As I have transitioned to a certified coach, actively seeking new clients and building my hobby into a business. I am surprised by the conversations I have had with runners on an almost daily basis surrounding the concept of hiring a running coach. It’s not what I thought it would be.
It’s not that many runners don’t want a running coach, they feel like the don’t fit a certain mold for the type of runner who could benefit from one. On one end of the spectrum you get runners who feel like they are too new, too slow or just in it for fun. They are motivated, goal oriented runners who feel like they don’t meet some higher tier that is required to work with a running coach. This, my friends, is not the qualifying standard for working with a coach. Motivated, goal-oriented runners of ALL abilities and backgrounds are the IDEAL athletes a coach looks for.
Then you have the opposite end of the spectrum. The stubborn runners. These are the runners that NEED the outside influence of a coach to protect them from, well themselves. They have a case of the triple too’s. Too many miles, too soon, too fast. Your competitive runners can get caught up in this frequently. New runners who see quick gains (that was me). Just because other runners in my speed range were doing it, didn’t mean my body could handle it. There are a lot of hardworking runners who are not improving, who are working harder than necessary and not seeing the benefits of that hard work. I have been there, it is super frustrating.
So how can a run coach help you?
- Get over a plateau and add variety to your training This was one of the reasons I first reached out to a running coach. In hind site, I waited to long. A running coach can be a great tool to help add variety to your training and getting over a plateau faster.
- Help you make the most of your time training- Are you a professional athlete? If so, thanks for reading! However, I am guessing most of us are not and we have the balance of our regular jobs, families and probably a dozen other things that limit our training time. So when you do find/make the time for running, you want to know that what you are doing is going to get you the results you are looking for.
- Minimize your risk for injury or help you safely return from an injury Running injuries suck and most of the time, they are completely avoidable. A generic plan in a book or online does not take into consideration your current fitness levels, training history and prior injuries.
- Add consistency, direction and structure to you training plan Adding a coach builds consistency in so many ways. You are paying for a product, so you are more likely to follow through. The coach can give you a nudge when you need and let you know when its okay to pull back. They will build cohesive plan with your individual needs and abilities in mind.
- Accountability, reassurance and objectivity Coaches become confidants in running. A sound board for goals, aspirations and then they work WITH you to build a road map. Getting you from where you are now to where you wanna go, as at team. When something goes wrong, they can make the appropriate adjustments without the emotional freak out. Don’t even get me started on the taper madness that I’ve seen too many runner go through. Completely destroying their hard work and growth at the end of a training cycle.
- Teach you about proper training and the components that go along It really are the little things that make a big difference. Running coaches go beyond singular track workouts. The strides, hill sprints, recovery, nutrition, cross training, strength training and so much more.
- Keep you positive throughout the training cycle. Why do you run? Every single run may not be the best ever, no matter what the #runnersofinstagram want you to believe. A good running coach will keep you strong and positive through the training cycle.
- They do the work! Allowing you to enjoy running more. This really ties into so many of the previous points. The time it takes to efficiently plan and a adjust a complete training cycle. The emotional roller coaster many runners go through as we are personally invested in the goals we have set for ourselves. The coach takes a big chunk of that off your plate. They do the leg work, they make the adjustments.
- See growth and reach your potential faster – While I don’t believe there is a magical, one size fits all plan. There are training principals that can and will help you achieve your goals faster without increasing your risk for injury.
My tagline ” Balancing the science of running, with the art of coaching” is so much more than a gimmicky phrase. I truly believe in it. Working with a coach goes beyond, knowledge of the sport. Kipchoge works with Patrick Sang, Flanagan works alongside coach Jerry Schumaker. Do you think these top level athletes don’t understand the training principals? Coaching is so much more then Xs and Os, more then repeats and drills. Here are two examples of VDOT Coaches who have partnered with other coaches to reach new levels of training. These coaches recognize the greater value a coach brings beyond planing workouts.
Just like everything. Not all coaches are created equal and they are not one size fits all. There are important factors to consider when finding a coach that meets your needs and will get you where you want to go. Follow up tomorrow! Make sure you subscribe for more great info!
Do you currently work with a running coach? Why or why not?
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I am a VDot Certified coach with over 10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities. Check out my coaching page for more information!