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Running Academy coaching sessions with Atsue Morinaga and Mara Yamauchi


Atsue and I hold our Running Academy coaching sessions on Sundays throughout the year at Battersea Park’s Millennium Arena track in London. Our next sessions will be on 14 July and 22 Sept, so if you would like to attend, please be in touch. Our sessions last for two hours and are designed for two runners. A session includes:


  • An assessment of individual running history, current needs etc using a questionnaire before the session;

  • A warm-up easy run on the track;

  • Glut activations, dynamic stretching and drills coached by Mara;

  • Running a short distance at medium and fast speeds to allow us to observe your running form;

  • Video-recording of the above with feedback, and video files sent electronically afterwards;

  • One-to-one time with Mara discussing training plans, nutrition, race preparation,  managing injuries etc; or learning exercises to improve running form;

  • One-to-one time with Atsue on therapy according to need, exercises to improve muscle activation & posture, taping, acupuncture etc.

  • Running a short distance again at medium and fast speeds with video analysis & feedback;

  • Time for asking specific questions about individual running requirements or challenges;

  • Free use of the track, changing and shower facilities.

Atsue, who is originally from Japan, qualified as a physiotherapist in Japan. After sustaining various sports injuries, she specialised in treating pain. She moved to the UK in 2000, obtained acupuncture, cranio-sacral therapy and massage licences, and became interested in a holistic approach which integrates Western and Eastern therapies. Her work with endurance runners focuses on preventing and recovering from injury, and improving performance by encouraging a more efficient and optimal running action. Atsue runs her own practice in South Kensington specialising in acupuncture, massage and other treatments.

Mara is a former elite athlete in the marathon and now a UK Athletics-qualified coach. She is the UK’s third-fastest female marathon runner ever (2:23:12), finished 6th in the 2008 Beijing Olympic women’s marathon, and is a London Marathon runner-up. After retiring from elite competition in 2013, she trained as a coach and now coaches runners of all abilities. Before becoming an elite athlete, she was a diplomat working for the Foreign Office, and speaks English and Japanese.

If you would like to book a session, please contact Atsue on +44 (0)7960 333387 or We can conduct sessions in English or Japanese, or a mixture of both.

Previous clients have provided the following testimonials about our sessions:

‘Mara and Atsue's Running Academy is the best advice you can get from a professional athlete and an expert in body mechanics and therapy…you are in safe hands to help you understand what needs to be corrected and improved. Some think that running is all about building endurance and speed…but having done two sessions I have seen that posture and running dynamics are important for efficiency and using less energy.  After the session, you will receive a very detailed video and personal exercises for both pre- and post-running.’ Jean-Jacques Lassabe, 3:27 marathoner

‘In my Running Academy session, Mara and Atsue looked in detail at my running, using their individual expertise. Mara gave advice on form, stimulating energy systems for training, keeping good posture when fatigued, nutrition, and how to prepare the day before and on race day. Atsue gave me tips on my bad running habits and weak points that I was not aware of, and the impact and injuries these habits may cause. As a result, I knocked 5 minutes off my PB in my key race of the season, finishing in 3:23. I am not so young so I thought I was at my limit, which made my PB all the more special. I’m so grateful for their detailed coaching.’ Toshie Barth, 3:23 marathoner

‘After 10 years of being inactive, I decided to take up running. At Mara and Atsue’s session I learned about the strong and weak points of my individual running form, muscle activation to run more efficiently, and self-care to help recovery. In April 2018 I just broke 4:30 in my first marathon, and in November 2018 I reduced my PB to sub 4 (3:55), completing it without walking at all. Now I am aiming for sub 3:30.’  Keishi Asahina, 3:55 marathoner

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