I was recently asked by someone what my favorite type of athlete is to coach. I don’t really have a favorite. They’re all different. Some are looking to improve their half marathon time. Others are returning to running from a long layoff from injury or family obligations. And others yet are new runners. They’ve never stepped foot on a track or when they did, it was in junior high and their memories of their track days are scary, horrible, and limited.
I wouldn’t say I have a client type I favor but I do hold a special place in my heart for new runners. I touched on this a bit last week as well, but I wanted to get deeper into the new runner scenario a bit more today.
The Dedication and Motivation of a New Runner
I admire the dedication, interest, and motivation to pursue running as a sport and hobby from the new runner aspect. I enjoy helping them learn the ropes and reach their newfound goals. The best is seeing my new-runner clients achieve their first 10-minute stretch of running. And even better is after they complete their first 5K.
I was once of those new runners. Running is hard when you first start. It’s supposedly one of the easiest forms of exercise but if you’ve never done it before, it’s really difficult. I always prep my new class of runners by telling them it’s gonna suck. Because let’s face it – the runners on Instagram make it look like running is sunshine and lollipops all the time, when it fact it’s hard, it sucks, and every run is not fantastic.
But I always follow up the “it’s gonna suck” statement with, “but if you stick with it and put in the work, it’ll be the best thing you’ve done in your life.” It’s true: running is life changing, but you’ve gotta put in the work. There are some people that coast by in school without cracking open a book. Or the ones that climb the corporate ladder with little to no effort. But then there’s running. No one can just lace up a pair of running shoes and have an easy go of it. Sure, there are some folks that are pre-disposed to be better athletes than others, but running isn’t one of those activities that just happen. You have to work for it. You get out of it what you put in.
New runners put in a lot of effort. They’re just getting their feet wet. They’re learning a whole new lifestyle. Whether they’re going after it for health reasons or social, they’re a strong group of people dedicated to achieving their goals.
I’m currently working with two groups of 5K runners. One group is training for a race coming up on June 25 called Race N Taste. The other group is training for another race later in the summer. We do a lot of fun stuff during our 5K training sessions. I’m really looking forward to our next meeting because I’ve got a surprise for my group this week.
These two concurrent groups are really dedicated and I’ve really enjoyed working with them. I can already tell they’re achieving their goals even though we’ve just begun. I can’t wait to see how the rest of their training shakes out.
To get back to the initial question — what’s my favorite type of athlete to coach? I guess if I have to answer the question I would have to say – all of the above — plus a soft spot for new runners.
TALK TO ME!
Do you remember your first 5K?
Was running sunshine and lollipops when you first started?
Giveaway details: Giveaway starts June 8, 2016 at 8:00 am EST and ends June 15, 2016 at 8:00 am EST. It is open to U.S. residents only.