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Uncover Your Potential with Coach Marjaana

Hey fabulous readers! I'm Marjaana, your go-to coach for all things energetic, courageous, and downright fun! Picture this: a mix of open-mindedness, adventure, and a sprinkle of Nordic magic—that's the vibe I bring to the table.

The Finnish Dynamo

In the wild world of coaching, I'm the Finnish dynamo with a name that screams courageous (seriously, my name does mean courageous in Finnish). Marjaana pronounced Mariana, is not just a name; it's a promise of zest, courage, and a touch of FOMO for any adventure worth taking.

I grew up in North Finland as a Nordic Skier, got injured, and embarked on a journey that would take me across four continents, and six countries and allow me to widen my horizons in many ways. I will always return to the North with pure joy and fill up my bucket with the pure nature of clean air, silent forests, and all the adventures the winter wonderland can offer.

Winter in North Finland - a True Winter Wonderland

Nordic countries boast themselves as the happiest countries in the world. But do you know why? Part of it is the everyday active lifestyle, be it to walk to the grocery store and carry all the bags up 5 flights of stairs, or bike to work. Walks in nature which is never far away. Health always comes first and that is a principle that I've learned to embrace after binning myself with overtraining during the pandemic.

Scared and Excited At The Same Time

I'm the one who believes in being brave, whether it's tackling your first marathon or facing the daily chaos of life like a boss. I believe in running towards something that simultaneously scares and excites you. Kinda like when you were a kid in the candy store. That's the kind of vibe your race or event should make you feel.

Last year (2023) I was facing yet another international move (I've lost count, but the times we've moved are in the teens), and didn't have a race to aim for. So to keep myself motivated and to have some fun, I signed up for XTerra Oman (never raced MTB before) and had a blast! I also wanted to roller ski around the bicycle path around the Dubai desert, a 50K loop. A formidable challenge for someone who hadn't roller skied more than 16K before. Again, amazing fun!

At 44, I showed myself I could do amazing things, and qualified for three World Championships in one year: 70.3, full Ironman, and XTerra.

A testimony to something I believe is the power of the mind.

Ten years ago I truly believed I could never run a marathon or do any longer than an Olympic distance triathlon. Ten years later, I've completed 3 stand-alone marathons, two full Ironman and four 70.3 Ironman, XTerra, and countless half marathons, triathlons, road cycling, and open water swim events. I've raced in four continents and a bucket list dream is to run all 7 World Marathons, Race At Ironman World Champs in Kona, return to Nordic Skiing, and win the worlds. I've got many years to fulfill these goals, and I know I can do this!

The courage to try is all it takes.

I've always been active, even when I did not race, but I'm by no means a superhuman. I'm a mother of three children, I work from home, had injuries, I was overtrained, and a body that recovers slower as I age, and have challenges just like everyone else, I also have the same 24 24-hour days as everyone else. I've told my story many times, almost giving up on life to live my best life in my 40s, with big goals, and a belief that I'm on the right track.

I could not do these incredible things without a team of incredible people supporting me, like my family, and my coach Paul Laursen, PhD and founder of Athletica, whom I continue learning so much from. One of my goals in life is to be a support person to anyone who dares to do difficult things and get out of their comfort zone.

Coach Extraordinaire for Over Two Decades

With more coaching experience than a cat has lives (and trust me, I've seen some things), I've mentored runners, triathletes, skiers, and everyday athletes like yourself of all ages, both genders, and in all facets of life. My coaching secret? Watching that glint in your eyes when you conquer challenges and come back asking for more.

I've always coached both genders and my passion truly lies in mentoring women. My dream is to coach mothers and daughters. In Dubai, I was fortunate to coach a mom with three daughters and I saw how much fun it was. So I am planning on continuing with offering "Running with Mom" here in Texas.

Chris and her daughters were training with me, Chris for a 10K, daughters for 4K but they took a wrong route and ended up running 10K as well! Super achievement and I believe it opened their eyes to a world of opportunities. Proud Coach and I miss these girls very much!

