Since my freshman year of college, I have had 4 different coaches. Throughout my 5 years of undergrad, I had 3 different coaches–I brought some of the inconsistency on myself since I transferred schools after my sophomore year. Following graduation, I went on a 9 month hiatus without a coach and then I found a coach who matched my personality perfect. I had the knowledge on how to setup a training plan for myself–I was coaching at the DI collegiate level but as soon as I got back to competitive racing, the “crazy switch” went off again and it was hard to think rationally with my own training.
I recently realized that I have been working with Tony for 2 YEARS!!! That is the longest amount of time I have worked with the same coach and training philosophy since I was 17 years old. He has dealt with my breakdowns, celebrated with my successes and showed me that I am capable of achieving great things. Having him guide my training has improved my fitness immensely and throughout the 2 years, I have dropped my marathon PR from 2:47.21 (ran an extra mile…oops) to 2:36.26! I think there are days when Tony has bigger goals for me than I do for myself which I appreciate–he believes in me and that’s when you know that you have a great coach.
There are 3 key things that having a coach has helped me with over the past two years and I couldn’t be more grateful!
- It’s easy to talk yourself into anything.
It was too easy for me to justify training decisions in my mind and I was making mistakes in my own training. There were weeks when I would run 90% of my mileage Sunday-Thursday so I would barely run on Friday/Saturday–this is not smart but I justified it in my head. I would ask myself “Is this something I would allow my own athletes to do?” and normally the answer was “NO” but I would do it anyways. The rational side of my brain knew what I should be doing but the irrational side of my brain always wanted to be training harder and running further rather than training smarter.
- Getting a different perspective.
Yes, I had 3 coaches throughout college, worked full-time for a fourth coach and I was developing my own training philosophies but having another outside perspective on training is vital. It is also easy for me (and I’m sure that others are the same) to get caught up in numbers (ie, mileage, paces, PRs, etc) so having someone help dictate the paces on workouts and easy runs was key to smarter training.
Not every day is easy and some days I lack the motivation to get my butt out the door. Knowing that I have to text or email my coach after a workout is motivating and serves as a line of accountability in my training. My coach lives over 2,000 miles away but he knows exactly what I am capable of achieving and most days I end up surprising myself because of him!
Thinking about hiring a running coach? Everyone can benefit from a coach–whether you are just starting to run or have big goals and PRs to chase! Check out my coaching services page to learn more about my online coaching options!!