Coaching services

Whether you are taking your first steps, training for your first 10km, looking to shave a few minutes off your umpteenth marathon or give your running a complete overhaul, I would love to help. With an exercise science degree, ten years' experience as a qualified endurance coach and almost three decades as a runner, competing at distances ranging from 3000m to 100 miles, I can work with you to figure out how to get more out of your running - whether that means faster race times, conquering new distances, freeing yourself from the injury cycle or simply rediscovering your mojo. 

"Sam is a great motivator with a wealth of experience. She gets results, too - in my case a PB for the marathon that I wouldn't even have aimed for before we met." Matt

One-to-one bespoke coaching 

I coach a limited number of clients on a completely bespoke basis. After a detailed consultation*, I devise a scientifically-backed tailor-made plan for your chosen race or training goal based on your fitness level, experience, aspirations, time availability and injury propensity. This is delivered to you online or by email in two-week blocks with each subsequent block adjusted and amended according to our feedback sessions (weekly, via phone or email) and your progress. I'll also prescribe relevant strength/mobility exercises and advise on nutrition, recovery and race strategy. You can get in touch with me any time with specific queries in between feedback sessions. Coaching plan duration flexible: (12-week minimum) £75 per four weeks.

"I have learned so much from you that I will take into my training forever." Emma

Custom training plans

This is a more affordable option, geared towards training for a specific event within a specific time frame. But be assured - this is not 'one size fits all' programming! I start with a blank sheet every time, so it’s a big advancement from a ready-written training plan from a book or magazine article. You get a detailed consultation*, and the training plan you receive is fully bespoke – however, you receive the entire plan in one go and follow it under your own steam. Any further consultations are charged additionally. Coaching plan duration flexible: (12-week minimum) but full cost payable up front and charged at £40 per four weeks.

Running form assessment

I can help you become a more efficient and less injury-prone runner by assessing your running form in a one-off session that includes video analysis/review and building a personalised 'toolbox' of the key drills, strength and mobility exercises that will help you improve. I won’t blind you with science, or force you into a pre-set ‘ideal’ form; I will help you enhance your awareness of what you ‘do’ when you run, and arm you with useful imagery/coaching cues to take away and work on. £65 for a 75-minute session including written post-session feedback and advice.

"Sam identified the problems in my running style and recommended small changes. With slow and steady progress, this has allowed me to run injury-free for six weeks - the first in a very long time." Barry

Personal running training/advice

I also offer face-to-face personal running coaching or consultation sessions. Perhaps you want me to guide you through specific sessions within your programme, such as long runs or speed sessions - or meet regularly for a one-to-one running-specific strength and conditioning workout. Or we can sit down to discuss how best to return to running post-injury or pregnancy, or formulate an appropriate goal time for your next race. Email me to discuss your needs. £50 per hour.

*The consultation process starts with you completing my Coaching Application Form. Once I’ve digested this, we’ll speak by phone/email or in person to iron out the details. Once the plan is created, we’ll go through everything thoroughly so you know exactly what you’re doing.

My qualifications and experience

I have a first class honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science (graduating in 2001) and I am fully qualified and insured British Athletics Endurance Coaching Licence (level 2). I have worked on a one-to-one basis with runners of all ages, abilities and aspirations, from fifty-somethings taking on their first 10K to marathoners aiming to break 3 hours and ultrarunners preparing for their first multi-day event. I also hold a FitPro Personal Trainer qualification and am a certified VIVOBAREFOOT Barefoot Running coach. I was nominated for Sussex Coach of the Year in 2015. 

For the past ten years, I have presented seminars and workshops on running training and injury prevention or acted as a consultant for organisations including The London Marathon, BBC 5Live, The Running Show, ASICS Target 26.2 and The Guardian. I co-run Rye Runners in East Sussex (see more on the Rye Runners page) with my husband, and fellow coach, Jeff Pyrah.  I have written three books about running, which you can find out about on the Books page of this site. I write the monthly Murphy's Lore column in Runner's World magazine.

Get in touch for further information or to discuss your specific needs. I am based in Rye, East Sussex (there are some awesome runs around here - it's the perfect place to come and do your long runs!) with occasional appointments available in London. I do not offer gym-based personal training, or train in clients' homes.

Running workshops and camps

New workshops coming in spring 2018. Totally revamped Running Well and Master the Marathon workshops, along with new half-day options. Check back for details or register your interest by emailing me at  

To get a feel for how the workshop is put together, you can read one recent participant's report of a Running Well workshop here

Here's what some past participants have said about my running workshops...

