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About the team

Coach Rebecca headshot with The Performance Project running and triathlon coaching T-Shirt on.

Founder & Coach

Rebecca is a running & multisport coach. She earned her Master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. in exercise science from the University of Cape Town. Now based in Greensboro, North Carolina, she specializes in programs designed for runners and and multisport athletes (adventure racing, X-Terra triathlon, gravel bike racing, & SwimRun), as well as monitoring training load for all her athletes. Rebecca was a national-level swimmer in the USA and was world ranked in the 1500m freestyle. She began coaching in 2008 after retiring from swimming and began competing in triathlons and running. As a result, she has gained a passion for coaching and getting people involved in sport, as it provides people with a community, a healthy lifestyle, and realistic goals that provide life-long benefits. Together with this healthy lifestyle comes a healthy diet, and, as with everything, science is always at the core. For this reason, she takes great pride in helping you push things one step further, by encouraging and helping you with your nutrition management, while training and racing. Aside from her impressive academic background, Rebecca’s ability to understand people’s needs and wants first-hand, through various experiences, is what truly makes her stand out. Her work essence is unique in its harmonious balance between friendliness and formalities. Furthermore, although she adopts a serious approach to setting and achieving goals, she continues to make herself approachable, in a way that creates a serious yet nurturing environment for those joining her team.

Races Team Performance Project has completed:

  • Yeti 100
  • Wasatch 100
  • Belgian Waffle Ride NC (131 mile gravel race)
  • Ultra Race of Champions 100 km
  • Cape Town Cycle Tour
  • Comrades Marathon
  • Robben Island Open Water Swim Crossing
  • Wakkerstroom 120 km Adventure Race
  • Uwharrie Forest Gravel Grinder
  • All six world marathon majors (Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, NYC, London, Chicago)
  • Nat Greene’s Revenge Off-Road Triathlon
  • Bootlegger 60 mile gravel race
  • Ironman 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge
  • Love Valley 100 mile gravel bike race
  • Ironman South Africa
  • Grayson Highlands 50 mile trail race
  • Around the Pot Gravel Race
  • Whistler Alpine Meadows 100 mile trail race
  • Uwharrie Mountain Run (40 miles)
  • Two Oceans Marathon
  • Stockholm Marathon
  • Luxembourg Half Ironman
  • Ironman Maastricht
  • Ultra Trail Cape Town 100 km
  • Ultra Trail Drakensberg 100 mile
  • Thames Path 100 km


Some of the races I’ve done:

  • Comrades Marathon (89 km) (South Africa)
  • Two Oceans Marathon (56 km) (South Africa)
  • PUFFER Trail Ultra Run (75 km) (South Africa)
  • SOX 3-day stage race (South Africa)
  • Grand Canyon R2R2R run (Arizona)
  • Katcina Mosa Trail Race (100 km) (Utah)
  • Squaw Peak 50 mile trail race (Utah)
  • Racine Half Ironman Triathlon (Wisconsin)
  • Big Shoulders 5km open water swim (Chicago)
  • Fleet feet aquathon race series (Wisconsin)
  • Door County Olympic Distance Triathlon (Wisconsin)
Coach David performing a weighted reverse lunge

Strength & Conditioning Coach

David Leith is a qualified biokineticist, strength & conditioning coach, and endurance athlete.  He became interested in strength training after issues with iliotibial band syndrome and reading about the importance of cross-training for endurance athletes to develop resistance to the injuries that come from repetitive training. He has since experienced how effective strength training can be in developing overall fitness, functionality, resilience and sporting performance.

David has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Chemistry,  a Masters in Science in Exercise Science, and an Honours degree in Biokinetics (similar to athletic training in the USA).  David has  over 4 years experience as a rehabilitation specialist and strength and conditioning coach where he works with endurance runners & multisport athletes working on their specific mobility, stability and strength limitations, or niggling injuries, aiming to help correct imbalances, improve running mechanics, reduce risk of injury and improve performance. 

In David’s spare time he runs the beautiful trails of Cape Town, trains strength and conditioning sessions, surfs, hikes and travels with his fiance’ and puppy miniature Schnauzer.

Some of the races I’ve done:

  • 13 Peaks Challenge (110 km)
  • Ultra Trail Drakensberg (100 km)
  • Bastille Day 50 km
  • The Beast 30 km
Sean Cowgill trail running in the mountains of Cape Town, South Africa

CFO & Director of Creative Content

Sean is an ultrarunner and has an Honour’s Degree in Quantity Surveying from the University of Cape Town. Sean grew up as a competitive road cyclist and completed his cycling career racing for the University of Cape Town. He only started running when he turned 40 and discovered a hidden talent. He quickly started winning his age group and placing in the top 10 overall in many of the top ultra running races in South Africa. As a busy professional, Sean has expertise in how to balance a career, family, and high level training. He is also still hitting best times in his upper 40’s and has a wealth of knowledge on how to achieve athletic success into your 40’s and beyond.

Some of the races I’ve done:

  • Comrades Marathon (89 km)
  • Two Oceans Marathon (56 km) PB of 4:20
  • Cape Town Marathon: PB 3:03
  • PUFFER Trail Ultra Run (75 km): PB 9th place finish
  • Table Mountain Challenge (40 km)
  • Outeniqua Quest Trail Run (108 km)
  • African X 3-day Stage Race
  • Otter Trail Run (42 km)
  • Ultra Trail Cape Town (100 km): PB 14:24
  • SOX 3-day stage race
  • Drylands Traverse 3-day stage race
  • Three Peaks Challenge (50 km)
  • Triple Lakes Trail Marathon
Calley, an Australian Shepherd dog, licking her lips while out on a hike

Cheerleader & Fastest Downhill Runner

Calley is a 3 year old Australian Shepherd who loves cheering at races and showing off her downhill running technique. Whether you have a good or bad race, she will give you a lot of love and cuddles. Her favorite race nutrition is peanut butter and her favorite type of run is a technical mountain trail run. She is also great at managing her training load – her runs are either short and fast or long hikes. And she is a champ at recovery!

Ultramarathons Run
Kilometers Run
Meters Climbed
Races Run

the performance project

Rebecca johansson, phd

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