Andy Stopher - Coach
Experience and Qualifications
BEd. (HONS) Secondary PE Teaching degree with QTS
Masters degree in Leadership, Innovation and Change
Ex-Senior Lecturer in PE and Sports Coaching
24 years experience in PE and Sports Coaching
33 years experience in distance running
UK Athletics-Qualified LiRF and CiRF
UK Athletics Safeguarding
UESCA-Certified Ultrarunning Coach
Below is a list of some of the events Andy has successfully coached athletes for;
Serpent Trail 50K
Montane Lakeland 50
Comrades Marathon (88K)
Two Oceans Marathon (56K)
2022 World Sprint Distance Duathlon Championships (Romania)
2022 European Sprint Distance Duathlon Championship (Bilboa, Spain)
2023 European Championship Sprint Duathlon (Venice, Italy)
2023 World Sprint Distance Duathlon Championships (Ibiza, Spain)
Vienna City Marathon
New York City Marathon
Cape Town Marathon
The Big Half, London
Vitality 10000, London
Fleet 1/2 Marathon
Farnborough Winter 1/2 Marathon
Farnham Pilgrim Trail 1/2 Marathon
Serpent Trail 20K
Victoria Park 1/2 Marathon
Richmond Park 1/2 Marathon
Bristol 1/2 Marathon
Kingston 1/2 Marathon
Maverick Trail Series
Great South Run
First and foremost, I have a real passion for running, the outdoors and endurance sport in general - I love it, in fact. To me, nothing beats being out there in the fresh air and soaking in the views whilst barrelling down a trail in the middle of nowhere!! When you meet me, you will definitely get a real sense of this, as it permeates through everything I do within our wonderful sport of running.
My coaching philosophy has been shaped by my love of running, what works/what doesn't, how to get the best out of training time and most importantly to enjoy running! I believe that a holistic approach to coaching practice which reflects and takes account of the individuality of a runners life outside of running, is so important. These practices have been shown to revolutionise the runners enjoyment of running, as well as their performance regardless of age, ability or background. Alongside this, I want you to feel comfortable working with me, the training we do to be easily worked around your busy life and work commitments and for us to establish an honest and trusting coach/runner relationship. As a coach, I strive to create a coaching experience where the runner is placed at the heart of the coaching process and is guided and supported at every turn to achieve their running and/or fitness/race goals.
Running can be a very personal and positive experience and can make you feel really happy, give you loads of satisfaction and improve your confidence, but negative feelings can also creep in from time to time. It can make you feel self-conscious, filled with self-doubt or not good enough and that's only natural. It is my belief that not only should a coach improve the performance aspect of each runner, but also have a responsibility to lead them on a journey of self-discovery, realising what they are truly capable of and make it a very positive experience.
I am able to achieve this in part by fostering that coach/runner relationship as mentioned above, but also by engaging with a variety of up-to-date and research-informed coaching practices.
Why don't we see where we can go and what we can achieve together?
My Running Background
I have been a distance runner for the past 33 years across all distances in track, road and cross-country, where I achieved representative honours at county, regional, national and international level. My proudest achievements were representing England at cross-country and racing to a PB of 2hrs 48mins in the 2009 London Marathon.
In more recent years, I have focused on trail and ultra running. However, I still love returning to the roads throughout the season, racing shorter distances and continually challenging myself as an athlete.
10 miles : 58:20
1/2 Marathon: 69:48
50 miles: 9:45