When it’s Time to Part Ways with Your Coach

Now that my training is over for the biggest race of my life its time to reflect on the coaching that got me to that point.


I recently made the decision to part ways with my running coach, but for very specific reasons.  I feel like these reasons are very valid in why you should no longer work with a coach.  Let me say that I do value the services of a coach and know it has made a positive impact in my running.  That being said I don’t feel my current coach is a good fit me for anymore.  I definitely don’t want this to be a trash talk session so I’m going to highlight the key reasons I came to my decision.   Can we just take a moment to appreciate the 10+ years younger me running my first official 5k.  Little baby Rachael 😀


  • Your coach no longer gives you the level of attention you need.  I’m not saying I need a text everyday saying “good job” but if I leave a comment in my training log that is visible to my coach that warrants a response, a response would be nice.  If questions to your coach like stretching techniques, pace requirements, or general running concerns are being ignored this is a problem.
  • Your coach doesn’t remember key race dates.  My coach forgot about 3 of my races most important of which was my marathon.  This might be partly my fault because I didn’t put the dates in the app we use, but I did let her know and we did have conversations about each race.  If my training is being based around races this is a big issue.
  • Your coach doesn’t/wont adapt your training to fit your life needs.  I’ve told my coach many times I cant run on Mondays because of my travel schedule for work.  I’ve told her I cant run longer than 50 minutes during the week because of my daily time constraints in the morning, she ignores both of these requests.  This is an issue.
  • You coach doesn’t coach.  When paces are missed, distances not met or I’m struggling with a workout I expect my coach to offer suggestions or advise or SOMETHING to help me through.  What I don’t expect is to be ignored when I bring up that a workout is difficult or I’m struggling.  This is not ok.
  • Your coach doesn’t provide pre-race support.  I mentioned this in my marathon post but I didn’t hear from my coach at all in the month leading up to and including race day.  This is the 3rd time she’s done this and really to me is unacceptable.  I have, on multiple occasions reached out to solicit information (pace, strategy) but in my opinion the paid professional should be reaching out with this information not the other way around.


There are other minor things that was annoying but the points listed to me are all major problems that led to the decision that my coach and I are no longer a fit.  There has been no progress since my half marathon in February, in fact my times have gotten worse.  As much money as I pay for a service this should not be the case.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t expect a PR every run but for times to regress consistently proves problematic.


I will go back to coaching but this time I know more about the process and I know more of the questions to ask and what I need from a coach.  While I don’t regret my decision to hire my past coach, I cant help but be frustrated.  Next time I want a coach who’s focus is on running.  My old coach focused mainly on tri-athletes and maybe she thought “just running” was boring or too easy so she let it slide.  Either way, its just no longer right for me.


I don’t want to leave on a negative note so…if you know of a great running coach that is positive/encouraging and knows running let me know!  Also it would be great if said coach wasn’t so expensive I have to sell a kidney 🙂  I also want to reiterate that I do believe in a professional helping you reach your running goals.  I don’t have the patience to figure things out like pace, VDOT and all that crazy tech talk.  You know the saying, if you don’t want to do it yourself be prepared to pay someone to do it for you 🙂


CHIME IN!!!  Do you have a running coach?  Have you had to part ways with a paid professional?  What are your thoughts on running coaches?


3 thoughts on “When it’s Time to Part Ways with Your Coach

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