Lisa Larsen Rainsberger

To many in the sport of running, Lisa Rainsberger (formerly Weidenbach) is better known for what she has not done rather than for what she has accomplished.

Let me explain: In 1980 Lisa qualified for the US Olympic Swimming Trials, however the United Stated boycotted the 1980 Olympics and Lisa was unable to compete, In 1984, 1988 & 1992 Lisa finished 4th in the US Olympic Marathon Trials making her the Olympic Team Alternate. (The top three in the Olympic Trials qualify for the Olympic Team).

In 1988 Lisa ran in the US Olympic Track and Field Trials and finished 5th in the 10,000 meters running a PR of 32:12. In 1996 Lisa finished a disappointing 19th in the US Olympic Marathon Trials.

Finally, heading into the 2000 Olympics Lisa was on her way as a Professional Triathlete. After Lisa finished 4th American at the US Triathlon National Championships she and her husband, Ellis, discovered they were expecting their first child. After the birth of her daughter in 1998 Lisa officially retired from National competition and launched her coaching career.

Coaching Philosophies

The Principle of Overload and Recovery

All forms of physical training are based on your body’s ability to adapt to stresses imposed upon it. To gain positive training effects, you must overload a muscle group or energy system. The training overload will cause these muscles to grow stronger, or the targeted energy systems to become more efficient. As you adapt, the training intensity and volume must progressively increase.

The Principle of Individuality

Athletes respond differently to similar forms of training. One athlete may need to focus on training speed and power, while another may need more endurance training. Yet, on race day, they may perform equally. Your training must be specific to your physical needs, not to your training partners. I will never take the "one size fits all" approach to training programs.

The Principle of Specificity

There are several important questions to keep in mind when prescribing a multi-sport, endurance or marathon training program. What is your goal? Is your goal just to finish, or to finish in a specific time? Do you have adequate time to prepare for the event you are aiming for? What will the terrain of the race course be like? Will there be a wet-suit swim? Is the bike course hilly? Is the running course flat? What are the weather conditions like? You will be assigned specific training programs that resemble the conditions of the event that you are training for.

The Principle of Progression

Training needs to progressively move forward. To enjoy further training gains, you will need to increase training loads as you adapt to your current imposed loads. The progression principle is applied in daily workouts to broad, long-term training plans.

Coaching Experience


1993 Redmond, WA High School Cross Country Coach
1995-96 Hutchinson, KS High School Cross County Coach
1998/99 Team 'n Training Marathon Coach
1999/2000 Team Diabetes Marathon Coach
2000 - Present Rainsberger Athletics Personal Coaching
2002 US Paralympic Track & Field Coach
2002 Carmichael Training Systems Coach
2002 - Present US Paralympic Coaching consultant
2007 - 2008 Run for One Charity Coach
2006 - 2009 ARMY World Class Athlete Program coach (WCAP)
2009-Present WCAP Air Force Marathon Coach
2009-Present Kokopelli Racing Team Founder and Head Coach


1976-79 Battle Creek Central High School, Michigan National Honor's Society

1979-1984 University of Michigan B.S. Education / Exercise Science

1999 Level 1 USAT&F Coaching Certification

Husband - Ellis D. (Bud) Rainsberger
Children - Katie (21), Ian (18)
Dog - Ledger (11), Lola (3)
Hobbies - Snowshoeing, piano, swimming, sleeping

Athletic Achiements

1980-1984 Univ. of Michigan three Sport NCAA All-American Swimming, Cross Country, Track & Field U of M Cross Country Team Captain
1984 US Olympic Marathon Team Alternate
1984 Montreal Marathon Champion
1985 Boston Marathon Champion
1985 USAT&F Runner of the Year
1986, 87, 89 Crim 10 Mile Champion 52:32
1988 US Olympic Marathon Team Alternate
1988 US Olympic Track & Field Trials 10k 32:12
1988/89 Chicago Marathon Champion 2:29:12 / 2:28:15
1989/90 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Champion 52:30
1989 American Record 15k 48:28
1989 USAT&F Runner of the Year
1989 Runner's World Runner of the Year
1991 Bloomsday 12k Champion
1990 Hokkaido, Japan Marathon Champion
1990/91 Sapporo, Japan ˝ Marathon Champion
1992 US Olympic Marathon Team Alternate
1993 Twin Cities Marathon Champion
1995,96 Kyoto, Japan ˝ Marathon 2nd place
1996 US Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier
1997 Lawrence Triathlon - 1st
1997 USA Triathlon Nationals - 5th
1997 Mrs. T's Triathlon Pro - 5th
2004 University of Michigan Track and Field Hall of Fame Induction
2005 Road Runners of America (RRCA) Hall of Fame Induction
2006 Battle Creek Central High School Hall of Fame Induction
2006-2007 Center For Creative Leadership Coaching Consultant
2006-Present Founder and Director of the Kokopelli Kids Trail Running Series
2006-2009 Head Coach for Army WCAP (World Class Athlete Program) Marathon
2007-2009 Coach for Team Semper Fi, Triathlon team of wounded Marines

Lisa's Portfolio

Early Promise!

Chicago 1988
Lisa Checks the Stats
Boston 1985
Osaka 1991
Chicago 1991
New Balance
Go Big Blue!

Lisa is Involved With:

US Paralympics
Army World Class Athlete Program

Lisa Directs This Race Series!

Kokopelli Kids Trail Race Series