Running Coach – Why do you need one?
By Ryan Light, Running/Anxiety Coach
I was 38 when I decided to run my first mile. Even then I knew I was doing something wrong. As my mileage increased and I signed up for my first marathon, and I knew I needed some help. But as a lot of us runners think I thought that trainers/coaches are only for the elite class of runners, not a novice like me. As I was going through my training, not having a clue to what I was doing, I injured myself, which eventually knocked me out of running my first marathon. My injury stopped me from running for the next 6 months. I was bummed as I fell in love with the sport, and wanted so bad to run my first marathon. It was only after this injury I decided to find someone that could coach me, not only in various distances, but nutrition, and most importantly my form. Finding the right trainer/coach made a huge difference for me, and I was able to run my first marathon, improve my overall form, and learned valuable nutrition tips that I still use 6 years later. Having become a trainer/coach myself I know the apprehension of asking someone to coach them. However, I also found that having a trainer/coach to help guide you through the running process is invaluable and is a must!
What are the benefits of a good Running Coach?
The training is useless if it’s not compatible or doesn’t fit the runner. Oh sure there are tons of “cookie-cutter” plans out there that can you follow. However, I found that the runner has to be clear about what he or she wants. They need to be clear on whether they are running for fitness only or for a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon. As a trainer/coach it’s our responsibility to schedule a plan that fits the individual needs. Taking into consideration their overall health and fitness, the status of the runner which includes history of any injuries, and how much experience you have running. Due to this I myself recommend not following a “cookie-cutter” plan as there are a lot of factors that go into training, not sure miles.
2-Coaches are motivators
Like all runners during our training we hit walls, many walls! There are going to be times during your training cycle where you might lose hope. It was like that for me and having an experienced, energetic coach helped me overcome these times. My coach never let me down, or should I say never left me stay down. As part of a good trainer/coach their job is to boost your spirits when they are down, and to assign different tasks at different time periods and make you realize that you can achieve your goals.
3-Coaches are cheerleaders
A great trainer/coach is not only good at the specifics of running they are masters at being a cheerleader. They know how to keep your head in the game, and keep you focused on your goals.
4-Coaches have tips for different situations
Trainers/coaches have a lot of knowledge to attain as they become trainers/coaches themselves. Having hopefully dealt with a number of situations their experience can help guide you as they provide tips to deal with varying conditions. Trainers/coaches know how to keep fit by running and free from injuries. As mentioned you can find a lot of coaches online that can deliver tips to boost your stamina and to run hard. But it may possible that these tips don’t fit your health or your body style. Moreover, the personal hired trainer/coach can minimize injury rate as they can recommend adjustments in running form. That was my major improvement as I had some serious form issues that resulted in my injury.
5-Dieting plan’s benefits
Dieting is a key factor for runner’s, as eating properly is necessary as your body learns to run longer distances. A good coach knows which food is right and which food is wrong. They also know what foods the person should be eating and when.
Finding right coach?
It’s clear that a trainer/coach is necessary for a runner. The question is which one is the right choice for you? Some things you’ll want to look for:
- How long has he or she been running?
- Have they coached before?
- What distances to you coach?
- Do you coach on the phone, in person, or via email?
- How many times a month do we talk and for how long?
If you are looking for coaching services please feel free to reach out to me.
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