The show today will look a bit different than usual as I’m joined by two other running coaches that I’ve gotten to know quite well over the past several years.
Each week our Mastermind group spends an hour brainstorming new ideas, offering suggestions, or sharing personal experiences.
This episode will hopefully touch on some topics that will help you start looking forward to 2021 and the possibility of races becoming a regular thing again.
It’s my pleasure to welcome back to the show, Nora Bird and Laura Norris.
A Voice Of Reason
All runners can benefit from having a coach.
From new runners to seasoned runners, having a well-matched coach can mean the difference between a positive experience or a negative one.
A coach is not a requirement for success, but having one can take a lot of the guesswork out of training.
Oftentimes an athlete may waste valuable energy just by overthinking.
Gradual growth tends to be better and having an objective viewpoint outside of your own can help to see the bigger picture.
Both Nora and Laura have seen huge benefits from working with the same athletes for extended periods of time.
A level of trust often builds up over time after working together and getting to know each other as people rather than just a client/coach relationship.
Nora and Laura both adhere to the philosophy of first coaching a client as a person and then as a runner.
Finding A Coach
As coaches themselves, Laura and Nora have some advice to give to athletes when searching for a coach.
First, don’t be afraid to reach out to multiple coaches and have conversations with each one before making a decision.
Second, have a list of questions ready and ask anything and everything.
It’s important to get to know not only the coach’s training philosophy but also their personality.
Make it clear in the initial meeting what your priorities are.
The conversation should include asking about communication style and flexibility with scheduling.
A quality coach shouldn’t avoid having an in-depth conversation before working together.
There are times when a coach and an athlete don’t mesh for various reasons and that’s okay too.
In-Person Versus Virtual
In-person, virtual, or some combination of the two are typically the type of options that are available from most coaches.
One format is not superior to the other, it comes down to the personal preference of the athlete and what works for their schedules.
Nora tends to have more in-person clients, though she also has some virtual as well.
The benefits of in-person are that some individuals thrive on that more than a virtual option.
A local coach may be able to push the athlete more in workouts and be available to attend a race.
Laura does primarily virtual coaching with her athletes.
People are busier than they’ve ever been therefore a virtual option allows communication to be more flexible.
Choosing a coach that is virtual will allow the athlete more options because they aren’t constrained by location.
Choose A Coach To Match Your Goal
Every coach is not created equal when it comes to all aspects of the running world.
Some may have more knowledge of multiple areas while others may hone in on more specific events.
If you’re a runner that has a very specific goal in mind, be that an ultra or a faster 5k, it is critical to choose a coach whose knowledge aligns with the goal.
Nora is passionate about trail and ultra running and therefore her clientele tends to be athletes that are focused on longer distances.
Laura is admittedly not nearly as knowledgeable about 100-mile races as she is for road races.
Laura’s clientele tends to encapsulate family and working professionals that range from 20 to 60 years old.
She also specializes in working with pregnant and postpartum athletes.
Ensure that you have the best chance for success when matching your goal with who you choose as a coach.
Coping With Pandemic Fatigue
The ongoing pandemic has posed challenges to even the most disciplined runners.
Each individual is unique and therefore have had vastly different experiences during this unprecedented time.
Some have thrived during this unprecedented time and some have faltered.
The key question to ask yourself when trying to find balance is what is important?
Sometimes deciding to take a break from running will save your running in the long-term.
Both Laura and Nora have noticed that more injuries are cropping up in their athletes due to the increased and prolonged stress.
They have both encouraged their clients to focus on weaknesses outside of running such as strength, stretching, and yoga.
Giving yourself grace and patience is critical to both your mental and physical health.
Take Time Off Now To Save Time Off Later
Running breaks are normal for elite athletes, yet the everyday runner is often terrified about taking time away and losing fitness.
Taking time off now to avoid injury and/or burnout will save forced time off later.
Denny, Nora, and Laura all practice what they preach and take time off of running when needed.
A decline in fitness won’t begin to occur in the average athlete until after about 2 weeks of no running.
Even if running fitness begins to diminish, it is much easier to build back up than to start from scratch.
Cross-training is one way to maintain a fitness base while limiting the pounding that occurs from running.
At times it’s helpful to mute or unfollow certain people on social media when taking a break from running.
Typically turning the calendar to a new year is met with new goals.
January certainly won’t be the end of the pandemic, but there is a glimmer of hope for races to begin resuming again at some point in 2021.
When those races do start to happen again some runners want to be prepared to jump right in and start racing again.
Laura and Nora, like many coaches, offer a new year deal for anyone that wants to try out a coach.
At the start of each year, Laura offers a free 2 week trial with no commitment.
Nora also offers a deal that is 15% off of a 2-month coaching commitment.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a coach there is no better time of year to make the decision.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Laura Norris Running
- Team Bird Training
- Laura Norris Combines Her Passions of Food and Running to Help Others Reach Their Goals (Episode 251)
- Nora Bird Continues to Fly High on the Road and the Trail (Episode 468)
- Nora Bird is Going Off-Road in 2016 & Running the Leadville 100, Because Why Not? (Episode 206)
As Always, I’d Love to Know What Stood Out to You From this Episode! Let Me Know Your Takeaway in the Comments Below!
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