Meet the Coaches

Dedicated Coaches for Dedicated Runners

Coach and Cofounder

Coach Eric

Eric Surber is a physical therapist and a NASM certified personal trainer. After being discouraged from running post injury in 2007, Eric tried cycling and CrossFit but was unsatisfied. Since finishing PT school, Eric has been working on returning to running himself and helping other runners keep running.

Coach Eric is passionate about recovery, breathing and strength. He believes a balanced approach to training is essential to prevent injuries and increase performance. Movement continues to inform Eric approach to life and health. The exploration of movement through running, lifting, kayaking, hiking, dancing, paddle boarding has provide Eric with a deep experience and appreciation of the human body.

Other: 2007 Marine Corp Marathon finisher, 2011 Bluff City Blues 100 mile cycle, 200 hr Yoga teacher training and Certified in XPT Performance Breathing, Gait Guru from GaitHappens, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu Shihan (15 degree black belt), Doctor of Physical Therapy from UTHSC 2020, PhD of Chemistry from University of Arizona 2005, and a collegiate rugby athlete for New Mexico Tech 1995-1999.

A native of Nebraska, Eric currently resides in Suffolk, VA. His hobbies include acroyoga, dancing, hiking, and martial arts.

Coach and Cofounder

Coach Jon

Jon Aikman has over thirty years of experience in and around running. A former collegiate runner, Jon has finished over twenty marathons, dropping almost an hour and half off his debut time and progressing into a regular Boston qualifier after several years pursuing that goal. Jon has, mostly, successfully adapted to meet the constantly evolving conditioning and nutritional needs as he juggles a full training schedule with his family and professional responsibilities, and the early effects of aging. He has run multiple sub-3 hour marathons after turning 40 and even PR’d in the 10k at the ripe, old age of 43. Jon has excelled on both the roads and trails at various distances, even dropping down to the mile from time to time – usually to entertain others. Much more central to his running identity than his successes, are the challenges and headwinds that Jon has encountered along the way, “The thing I love about this sport is our approach to failure. Society doesn’t do a very good job at appreciating the intrinsic value of near-misses, or big misses, or even the occasional face-plant. Too often the consequences of our failures are fatal to the pursuit we’re on. We’re fired from the job or cut from team, or simply too humiliated to keep trying, but runners always survive to fight another day. When we fall, both figuratively and literally, there is nothing that can stop us from getting back on our feet, and usually a happy abundance of helping hands to get us there. That’s the life of a runner, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other.”

Jon is an RRCA certified running coach who handles athletes at all levels from first timers to seasoned veterans. He diligently designs training programs that integrate universal training principles with the personal needs of each runner he coaches. “A plan is only as good as its execution. My job as a coach isn’t simply to design a program that reflects my athletes’ goals, but also do so in way that fits into their lives so that they can put in the hard work to get the job done.” Jon works tirelessly with his athletes to construct a vision of short and long term goals that help sustain a healthy and happy pattern of long-term improvement and success. He also specializes in race selection and preparation and addresses all manner of race-day concerns from pacing and fueling strategies, to start-line logistics and even pre-race jitters.

A native of Indiana, Jon currently lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife and two children. Their hobbies including camping, kayaking, skiing and travel.

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At Black Lab Running we're a dedicated team of coaches who are passionate about helping their runners achieve their goals!

Welcome to Black Lab Running - the ultimate run coaching experience in the greater Virginia area