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Hey, I'm Jess!

My name is Jessica Schnier, and I am a trail runner who enjoys a sprinkle of road races now and again. I'm a lifelong runner and began trail running in 2017. I live in San Diego, California, but am originally from the flatlands of Iowa.

My background is in scientific research and education. While at Iowa State, I was a Women's Captain of the Iowa State University Running Club for 2 years, where my main jobs were to co-create training plans and lead training runs while also creating an inclusive environment for women on the team.

My goal behind creating Smiles and Miles Coaching is to look at athletic performance through a lens that I think gets ignored too often in sports: happiness. If an athlete is happy, they will perform their best. By providing a compassionate coaching experience, athletes are empowered to reach new heights of performance, all while fostering a supportive environment where self-kindness is celebrated. When we are showing kindness to ourselves and pairing that with science-driven training theory applied to long term growth, we give the space for our best athletic potential to shine through. 

Education & Certifications


Notable Coaching Accomplishments

  • PRs in distances ranging from 5k-100M

  • Coached Boston Marathon Qualifiers & PRs at Boston

  • Coached backyard ultramarathons

  • Coached athletes to 1st ultramarathons

  • High reports of athlete happiness and enjoyment of training

Notable Running Accomplishments

  • 2023 Old West 50k - 1st F, 2nd OA, Course Record (4:27:54)

  • 2023 The Ranch Half Marathon - 1st OA

  • 1st place female in multiple local San Diego and Iowa trail races ranging from 15k-50k distance

  • Lake Sonoma 50M, PCT 50M, Canyons 100k

  • Boston Marathon 2019

Coaching Philosophy

Science-based approaches

As a huge science nerd, I enjoy staying up-to-date in the latest research in training, nutrition, and all things running. There is a lot of research out there that can help us guide our training. On that note, I also recognize that there are many biases present in the science-world, such as gender and accessibility to certain resources. My goal is to apply scientific principles as best possible to my athletes as individuals, while also making sure they are educated in best practices so they know the "why" behind the basis of their training. 

Being human comes first

"The perfect workout is the workout you can do, right now, perfectly." Science is cool... but we do not live in a lab! Training should take into account the athlete's life, stresses, and current abilities. We all have busy lives, jobs, families, etc. and we cannot devote all of our time to running (as fun as that would be!). There's no "catch-all 'perfect' workout" that we can apply to everyone, we must consider an athlete's life first! 


"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

In it for the "long run"

Longevity and overall happiness is key when it comes to our life as athletes! A large portion of training should be at 'low-intensity' not only to maximize performance, but also to promote excitement towards training, to allow time for adventuring, and so we can really push on those hard efforts. Nutrition, REST and recovery, and strength and mobility and just a few key things to focus on throughout the process to promote longevity in the sport. The goal is to have a lifetime of happiness in running so we can continue to enjoy the process as long as we wish!

Running on kindness

I think it can be really easy, especially as athletes, to be really harsh on ourselves. This is NOT the goal! While also promoting kindness to others and our planet, I think it is most important to display kindness towards OURSELVES. I hope to promote a safe environment for ALL, no matter your background or identities, and encourage a space for you to be proud of yourself. Running isn't always easy, and life isn't always easy either, but you are a badass with the  potential for anything you set your mind to! 

Catch me on a podcast!

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