About Coach Ali
Alison Headley became a runner when she was 8 years old after watching her dad complete the NYC Marathon in 1981. In high school, she was named an All State track sprinter in Connecticut (100, 200, 400, 4x100) and ran Division 1 at the University of Pennsylvania. Ali has completed triathlons of all distances and became an Ironman in 2015 in Mont Tremblant, Canada. In addition to triathlons, Ali has also completed several marathons, numerous Fondo/century rides and a few long distance open water swims. She works with athletes of all ages and abilities who are training for races ranging from 5K’s, half marathons, marathons, and every distance triathlon race. She also has a strong interest in helping triathletes who do not come from a swim background improve their swim technique through her Swim Stroke Analysis which allows the swimmer to see their stroke on video and receive feedback as to how to make it more efficient with specific drills and guidance. She can offer helps with handling, gearing, climbing/descending suggestions on the bike and can do a gait analysis for runners who want to improve their form. Ali provides her athletes with individually customized training plans tailored to their goals and is available to answer any and all questions about triathlon or any of the 3 disciplines.
Previously, Ali was an elementary school teacher and private tutor for over 12 years, making her well equipped to break things down simply and understandably for her athletes. Prior to her teaching career, she spent 8 years leading market research efforts for new product launches. As a result, she has strong data analysis skills which allow her to effectively analyze an athlete's training and racing data in order to optimize performance. In addition, Ali has a client service orientation and strong communication skills from her work in teaching and the business world. She also acted as Assistant Coach for Far Brook School's Track & Field Team in Short Hills, New Jersey in the spring of 2017.
Ali's philosophy as a coach is to motivate her athletes using a positive and encouraging approach. She forms close and supportive relationships with her athletes and prides herself on knowing them inside and out. Ali believes in simplifying the training process as much as possible, particularly for athletes new to the sport. She customizes her plans to each individual and strongly believes that one size does NOT fit all. Most importantly, Ali hopes to help her athletes achieve their personal goals (whether it be to complete their first race, achieve a best time, follow a consistent training program, improve in a specific area, or qualify for a particular race). She also loves supporting athletes who continue to strive for new and more challenging pursuits such as marathons, half iron or full iron distance races. Ali lives in South Orange, New Jersey with her husband Drew, her two boys Tyler (14) and Dylan (12), and their lovable golden retriever, Jake.
Ali is a USAT Level 1 Certified Coach, a member of the American Swimming Coaches Association, a U.S. Masters Swimming member and is American Red Cross CPR Certified. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a Masters of Elementary Education from Seton Hall University. Ali has been an active member of the MAPSO Tri Club for the past 9 years.