Why do I need to work with a running coach?
That’s a great question!
Truth is, you don’t necessarily need to work with a running coach. I cannot deny that there are plenty of free training plans out there. Also, if you are not new to running and just looking to go farther/faster, you certainly already know quite a bit about the sport.
However, whether you are starting to run for the first time, or you are looking to do your 1,000th race, it is better not do it alone. Working with a coach offers a number of benefits, both mental and physical. Here is why:
A training plan built for YOU
Google “16-week marathon training plan” and you will find plenty of results. However, these plans are built for a “generic runner.” You are not a generic runner. You are YOU and there’s only one YOU on the planet. Diverse bodies, job schedules, and interests means that not everyone thrives under the same type of training. Let’s take a look here at the differences between a generic training plan vs. an individualized plan.
|Generic Plan||Individualized Plan|
|All of the workouts for the entire training cycle are given to you at once||Workouts are given to you in 1-2 week increments to see how you are responding. This prevents injury and burnout.|
|Little to no flexibility. If workouts are missed, you are left scrambling and wondering what to do. Oftentimes people will just pick up where they left off or do extra to compensate and this leads to injury and overtraining.||In a 12-20 weeks, a lot can happen! A coach can adjust your plan to get you back safely after a lay-off, or to keep you training through certain restrictions. A coach will enable you to maintain fitness even if you are unable to run.|
|Tells you what days you have to run particular workouts. Makes it really hard if you need to switch things around.||Can put your workouts where they fit best for you while ensuring that you are still getting the proper amount of recovery.|
|Does not take into account your preferences, such as cross-training activities you enjoy, or events you might want to do.||Want to run a 5k with friends in the middle of your training? Do you love cycling and don’t want to stop? A coach can help you fit those into your plan in ways that will not hinder and can actually help your overall running performance.|
|Does not know or care about your short-term or long-term goals.||A coach can assess how your training plan is going and help you set goals that are realistic and safe, and help you adjust your goals if circumstances change.|
|Ends and begins in a set time frame, no room for adding or subtracting.||Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, race dates are very uncertain. A coach can adjust your training plan if you need to switch to an earlier or later race.|
Saves YOU Stress
If you have been running for a while, you may wonder if you need a coach. After all, you are probably super knowledgeable about running, you might even be a coach yourself. But even coaches have coaches. Why? There is a lot going on our lives. It can be hard enough finding time to complete your runs or walks, let alone figure out what you should do each day. Choosing what to do requires more thought than a lot of people realize since one needs to have a proper balance of hard days/easy days and do enough workouts that specifically target their goal distance/pace all without doing too much too soon. Hire a coach and LET THEM DO THE WORK FOR YOU! This gives you more time to focus on your job, your family, and your other hobbies outside of training.
Someone to talk to about ALL OF IT
Let’s face it, you cannot stop an office meeting on Monday to talk about how you bonked on your long run over the weekend. Your friends might not understand why it is such a big deal that you “hit your paces” on your afternoon workout. Your coach, however, loves this stuff and wants to HEAR IT ALL. Even better- your coach CAN ACTUALLY HELP! Your coach will do a happy dance with you when you cross a new milestone. On the flip side, when things are not going well, a coach can talk you through it!
Running is MORE THAN RUNNING
Just grab a pair of shoes and run! If only it were that easy! There is so much more to it than that: wearing proper shoes for your body type, eating enough to fuel your workouts without upsetting your stomach, sleeping, dealing with aches and pains (and determining whether they are injuries or just normal soreness), warming-up and cooling-down properly, strength training to prevent injury, and dealing with mental blocks. Lack of attention to all of these variables can cause injury and burnout. Coaches can help with all of this!
So, what are you waiting for? 🙂