I haven’t had my coach for very long but I’ve had some serious success with her help so today I wanted to share why I finally decided to hire a running coach and what I enjoy about it. What better way to do that then thinking out loud style. Thanks to Amanda for hosting, you can read all about it here.
Before the lovely list, the reason I wanted to post about this today is because with only 3 full months of coaching I’ve knocked 30 minutes off of my half marathon time. 30 freaking minutes! I know right, crazy! Ok here we go.
- I have had about the same pace for a long time. I felt like I should be getting faster but my efforts just weren’t getting me there. I took advice from friends, but its just not the same as having a certified running coach who’s job is to train athletes.
- I was sick and tired of running a half marathon in close to 3 hours. I know I have it in me to go faster dang it!
- I was getting injured and wasn’t sure how to deal with it or train through it. I went to my doctor for physical therapy exercises and even went to physical therapy a few times (for my shoulder) and got a gait analysis. All this was great, but I still had issues and was getting more and more frustrated.
- Finally my doctor said she did a great first half marathon with the help of her coach. I researched her coaching team and it wasn’t right for me but that did spur me to find a coaching group that fit me and my needs. If my doctor who hates running can run her first half way faster than me, something had to change. Yes that is totally a vanity thing, but seriously, I’m relatively athletic, how can I not be going faster!
5. That brings me to my coach! I met with her before actually signing on the dotted line and she is great. She has completed the IronMan, ran marathons and has dealt with injuries. I knew she would understand me and what I wanted to accomplish. Its important to stress that not all coaches will fit you. I read quite a few coaching group’s mission statements, bio’s and goals for athletes. It took about a month but I found the perfect fit in Finish Strong Coaching (if you are in the Woodlands area they are fantastic).
6. With Finish Strong there are 2 coaching options, group or one-on-one. Since the races I am getting ready for are not in the standard list and to be honest I wanted a more personalized touch I decided to go one-on-one. Now, its not cheap, not by any means and my husband was pretty skeptical at fist but…30 minutes yall. I text her throughout the week, let her know if I’m having muscle issues, need to rearrange a workout because of my travel schedule and of course how each workout went (through the TrainingPeaks app they use).
7. Once I got into training with my coach the workouts were much different than what I had done before. Challenging and kept me on my toes, literally and figuratively. She helped me add new stretches to my routine to focus on big muscle groups. The group itself has a weekly track workout (I’ve only been able to go once), seminars on different aspects of athletics, and Sunday long runs. So much more really but those are the highlights.
8. The workouts themselves didn’t seem like they were pushing me towards my sub 2 hour half time but then I raced a 5k and had my best time in memory. That got me super excited for my half…maybe I could reach my goal, or at least get pretty dang close.
9. Goal half marathon day (Gasparilla) was upon us, my coach was texting me and emailing me tips, goals and words of encouragement. It was really helpful and honestly made me push more than I might have otherwise. Its strange, having someone basically scrutinize your workouts (not in a negative way but to decide what to do to continue progress), it makes me at least want to work harder.
10. I finished Gasparilla 30 minutes faster than Avengers in November and 20 minutes faster than the New Years Double in January. Truthfully I was still disappointed but again my coach had some positive words to say and she was very happy with my time. In 3 short months I have made big improvements in my running and it makes me excited for my September race.
11. All of that though—inside I’m frustrated with myself. To take that much time off in such a short span just tells me that I had it in my all along I just wasn’t pushing myself. Knowing that, it sucks, but sometimes we need others to push us past what we are comfortable with. My coach does that for me, not in an aggressive way, but puts the workouts up and really its up to me to do them or not. It brings the competitive side out of me, “I have to get this workout at or faster than what she says!”
12. While its only been 3 months, I know I will continue with my coach until at least September. I’m running more than I have with my own plans in the past, I’m feeling stronger and faster and I enjoy not having to worry about creating the workouts. Its silly but its nice to not have to think about those things. Now I know coaching is not for everyone and, come on I have been running half marathon distances for 5 years and I just got a coach. I will say its made a world of difference for me and if your in the same boat I was, maybe you should consider hiring a coach as well. Its an investment in yourself that you wont regret 🙂
CHIME IN!!! Do you have a running coach? Are you better at self motivating than I am? What’s on your mind today?