Jun 15, 2015

I Hired a Running Coach

I haven't done a race recap on Mountains 2 Beach Marathon because it was such a bad experience that I am trying to forget about it for now. I know that finishing a marathon is a huge accomplishment but I just feel like I threw away what could have been a good race for all of the wrong reasons.

Those last six miles of my last marathon included a lot of walking and a lot of thinking too. Most of those thoughts were not very positive. I was in a lot of pain and I allowed myself to fall apart mentally on a very high level. I gave up and that should not have happened. I should have been able to hold it together better than I did. After running six marathons, I should have handled it differently. I walked away from that marathon feeling pretty defeated. I don't think I have ever felt that low after a marathon and that changed me. Pain changes you.

I questioned myself on so many levels and decided that I really needed to get myself together and start working towards a goal and running smarter. My biggest goals by far are to qualify for the Boston Marathon and stay injury free so I can eventually get there in one piece. I don't think I have ever trained at a level that was going to get me there. I have been enjoying running and in the back of my mind I always wondered if the thrill of running goes away once you get that BQ. 

I decided that it was time to start preparing myself and working towards my goals. I have worked with a running coach in the past and I have always been my own coach. I write my own training plans by piecing together different parts of cookie cutter plans. They have worked for me and I make them fit into my busy little schedule but I just knew that something was missing. I also told myself that when I made the decision to get serious I would consider hiring a running coach. I wasn't looking for a coach to babysit me because it is my job to keep myself accountable to my goals. I hired a coach because I wanted someone to: help me improve my running performance, evaluate my running history and design a proper training plan that minimizes my risk of injury and for the support, advice and motivation needed to help me achieve my goals.  

I shopped around and asked all of the relevant questions that a runner should ask when hiring a running coach and finally found one that I feel comfortable with. My coach is out of state so our interaction will be via email, phone and Training Peaks where all of my training is uploaded and reported. My coach has given me my training paces, goal race times and my first two weeks of workouts which start today. We will be doing a lot of things differently so I am excited and nervous all at the same time. Coach knows all about the hip issues I have been dealing with and we are going to work on building me up through strength training which I haven't taken too seriously.
With these changes and challenges ahead, I am hoping to get back to blogging and sharing more information and updates on how my training is going.


Do you have a running coach or have you ever worked with one?

What have you found to be the most beneficial part of hiring a coach?

Please share your experiences both negative and positive.

7 comments:

  1. I feel your pain about the M2B marathon (you might recall how I bonked so bad there in 2013 and the last 6-8 miles were so difficult for me). Awesome though that you turned it into the positive step of hiring a coach! Do you have a goal race in mind?

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    1. I am looking for a November-December marathon but I will see where I am at in a couple of months. I have to get used to all of the changes but I am excited and looking forward to trying new things and getting serious about qualifying for Boston.

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  2. I'm very interested to see how this coaching process goes for you. I think it's always a good thing to try something new when what you've been doing is not getting you the results you want.

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    1. I an really bad about cross training and I think that I really need to combine that with my running on a regular basis to get stronger. My legs are so tired after my first week and I didn't even run a whole lot of miles. Glad to see you getting back out there!

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  3. Trying something new will help you to come back as confident as before. I am sure it will work. All the best.
    I had a coach only when I was member of the Navy Running Team, I became faster but the training was very tough.

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    1. I am hoping that I will see some improvement in my race time and become stronger overall. I have to get used to all of the different things that my coach has me doing but so far I am really enjoying it!

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  4. I'm so excited to hear about your progress in working with a coach! It's something I've kind of debated on, but IERC has definitely filled that void for now. But definitely eager to hear your progress and thoughts about it all! :) I'm so excited for you!

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