Do Runners Really Need a Running Coach?
Probably not the answer you were expecting from a guy that makes his living coaching runners, eh?
But it’s the truth.
That said, do I honestly believe that most runners can benefit from working with a running coach?
Just so we are clear, here is where I (a current running coach) stand on the subject:
- A running coach is a want, not a need.
- A running coach is a luxury, not a necessity.
- You can be successful as a runner with or without a running coach.
What Are Some Benefits of Having a Running Coach?
On the surface, running is a pretty simple process.
You basically keep putting one foot in front of the other until you either get get tired, bored, or reach your destination.
Don’t exactly need a coach for that, right?
In reality, running is quite a bit more complex than simply putting one foot in front of the other.
And that is why working with a running coach can be beneficial to any runner.
A good running coach can help you:
Achieve Your Goals More Quickly:
Whether you’re looking to run faster, run farther, or a little bit of both, a qualified running coach can help you accelerate your progress toward your goals. To be clear, that doesn’t mean that there is a “magic bullet” that only running coaches possess. Progress in our sport is incremental and it is going to take some time, but working with a running coach can help you avoid some common mis-steps that runners (novice and experienced alike) are prone to making.
Minimize Your Injury Risk:
Running is a contact sport. As such, injuries happen. No runner can completely eliminate the risk of injury, but working with a running coach can definitely help you tilt the odds of staying injury free in your favor.
Understand the Process:
Point blank, a good coach MUST be a good communicator. Being on the same page as your running coach enables the two of you to work together as a team. And the only way to get on the same page, especially if you’re working with your running coach virtually, is to maintain open lines of communication.
Step Away From the Edge:
It’s a tough pill for a runner to swallow when things don’t go right during a training cycle or a race. But it has happened to all of us at one point or another, I promise. When the shit hits the fan, literal or figurative, a running coach can help you to calm down, regroup, and keep the bigger picture in mind as you move forward
Options for Coaching Abound
Just like there are no one-size-fits-all runners or training plans, there are also no one-size-fits-all options for working with a running coach.
To me, that means that a good running coach should have different options available for runners to choose from based on their goals, their needs, and their budget.
The Coterie is my hybrid coaching program that combines some of the best aspects of a group training environment (a sense of community, shared resources, monthly live webinars, etc.) with a completely unique training plan that is catered to the needs of each individual member.
The more interaction and communication that happens between a runner and his or her running coach, the better the results will be. With my 1-on-1 coaching, there is a priority on maintaining open lines of communication at all times.
After signing up for a race, a customized training plan specific for that race can be invaluable in helping a runner perform at his or her best on race day. A custom training plans is weeks in duration, and continues to change and evolve over the course of the training cycle as needed.
Need a training plan reworked due to the unpredictability of life? Have an injury set back, and not sure how to minimize your injury risk on your return to running? Have another situation that is unique and you’d like to consult with a coach to help you make the best choices possible in a given situation?
Denny Krahe is a Certified Athletic Trainer & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist that specializes in injury prevention in runners. Click here to learn more about Denny.