There seems to be some confusion among some of my followers and readers. I have been asked a frequent question recently; “Why do you need a coach if you are a coach?” The answer is very simple, if you take your running seriously and want to unlock your full potential you need a coach. And that is the very same reason I need a coach. See while I am a running coach, I also fancy myself a runner. And as a runner who takes myself seriously I need a coach! Still not convinced, here are a couple more reasons.
Like having a running partner, having a coach holds you accountable to someone. You are more likely to get up and get out the door if you know that someone is watching out for you. If you hire a coach you are paying for a service. It is highly unlikely that you will waste their time and your money by skipping workouts. Even the most dedicated athlete needs a structured plan and a knowledgeable coach to keep them giving the right amount of effort on the prescribed days to keep them on the right path.
Okay, so you do not need a coach because you downloaded a training plan. Well no disrespect to all of the wonderful training plans on the internet, but they weren’t written specifically for you. They didn’t take into account your schedule, your life, or the weather in your area. All these variables, when not taken into account, can cause inconsistency in training. You could end up skipping a rest day or running substance workouts back to back and all this could lead to tired legs or worse, injury. Having a real life coach to bounce ideas off of and discuss variables of everyday life is an immeasurable benefit when attempting to take that next step as an athlete.
Voice of Reason
The most important thing about having a coach for any athlete is an honest voice of reason. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a coach tell me a goal was too lofty or I am shooting to low. A coach can tell you if the effort of a workout was sub-par or you went too fast. Overtime a coach can learn your limits and push you right to them. A coach can learn your patterns and tell when you are worn out and need a rest day. These are all things you can only get from a real life coach.
How to pick one
We have established now that if an athlete intends to reach their full potential they need a coach. Now the question arises, how. I was lucky enough to have the same man coach me for years after college. But recently I too was in need of a new coach. I researched and read until I found one that seemed to have a similar philosophy as I do but not the same. You want a coach that will challenge you, but you also want to have a unified vision. I do understand that cost is a factor for most runners, as it is for me. Many coaches, including myself, offer a full virtual coaching experience. I have found that the majority of these options are relatively affordable. If you need a more hands on service, then you will need to look for a local coach that can work sessions with you and that can get a touch pricey. It is important that you find a coach that will challenge and encourage you.
I have had a coach for as long as I have been an athlete. It makes no sense to me now to stop. In the ever changing landscape of running and fitness it is important to be guided by someone you trust. A knowledgeable and dedicated coach is important to an athlete looking to take the next step in their fitness. It is also important to us as athletes to be open-minded, dedicated, and accountable. A coach/athlete relationship is a two-way street and takes a commitment to a common goal. Simply hiring a coach won’t make you a better runner, but committing to a plan designed specifically for you by a knowledgeable coach will most certainly get you going in the right direction. So why do I have a coach? Because I am a runner with room to improve, just like you.