Running is an activity that takes time and a whole lot of effort. Although it is possible to do just by yourself, at times running can get strenuous, especially if you are injury prone or trying to reach a certain goal. It is more than common to lose motivation, a decline in performance or even just plateau and not get any better. So how do you get past all this, move forward in your running progress and get started towards your goals? Sometimes it is okay to ask for help, and from a trained professional no less. A good personal running coach is all you need to get out of that rut.
Whether you are training for a half marathon, improving your pace, beating a personal record, or your first 5k, no matter what your goal is you can still benefit from a good running coach. They will help push you harder and make you feel more motivated by creating a personalized running training program that you need to strictly stick to.
A good running coach will help you improve on one or more aspects of your running performance like running economy, pace, speed, lactate threshold and more. You should get the most out of the workouts they plan for you and feel encouraged to break new ground. So let him or her guide you to a better running future by hiring a qualified running coach today.
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What Should You Look For in a Running Coach
With the decision to get help from a professional source comes the task of finding a suitable personal running trainer that meets your needs. Here is a list of attributes that you should look for in a good running coach. They might not all be fitting for you but keep the ones you like in mind when searching for the right coach.
This is not an attribute that everyone needs to value in another person, especially someone who is going to be responsible for your health and performance. However, at the end of the day, if they get the job done then why not find a coach who tries to lighten up the mood? When you are in pain or exhausted from a long run, having a trainer who makes the mundane a little more interesting can really improve the way you workout. Games and activities are always great ways to disguise training sessions and you might enjoy them more in the process.
It is true that a good running coach will probably have the right qualifications for training you. However certifications are not what makes a coach good, there are other aspects to them. Not all of the best coaches need to have the certifications done, what is most important is that they know how to train you and are up for the challenge. A good way to know whether a coach is good for you or not is by researching into who they have coached, what methods they use and how long they have been training runners for.
A good coach may recommend many workouts and plans but you need to be clear with your coach about what it is you want to work towards. Tell them upfront that you want to improve your marathon time by a certain number of minutes, or strength train to endure longer runs. Most of the goals that you set for yourself will require a lot of effort on your part as well as from your coach. You need a coach who will dedicate their time to helping you improve and reassure you that you will.
Strict Enough To Follow
You can have a fun loving coach who makes your training more bearable and interesting but that does not guarantee that you will always be willing to listen to them every time you have to get back up after an exhausting run. You will not get anywhere with a pushover of a coach that lets you skips days and take too many breaks. The perfect mix between the two extremes is a coach who will come up with innovative training plans and intimidate you just enough to get you to comply with his or her sessions. You need to find a coach you look up to and respect in order to push yourself that extra bit.
Easy to Communicate
You should find a coach who is very open to talk about any problems or queries you might have related to running. There must not be any hesitation on your part to approach your coach especially if the query is important to your progress or health. He or she should preferably be comfortable about contact after the session is over in case there are any doubts remaining or days off. An open to talk coach can really foster your relationship with them, leaving you more comfortable with the training as a whole.
You might be going at a great pace with your training sessions and improving both motivationally and strategically towards your goal. However well you are doing under the supervision of your coach, you can’t always help getting injuries every now and then. Make sure that your coach also emphasizes the need to work on your running form and train to strengthen your weaker joints. If your coach does not focus on preventing injuries then you will not be able to improve and move forward towards your running goals.
Coaching is the universal language of change and learning!
How to Find the Right Running Coach
The best running coaches can be hard to find, that means you will have to look up and ask around for more potential trainers. To make the search easier, here are some tips on finding a coach and getting reviews on their methods.
The easiest way to find your future running coach is to talk to people who have had a good running trainer or know someone who does. Try getting references from your friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, anyone who might be able to help really. Your running community may have many suggestions too. Do not limit your search to inquiring only in person, putting up facebook statuses or tweets could really reap some great results, you will be surprised.
The best part about inquiring by word of mouth is that you can get their opinions on the coach’s training style, prices, and more. A lot of people prefer this method to looking online for coaches or reviews. Getting first-hand information from a runner who has gone through training with your prospective coach can really help you make a call. If you are planning for the upcoming marathon in NYC, then you can look online for the top running coach in NYC and get trained for the marathon. Try to get more than one opinion on a coach in case the informant is biased or does not have similar goals to your own.
2. Do Your Own Research
In case you do not get any good referrals from your friends or running community, there is always taking matters into your own hands. Try researching online for the perfect running coach.
A lot of good coaches have their own Facebook pages or even websites to get you the information you need like sessions, experience, pricing, contacts, location, method and more. If you can’t narrow down your search to someone nearby, then there are always online running coach that training from far out locations. Although they can not offer the same in person support, they could be very helpful in customising your training plans.
Another interesting way to find yourself a coach is to visit any running store in your area. At running stores, you can find staffs who have become a running coach or the store even offer group runs, and could help you find a coach. Checking out your local school or college in the area can be a great way of finding legitimate running coaches that take sessions after school hours. Be careful about the reviews you read as they may be biased and not always as helpful. Use this resource to expand your search and you will end up with many more potential.
How to Decide on Choosing the Right Running Coach
When you do succeed in finding a running coach who is suitable to your needs, make sure that they have some experience to make up for lack of certification. A bad running coach can actually set you back a couple of steps in your effort to achieve the desired goals.
If they are a certified running coach such as RRCA certified running coach, then ask them why they chose that particular certification as there are several types that a running coach could apply for. No one with standard certification holds for running training, so figure out what it is they specialize in and what style of training they are comfortable with.
Think about how much you need a running coach in the first place and whether you are willing to pay their quoted price per session or month. The experienced or certified coaches will typically be more expensive but probably more beneficial to your goals. Remember though that there are no fixed prices for a running coach. It is service based and they are setting the prices as they feel is appropriate. If you think a prospective coach is charging too much you can always find another with lower fees. With these factors in mind, you should be able to narrow down your options.
Meeting Your Coach
Now that you have decided to pick a suitable running coach, it is important to meet them in person before sealing the deal officially. This is just an informal way of getting to know them, their philosophy around training, style, and method of practice. Also, figure out what it is they want from you in return as a trainee. Decide on a number of times per week, timings, and hours, if they are comfortable with communicating after sessions and other queries you may have.
Since you will be working with this individual for a considerable period of time, it is important to figure out whether you inherently like them as a person. The relationship between coach and athlete requires mutual cooperation and respect. Come to a consensus on how you both will carry out the effort towards your desired goal. Learn the approach the coach will take, whether tough criticisms or praise will work out better for you. Remember that it is okay to move on to another coach that you had in mind in case the meeting shows you how different your coach from your plan.
Remember that running coaches are not only for professional athletes anymore. Anyone with a specific running goal in mind can get themselves a running coach to aid their efforts. Make sure you ask around and do research for coaches according to all your requirements. Do not settle for anyone that does not fulfill the goals that you had in mind. We hope you do find the perfect running coach and improve your form in time for the next marathon!
Let us know how your search went and recommend coaches to other aspiring runners in the comments section below. It would never hurt to help each other out!