Last week on the Running Coaches’ Corner, I discussed how I write training plans and why it works for me and my clients. This week I’m going to tell you why you should consider hiring a running coach in the first place. Plus I’ll bust some common myths and rumors about running coaches in general. Let’s dig in and find out why coaches are awesome and why you should consider hiring one for your next big race.
Running Coach Myths: Busted!
I’ve thought about a running coach before, but aren’t coaches only for elites?
Erroneous! Running coaches are not just for the elites. A running coach can help anyone improve their performance.
Won’t hiring a running coach break the bank? How do I even know if we’re a good match?
While there are some coaches that charge a premium for their services, there are just as many coaches that don’t. The expense incurred by hiring a coach varies by state, and it also varies by individual. There’s a running coach out there for every budget. But like anything else you buy, to be a savvy customer you need to do your homework. Ask questions. Do an in-person or phone interview. Get a feel for their style and price point(s). If you feel good about the person on the other side of the table (or other end of the phone), you’ve found your match.
What if I’m just a “hobby” or recreational runner?
As I mentioned above, coaches aren’t just for elite runners. If you’re moving from say, a 5K to a half marathon, a coach can help you train and increase your mileage safely and effectively. Even “hobby” runners can benefit from a coach. But let’s get one thing straight, mmkay? If you’re moving your body in a forward motion faster than a power-walk, consider yourself a runner — hobby or not! 🙂
Can a running coach can teach me how to run better? Or longer?
A running coach will absolutely help you with your efficiency and success. Coaches have a lot of resources in their tool boxes to help you improve your performance — this includes anything from a gait analysis to pinpointing any muscle imbalance you may have, and then following up with corrective exercises or routines. A running coach will help you run better and, if desired, longer distances, too (think: marathons, half marathons, ultras).
What about the coaching services offered by specialty running stores?
The coaching offered by specialty running shops can be amazing but can also be less than ideal. So much of it depends on the experience and professionalism of the coaches working for the program, but also depends on what kind of coaching you’re looking for — as well as your own personality. Most running store programs offer bi-weekly group runs. Those are amazing relationship-building opportunities, but they aren’t for everyone. If you have social anxiety, for example, you may be more comfortable one-on-one or in a small group setting. In that case, the coaching programs offered by running stores probably aren’t for you.
Another thing to consider is that running stores usually offer a blanket (or cookie cutter) plan written with distances and not much else like speed work or your pace — which would make it hard for anyone except the beginner to train efficiently. There are exceptions, of course. But this is generally speaking.
Tell me about those cookie-cutter training plans you just mentioned…
Cookie cutter plans are great for beginner runners. I’ve used them myself. They’re easy to read and understand, and easy to execute. But they’re also really easy to botch. For example, when one of those blanket training plans says “tempo run,” do you really know what that means? What pace would you run (and for how long) to achieve a tempo run? A lot of runners who have never used a coach don’t really know how to differentiate types of running. To improve and get better, it’s best to use a coach to help you along the way.
The takeaway from this? Every day people can, and do, hire running coaches and reap big benefits from doing so. Running coaches are great motivators and often times turn into great friends and confidants. The experience and engagement you receive when you hire a running coach is unparalleled.
I’m ready to hire a running coach. How do I find one?
Here, for starters! I would love the opportunity to work with you! I work both in-person and virtually, and I write tailor-made plans for your experience level and running goals. Plus I’ll help you with strength training and guide you through health and nutrition needs. (Please note: I’m not a nutritionist.)
If you find I’m not your match, you can find a plethora of amazing coaches throughout the U.S. on the RRCA website. You could also consider my cohosts of the Running Coaches’ Corner — all incredibly talented ladies and wonderful coaches!
I’ve had the privilege to work with some amazing runners in the past. I feel very fortunate and I can say with certainty that I’ve learned a lot from them and they’ve learned a lot from me. It’s been an amazing experience.
Spring training season is just around the corner. If you’re planning on a spring race and are interested in utilizing a coach to achieve your goals, I would love the opportunity to talk to you. Click here to contact me!
TALK TO ME!
Have you ever worked with a running coach?
What did you love about it? What could have been better?