'Thanks for a most rewarding day yesterday. What I learnt about form was priceless. You can be sure I will be practising the drills until correct form becomes second nature.' John Bridger

'I just wanted thank you again personally for a fantastic day, I am really looking forward to running this evening and working on my technique.' Adam Maynard

 'I really enjoyed yesterday - I've just been telling a friend how amazing it was!' Carli Foster

'You've changed the way I look at my training - the mix of activities and the swapping of ideas was great.' Bev de Valmency




Three-night running retreat NEW! 21st to 24th September 2018

Come and run with us* in the beautiful environs of Camber Sands and Rye in East Sussex. Our base for this three-night autumn running retreat is the luxurious Loma Beach House, just steps from the beach where we’ll start our morning runs and yet only 90 minutes from London by train or car. Limited to 12 places.

The schedule
We’ll combine daily runs amid gorgeous scenery just for the joy of it (this is our home turf, so we know all the best routes, views and refreshment stops!) with tailored sessions focusing on running form, strength and conditioning and pace development. We’ll also talk practical nutrition, training and injury prevention.

On Sunday morning, we’ll have a longer point-to-point run (with options for shorter/longer distances) that takes us through ancient woodland and along quiet lanes and rural trails back to the beach house, followed by a well-earned recovery session (on the 40ft south-facing deck if it’s sunny or otherwise in front of the woodburning stove!). The fun and varied itinerary has been designed to ensure you have a fabulous running experience – and a relaxing break – while you are with us and go home armed with new tips and ideas to implement later on. Every participant will receive a one-to-one running assessment during their stay and get a personalised plan.

Eating and sleeping
Part of the pleasure of running is in the refuelling, so rest assured you will enjoy plenty of delicious, nourishing food during your stay at Loma – all prepared using locally-sourced ingredients and chosen and timetabled specifically to aid performance and recovery.

 You’ll have ample time to relax in and around the comfortable, well-equipped  and stylish house (free wifi throughout) – coffee out on the deck, a stroll on the beach or a cheeky afternoon nap, perhaps? And you’ll have a free afternoon on Sunday to mooch around Rye’s antique shops and quirky boutiques, or spend as you choose, before we head out for dinner together. A pre-breakfast run on Monday means you’ll go home with a smile on your face and sand in your shoes…

What’s included

  • Three nights’ accommodation at Loma Beach House (see room options below).
  • All meals and snacks between your arrival from 4pm on Friday and your departure at 10am on Monday (home-baked goodies included!) except a group dinner out in Rye on Sunday evening.
  • All coaching, including a one-to-one running form assessment with video analysis and individually prescribed drills/strength/mobility exercises.
  • All workshops and seminars, with handouts to take away.
  • Transfers to/from Rye railway station if required.

*Who 'we' are!

Sam Murphy and Jeff Pyrah met on a training camp in 2007 and got married in 2010. Avid runners and enthusiastic coaches, they have hosted running holidays in Annecy, France and Lynmouth, Devon. This is their first retreat on their much-loved home territory of East Sussex.

Sam Murphy is a well-known running expert and qualified coach with more than ten years’ experience helping runners achieve their goals through her one-to-one coaching, workshops and writing. She has penned three books on running, including the pioneering Run for Life, which sold over 200,000 copies and has now been translated into 13 languages, and writes the monthly Murphy’s Lore column for Runner’s World magazine. Sam has 17 marathons under her belt with a PB of 3.22. She’s still trying to knock 5 seconds off her 5km PB of 20.04.

Jeff Pyrah is a lifelong runner who is passionate about helping others forge their own running habit. He has a marathon PB of 2.28 but now focuses more on long trail races, winning The Grizzly, the North Downs Run and Beachy Head Marathon in 2013 and Centurion’s Wendover Woods 50-mile race in 2016. He is a qualified running coach and, together with Sam, coaches in Rye, East Sussex.


Pricing (rates quoted below are per person for the entire retreat)

Double room (based on two sharing) £370.
Double room (single occupancy) £460.
Ensuite double room (based on two sharing) £395.
Ensuite double room (single occupancy) £495.
Shared room (a spacious ‘dorm’ room sleeping six in adult-sized bunkbeds) £325.

To find out more about this exclusive retreat or book a space, email