedule, in terms of work, travel, and races/events. I always acknowledge the fact that you are human, so you'll find it feasible to stick with a cohesive plan. Plus, you'll receive weekly feedback to ensure that your training progresses.


With that in mind, the primary service of "LARC" is not the program itself; rather, the primary service is the consistent mental approach to training and racing. There are many options for online programs, but LARC offers the consideration of why a particular workout does or doesn't fit your individual plan. For instance, is the question how fast you should run a particular race, or whether you should be running the race at all?

"Train smarter, not harder". "Train hard, rest hard". "If everything is special, then nothing is special."

...I'll help you understand how to implement these mantras.

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