I’m shaking things up a bit. Trying some new things out. My last blog post, I posted Why I love New Years Eve and shared a bit about my goals. I have big goals in mind. I want to be proactive in working toward these goals. Starting my blog was one way to shake things up, and work toward my goals. The other? I have decided to work with a running coach.
For me, I want some clarity and outside perspective. I want to work hard and have someone in my corner. I respect the experience and knowledge of the coach I have chosen. Working with my coach will, hopefully, add some structure. I have a habit of running totally by feel and emotion. This has led to over training, fatigue and burn out. It also allows me to let go of control and enjoy running. We all have enough stress. I struggle with a lot of anxiety, in training, and on race day. I second guess everything and worry about all the minor details. I am going to do the work, and trust in someone else to help lead me in the right direction.
Have you thought about hiring a coach? When making my decision I created a pros and cons list.
- Goal Setting- A good coach will help you develop strong attainable goals. Something that will be difficult but realistic. Your goals will be the driving force to your workouts.
- Knowledge- A good coach brings in a wealth of knowledge to help support your running goals. More importantly, a coach becomes more than a plan designer. Your coach will become a teacher of the sport. You learn the whys behind every run. Every workout has a purpose, otherwise it becomes junk mileage, and you lose focus of your goals.
- Keep you on track- A good coach will kick you in the pants when you need it. For me, I need a coach to reign in the crazy, at times. I run on emotions, getting home from a difficult day. I turn a short 6 mile easy run into a 10 miler at half marathon pace. It feels great and therapeutic at the time. In the end, however, I have just trashed my legs for a whole week and I can’t really complete my other workouts as I should. Just knowing that someone will be checking up on you can help keep you accountable.
- Cost-Coaches cost money, some of them are down-right expensive. Running cost can really add up. Race entries, clothes, shoes, gadgets it can feel like you’re going down the rabbit hole.
- You are giving up control- This can be hard, and scary. If you are going to use a running coach, you need to pick someone that you trust and you need to let them lead. If the program they set for you is going to work, you need to do your best to follow it. If you can’t, you need to be able to communicate the issue with your coach so they can develop a plan that does work for you.
- Coaching styles/running styles don’t match up- If you hate the track, and find yourself getting injured on the track, and your coach insists on pounding out weekly high intensity intervals that leave you hobbling. That is a problem. Some coaches, just like runners, get stuck in the mentality that there is one right way to do things. This can lead to disaster for the runner. This is why it’s important to find the right coach, and not just any coach. Doing a little homework ahead of time can save you a lot of frustration, and possibly injury, in the long run.
I am really excited about my new partnership. I took a long time thinking it over, almost a year. I went back and forth many times. I also went back and forth on picking the right coach, for me. What was the biggest factor for me deciding to work with a coach? I feel like I am on the verge of a plateau. I don’t know why. It’s just constantly bothering me.
The next question, then, becomes who. Ironically, it’s like the world was hinting at in the last couple weeks. I had multiple conversations with runners whose opinions I value, very much. The same recommendation kept coming up. I had thought about what qualities and coaching style I was looking for. I looked up the many, many coaches available in my area. I kept coming back to the same name. Well guess who joined in our group long run that Saturday morning? I had a 22 mile run that morning, and the group joined in about 8 miles in. I asked lots of questions and got a really good feel on what type of coach I could be working with. A few days later, I sent him a message and I am really excited to begin working with Coach Jeremy, owner of KC Endurance.
Who would benefit from a running coach?
A running coach can help runners at all levels. They are wonderful tool for new runners who want to be more consistent and build mileage safely. A running coach will help a new runner complete new distances and train smarter. A coach will bring a vast amount of knowledge and work within the runners limits to help them be successful. For a more experienced or competitive runner, a coach can help improve efficiency and give them needed outside perspective. They can help you narrow your focus and build on your goals. When looking for a coach, look for running coaches that have completed a certification and can share numerous recommendations from clients that have similar goals and backgrounds as yourself.
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