So I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working with a running coach lately. To be completely honest, I never thought I’d get a coach but I’m darn happy I did! Here’s my pre getting a coach thoughts vs. post getting a running coach:
Pre: “I’m not a proper runner, why would I need a coach?”
No matter who you are or where you are I’m sure you have at least one goal (or so you should) – to be healthy and happy. I happened to fall in love with running inspired by my dad, and had a pretty good time getting out there doing my runs more and more frequently. I quickly noticed changes for the better both in my mental and physical health, I felt leaner, stronger, faster and happier. And then injury happened.. While I was missing running and going completely insane without my dear running during those months without running, as I slowly started running again something had happened. I was afraid of running, afraid of pushing too hard/too little, out of shape and wanted so badly to just get back for real. At this time Mark contacted me and we started working together. He set up a training plan for me and with that plus his support I found my way back to running unafraid, to pushing without pushing too hard. Just push enough. It turns out was a GREAT decision to work with a coach!
Pre: “I’m in such bad shape it would be embarrassing to have a coach check in on me and look at my running statistics.”
Well, it is really easy to start comparing yourself to others, I’m sure I’m not the only one doing it more or less. But when it comes down to it, running is so relative to each and every one of us and with that realization I started to feel comfortable sharing my splits, distances and thoughts with my coach. He (and pretty much everybody else out there in the running community) is there to help me, not laugh at me behind my back or demand undoable things of me. He sees my performance and give me tools to move forward from where I am at right now.
Pre: “I’ll just google some training plans and workout suggestions instead.”
This works. I know it because I’ve seen it happen. And that’s great! But I find a training plan pulled from internet less motivating and I actually started on one of those before my injury happened, but I just didn’t really like it. Sure, it might have been a too easy and “plain” training plan, but my biggest thing was that I just felt so.. Trapped. The training plan I have now courtesy of Mark is varying from week to week, not just with mileage but also different strides, hill repeats/sprints etc – the things that weren’t mentioned in that training plan I took from google (it might have been a given, just that I didn’t know better?).
Since I got back from my injury in March I’ve gone from being able to only run 2mi at the most without stopping, and that with an average pace of 11-something minutes per mile, to being able to run 5mi with an average pace of 10:10 last Saturday. I know that this might sound slow (I think so myself, because I KNOW I can do better. I have done way better), but this is where I’m at right now, while working my way back to that shape I was in in December/January. My passion for running is stronger than ever (this means it’s ridiculously strong by now) and I’ve found extreme satisfaction in doing the hill repeats on the training plan and so on. I get excited looking at my training plan and I get all itchy knowing that I get to run, almost every day.
I think that most people could become runners. And actually not just runners, but good runners from what they have to work with. A beginner could have huge success getting into shape, losing weight, finding motivation and staying motivated while being supported by a coach instead of struggling to do it all on their own – overdoing it, losing motivation, giving up because it feels too hard (or easy), having a hard time finding the right guidelines when it comes to distance, speed, nutrition and all other things that comes with trying to be healthier and happier. I was lucky enough to fall in love with running right away, but that might not be the case for everyone out there. I know though, that if the desire to change is somewhat present, some help on the way could take you longways.
I’m very thankful for the possibility to have a coach helping me develop as a runner. To become not just faster and stronger as a runner and a person, but to feel more confident in what I’m doing and stay motivated AND have support on the way there! Perfect!
If you are thinking that a coach might be something for you, or if you just want to know more about what a coach could do for you, I’d like to inform you that Mark is giving you the opportunity to try his coaching service free of charge by scheduling a free consultation. Head on over to Teach To Run and sign up for a consultation (by phone, email, Skype – whatever suits you) with Mark, where you talk about ways to get you where you want to go! He’s a great, supportive and very motivating person and he knows what he is doing when it comes to running! He can definitely help you get going towards your goals, whatever they might be (getting started with running, weight loss, diet, PR’s, new race distances etc).
Q: Have you ever worked with a running coach? Or have you thought of working with a coach? If not, I say go for it! It takes running to a whole different level (at least it does for me)..