I’ve been telling friends and family since February about my business plans. The first question out of everyone’s mouth, without fail, is, “What is a running coach, anyway?” And every time someone asks this I think to myself, “Good question. I should really come up with an elevator speech answer.” Sometimes that is what I say out loud.
A better response would be to say that a running coach is someone who advises, supports and helps you reach your running goals. “Running goals” might sound like a fancy term but often is means to simply start running, learn how to enjoy running or run injury-free. I do this over the course of 8-16 week training cycles and through customized training plans. All coaching is personalized, one-on-one and virtual (i.e. via email). You can read more on how exactly that works on the FAQ page.
Now most people don’t actually ask the logical follow up question, but I imagine it goes something like this. “I don’t get it. I can lace up my shoes, walk out my front door and put one foot in front of the other. Why do I need a coach for this?” Even those that are wise enough to realize they need a training plan are probably thinking, “I can find a million of those online for free.”
Okay, fair point. It’s totally reasonable to experiment with free training plans and ask Google if you have a question. There is no shortage of information available on the web for both new and experienced runners. In fact, I’ll include plenty of tips and anecdotes on the blog here for free. Please take advantage of it! If you subscribe you’ll get an email about once a week with real content.
That said, there are a number of reasons why you might want to hire a personal running coach:
- You hate running. You have friends that love it. They talk about the “runner’s high.” You’re pretty sure they’re lying. You have no interest in running unless you’re being chased by a bear… Except for you secretly want to be part of this club so every once in awhile you give it another shot. But it never works. You can’t breathe, your legs feel like led and you finish feeling sloppy and discouraged. Guess what? It doesn’t have to feel that way.
- You can’t seem to stick with it. You’ve had some success with running in the past. You got over that initial hump and started to understand what the fuss was all about. Maybe you ran a 5K and felt like a rockstar. But then you got busy or bored or both and for some reason unknown you can’t seem to get back into it.
- Actually, you have about 500 reasons why you can’t go for a run today. And you need someone else to help remove those barriers.
- Injury. Every time you try to run your knees hurt or your feet hurt or you get shin splints. Maybe that hasn’t always been the case. Maybe you used to be the person who hated running or had a million excuses and then you finally got it. FINALLY! You were pumped and motivated. You were getting stronger and faster and more confident! And then BAM. Injury after never-ending injury and you can’t figure out how to break the cycle.
- You’re overwhelmed by all the information. Sure, there’s a lot of free training plans out there, but how do you know which one is right for you? Maybe you get sick and miss a week. Do you pick up where you left off? Make up the skipped mileage the following week? (Hint: NO!!! Don’t do that!) Should you stretch before you run? After? Or not at all? Should you buy insoles or run barefoot? Maybe you wish there was someone you could ask that would consider your unique, personal history and situation. Maybe you don’t have the time to filter through all the information and would rather rely on one source you trust.
- You’re ready to try a new race distance. Maybe free online training plans worked well for you when you first began running and carried you to the finish line of your first 5K. But now you’re ready to tackle a half marathon and need a little extra help developing a hydration/fueling plan or dealing with a new basket of problems like blisters and emergency “bathroom” breaks.
- You’re tired of feeling like running is punishment. Pop culture tells us running is about buckling down and putting in the work. Pushing ourselves to the limit so we can lose weight. So our ass looks hot in a pair of skinny jeans. And yeah, running can be hard. There’s a time and place for hard. Rising to a challenge builds strength and confidence. But there is also a time and place for ease. Yes, even with running. When we turn down the pump-it-up jams, take off our watch, let go of expectations and settle into the rhythm of our breath and our feet, running can be a meditation. It is for me. I’m telling you friends, this is where it gets really, really good.
- You’re a human being. You make mistakes. Sometime you miss a workout. Sometimes you accidentally run farther than you’re supposed to and get hurt. Sometimes you feel like a warrior and sometimes you’re convinced running was meant for everyone except you. Sometimes you need someone who will listen to you, acknowledge your humanity and remind you that it’s okay. You’re okay. You can do this. That’s right. YOU.
- You realize that you’re worth the money. Whatever it is you hope to accomplish or feel you need help with, the reality is it’s nice to get some extra personalized attention. And the truth is you’re worth it. Your health is worth it. Your self-esteem and happiness are worth it. You are deserving. Right here and now, exactly as you are in this moment.
To help lower the hurdle of money and as a Grand Opening special, I’m opening two Personal Coaching slots at a significant discount. First come, first serve. If you’ve ever wanted to take up running but you weren’t sure how to start or if you could let this be your personal invitation. There’s no better time than now.
I am also raffling off one 8-12 week Personal Coaching slot for FREE as a Black Friday special. You can enter up to 6 times by doing any or all of the following on or before Black Friday:
- Subscribe to the blog.
- Follow me on Twitter
- Follow me on Instagram
- Share this post on any social media platform. Be sure to tag me so I see it. You’ll earn a separate entry for each share.
If you already subscribed to the blog or started following me on Twitter or Instagram let me know if you’d like to enter the raffle. I’ll announce the winner early next week. If you purchase a discounted Personal Coaching slot and then win the raffle I will gladly give you a refund.
Still have questions about what a running coach is, how it works or whether it makes sense for your personal situation? Feel free to visit the FAQ page. If you can’t find an answer there, PLEASE don’t hesitate to Contact Me. Even if you choose not to hire me as your coach, I am still here for you. Let’s get to know each other a little better. Really, I mean it.
Photo Credit: Grizzly Bear Cubs by Denali National Park and Preserve is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Text added to original