If you have read my blog for any amount of time you have probably noticed that I am constantly looking to grow and better myself. And that right there is the exact reason I love working with a running coach.
I started working with a running coach in early 2014 when I decided to run my first half marathon. I had found so many training plans online that I was very overwhelmed with which one I should follow.
Over time I have found that working with a coach is what works best for me for several reasons.
- I have someone who knows what they are doing (though I am getting so much better at that), someone who can answer my questions and address my concerns, and someone to keep me accountable (there are days I really don’t want to run but know my coach will see that I didn’t). Before hiring a coach, my only concern was finishing each run as fast as I could. Now I have someone to tell me when to push it, when to hold back, when to rest, etc. I also like that she helps with race plans and goals.
- I have a customized running plan for me and my needs. As I mentioned I was overwhelmed by all the plans I found online, now I don’t worry about that because I have a plan tailored to me and exactly where I am at. I love that my coach makes adjustments when I have an injury or we see progress and we can take my running up a notch. I get to focus on my running while she focuses on tell me how fast, when, and how far I needed to go!
- The motivation and support! This is probably the biggest one for me. My coach is amazing at this piece of the running puzzle. I always want to push myself and get better but it is so encouraging when you know someone else is watching that progress and cheering you on!
- Seeing the improvement in my running! Within a few weeks of hiring my coach, she had completely changed my approach to running. She saw that my heart rate was running way to high which is why I was tiring so quickly and not getting any faster. She started my on heart rate training and within a month we could already see a different. Now four months later I am running full races (I used to have to take walking breaks) and seeing that I have the ability to get faster!
So how do you start working with a running coach? Ask fellow runners for suggestion/referrals, check with the local running stores or run clubs, or use an online search.
In my book, finding a coach is like finding a significant other! You need to get out there and “date” a few to find the right one! You want someone who works well with your personality type and motivates you. I first met Beth, my running coach, when she stepped in to coach a running group for a 5k I was running. She was so motivating and supportive I knew when it was time to hire a personal coach she would be the one for me. Since I starting working with her, she has FAR EXCEEDED my expectations! She has been so motivating and supportive! I love that I can reach out to her when I have a great day but also when I have a bad day. And she always has the right thing to say in each situation!
If you have been thinking about getting a coach I strongly suggest finding one and trying them out!
Have you ever worked with a running coach? What was your experience?