As I mentioned in my last post, I recently started working with a running coach to guide my Boston Marathon training. I have been asked by more than one person why I would choose to do this when I am already a group fitness and running coach myself. Although I am an experienced runner, two things come to mind that only another coach can provide: accountability and objectivity.
Accountability. Let's say I have a speed session in the morning. (Confession: they are not my favorite! Give me a tempo or long run any day, but a true speed work out? No thanks.) I coached classes in the evening, got home late and went to bed even later. I know I have to take my daughter to her early morning practice, so I will have to get up even earlier to fit in this speedy run. Excuses, excuses. Without any accountability, I might give myself a pass to not hit the paces I need to gain fitness due to aforementioned excuses. However, I know my coach is waiting for me to report back on my splits and how I felt. Accountability!
Objectivity. Having an unbiased, level headed person in charge of my training has two benefits: they give me a nudge when it's clear I can work a little harder, and they can help me rein it in when I'm running too fast for my fitness level. A knowledgeable coach can help you walk that fine line between gaining fitness and getting injured.
I truly believe any runner with a goal, whether it be a time on a finish clock, or simply to embrace a healthier lifestyle, can benefit from working with a coach. And while I would love to help you achieve your running goal, not every coach is right for every runner. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions - you are investing your time and your money in your coach. Runners World magazine details one runner's experience with a coach here: http://www.runnersworld.com/marathon-training/why-you-need-a-running-coach. Happy reading and running!