Riley Nickols - Head Coach
Riley is a sixth year PhD student in Counseling Psychology at Fordham University. He graduated from Ithaca College with an M.S. in Sport Psychology and also received his M.S.Ed. in Counseling and Personnel Services from Fordham University. At Ithaca College, his research focused on the psychological experiences of athletes returning to competition after experiencing season-ending injuries. His doctoral dissertation examined the relationship between self-confidence and anxiety among triathletes and runners before and after competition. Riley translates this body of research into tangible strategies and real-life training that increases enjoyment and optimizes performance.
In addition to his academic studies, Riley has achieved personal gratification and success through participation in endurance sports for over 15 years. He has competed in Ironman, half-Ironman, Olympic, and sprint distance triathlons in addition to several marathons. He is a certified USA Triathlon Coach and is a member of the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and American Psychological Association - Division 47 (Exercise and Sport Psychology). Riley has been an adjunct professor at New Jersey City University where he was an instructor for health and fitness courses in the College of Professional Studies. He has been featured in the New York Times, Triathlete Magazine, New York Daily News, Men's Health, and Active.com in regards to optimizing physical training and mental preparation throughout training and in competition. Riley values evidence-based training principles and continually aims to integrate these findings in his work with athletes.
Currently, Riley is the head coach for Black Sheep Runners, a running group that trains in New York City. Riley coaches weekly group workouts and uses Training Peaks software to develop training programs specific to each athlete's goals and race schedule. He is the co-founder of Rapid Strides Coaching, a coaching company that combines evidence-based training principles and cutting-edge technology to deliver training plans that are customized and adaptable throughout training. In addition to providing multi-sport coaching and personal training services, Riley is also a sport psychology consultant. He helps athletes, teams, and performers develop and implement individualized mental training programs to help maximize their abilities. His extensive psychology background has fortified his belief that it is critical to develop an athlete’s mental skills in tandem with athletic endurance and, as a result, he strives to empower athletes by teaching both physical and psychological skills that can be used to maximize their training efforts. Riley is committed to helping others utilize endurance sports to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When he is not coaching or training, you will likely find Riley rooting for the 2010 and 2012 World Series champion San Francisco Giants!
Diane Calderon - Assistant Coach
Diane is a certified USA Triathlon Coach who has been involved in the sport of triathlon since the early 1980’s. She has literally grown with the sport, and can remember doing early races on a “10-speed” bicycle. After her third child was born in 2003, Diane completed two 1/2 Ironman distance races. The Montauk 1/2 Ironman in Oct. 2004, earned her a second place overall female finish. Diane went on to have some impressive race results including: 1st place AG with a qualifying space at IMWC in KONA (St. Croix 1/2 Ironman), 1st place AG (Tupper Lake Tinman), and 2nd place AG at her first Ironman race (Ironman Lake Placid). At IMWC that year, Diane was 7th overall in her age group. In 2006 and 2007, Diane placed 2nd in her AG in St. Croix. Additionally, she qualified for IMWC in 2007 by placing 2nd in her AG at Buffalo Springs 1/2 Ironman. Diane recognizes that a coach can be influential in the helping athletes to be successful in the sports of running, swimming, cycling or triathlon. As a result of this belief, Diane enjoyed using her experience to mentor seven athletes, new to the sport of triathlon, through a training program in preparation for their first 1/2 Ironman race in June 2007. All seven athletes finished with flying colors! Additionally, Diane has coached several athletes to compete in the New York City Marathon over the past 3 years. Diane believes there is always something new to learn in her coaching and own training. She has attended several training camps and seminars, has been a member of the Mark Allen Online Elite team for the 2007-2009 seasons, and has been a sponsored Polar athlete and PowerBar athlete for the last four years.
Tony Jarc - Assistant Coach
Tony holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University where his research focused on neuroscience and the control of motion. He also earned a Master of Science degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with a focus on biomechanics from Cornell University.
Tony is a coach, athlete, engineer, scientist, avid outdoorsman, and entrepreneur. Since he was a teenager, Tony has been intrigued by the intersection of science and sports. He initially became involved in endurance sports during middle school where he ran track and cross-country. His passion for these sports has continued and he has become an accomplished runner and triathlete over the last 12 years. Tony has raced in sprint, Olympic, half-Ironman, and Ironman distance triathlons with many age group podium finishes. He has also competed in road races from 5ks to marathons.
Tony enjoys sharing his passion for triathlon with other athletes. Helping others work toward their personal goals is extremely rewarding and inspires him both as a coach and an athlete. Tony tries to integrate ideas from academic research into coaching himself and his athletes and is constantly learning ways to improve his coaching and athletic abilities. Before joining Mind Body Endurance, Tony was a triathlon coach with Vision Quest Coaching in Chicago, IL. He was also president of Northwestern Triathlon, while he was in graduate school. Tony is a certified USA Triathlon Coach and lives in the San Francisco Bay area. In his free time, Tony enjoys spending time with his wife, Ashley, and dog, Cole. And, he is always cheering on every Cleveland sports team!