Running in its simplest form is quite easy - you put one foot in front of the other, right? "Why would you need a coach for such an easy sport", says my young son. Many runners are content with finishing a 5k or other race distance without much emphasis on time or where they place among the finishers. I applaud those runners who run for the sake of finishing. For this group, there is not much of a need for a coach, until problems arise from injuries, overtraining, etc. Developing a relationship with coach or a trusted advisor is crucial for the long term, healthy development of the runner. There is another group of runners who do want to beat their neighbor in a race, qualify for the Boston marathon, or run a sub 20:00 5k. Both groups have different goals; however, each would benefit from coaching.
Recent statistics indicate that in 2013, over 16 million runners crossed a finish line of some sort (marathon, 5k, Color Run, etc). As the popularity of running grows, so, too, does the stream of resources available online that help people get started and get better. From online training schedules, running apps, and assorted other tips and tricks, it’s perhaps never been easier or, more overwhelming to get started with running or take your training to the next level. How much do you run? How fast do you run? What if your knee is aching - should you run? How many miles should you run? These are all questions that a beginning runners may ask. As a new runner, even Coach Mike made the typical newbie mistakes. I ran too fast, too often. I ran through minor aches, making them full blown injuries. I tapered too little for marathons, then tapered too much. I ran too many miles in the same pair of shoes. The task of putting together your own training plan may seem daunting, but under the guidance of a qualified coach, it does not have to be. "Experience is the best teacher of all."
A coach can help in the following areas:
- Defining and setting goals
- Developing a training schedule
- Educating you on training aspects, nutrition, injury prevention
- Keeping you accountable
- Motivating you
- Objectively providing feedback from workouts or races
- Guiding you throughout the process
Consider that almost all elite athletes (ones that run for a living) have coaches. For all of the reasons listed above, they have a coach. While an elite runner has knowledge and experience, only a coach can objectively monitor the runner from afar and make changes to their training. As individuals, we sometimes cannot see that poor performances are not based on lack of training, but rather too much training and at the wrong times, in the wrong doses. The self-coached runner continues to push harder and harder in training, only to have repeated failures or setbacks. A coach can help you "pull back the reins" and get back on schedule. By definition, a coach is a skilled person who trains someone learning or improving a skill, especially one related to performing. Allow us the opportunity to coach you and help you reach your goals.