Lifelong Learner

I'm not just about the sweat; I'm a fitness geek on a quest for knowledge. From exercise physiology to how to fit exercise into your insanely busy life as a mom, parent, or business owner, I want to learn more - so I can help you better!

My values

Coming from a sports science background with Master's Degree in Sport Sciences from one of the top universities in the world, The Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, I'm equipped with extensive knowledge in exercise physiology and biomechanics. I'm also a certified personal trainer and constantly exploring reputable certifications to enhance my knowledge, like or GGS Women's Coaching Specialist Certification. I'm also a Triathlon Canada Community Trained Coach.

Strength Training to Allow Your Strength Shine Through

Strength training isn't just about lifting weights; it's about unlocking your true potential. I tailor programs that make you feel like a superhero, complete with injury prevention, recovery boosts, and running like the wind. Although I can't be there at the gym with you in person, in 2024 I am offering a few services where I teach you to lift and you can even work with me, so come back to find out more and sign up for my newsletter .

Strength training for women can be intimidating, but with a clear plan and instruction on how to do each exercise, we can start to enjoy lifting heavy things. It can feel incredibly empowering to lift some iron! My goal is to deliver strength plans individualized to each athlete's needs and what's available for them.

Life Motto: Keep It Simple, Sweetie!

In a world gone bonkers, my coaching mantra is simple: "Keep It Simple, Sweetie." No need for overthinking or workout paralysis; just nail the basics, and you'll be rocking your fitness journey. Consistent work overtime wins over heroic workouts that take days to recover from - every single time.

I'll help you find a way to be consistent in the context of your life. I've partnered up with the future of endurance training, which allows you to train with science-based training, and embrace adaptable programming for you and your life! I've used Athletica for over two years and have seen the power of individualized, adaptable programs in my training and my athletes.

Athletica's training is based on sports science developed by Professor Paul Laursen together with world-leading experts. Intensity Interval Training is sprinkled with low-intensity training to ensure you are constantly pushing yourself to the next level without burning the candle on both ends, leaving you fatigued and blah on race day.

I'm honored to be part of Athletica and co-host The Athlete's Compass Podcast, where, coach Paul Warlovski and Professor Laursen give you, as an everyday athlete coordinates to navigate your training, fitness, and health.

The incredible features that are built in Athletica, allow you to swap a session on the fly if you are not feeling 100%, have 45 mins instead of 60 mins to work out, and if the pesky old injury shows its ugly head again. The invisible monitoring makes sure your training intensity zones are updated when you reach a new level, and you can always take a look at your road map toward your main goals.

I've written about Athletica previously here.

I could go on about 80/20 principles, Thresholds, and the Norwegian Method but the truth is a good coach needs to be open-minded and ready to throw out all theories depending on the athlete in front of her.

Coach, Mentor, and Your Biggest Cheerleader

I'm not just a coach; I'm your fitness fairy godmother! Whether you're conquering personal bests, battling self-doubt, or just looking to sprinkle some fitness magic into your life, I'm your gal.

I've made many mistakes as an athlete and a coach and realized most mistakes are due to miscommunication. So unlike many other coaches who limit the communication with their athletes, I encourage you to be as open and straightforward with me as possible. When you feel like you need to chat with me, you'll always have me at your fingertips. WhatsApp, schedule a call, or email me.

My education, and experience as a coach and as an athlete with a good sprinkle of empathy and compassion is a combination that will help you to reach your goals as you navigate your journey together with me.

Elevate Your Fitness Adventure with Marjaana

Ready to turn your fitness journey into a rollercoaster of fun? Whether you're eyeing a ski race, half marathon, or Ironman, or just want to be your everyday fitness superhero, let's chat!

Xo, Marjaana

MSc Sports Sciences

HIIT Science Certified


GGS Women's Coaching Specialist

Triathlon Canada Community Trained Coach

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