What does a running coach really do for the runners they coach?
If your first inclination is to say that coaches tell runners how many miles to run and what speed workouts to do, you’re not wrong.
But that’s not all a good running coach does.
In fact, if I may be so bold, that’s probably the least important thing a coach does for their athletes.
The Numbers are Pretty Straight Forward
When it comes to putting numbers on a training plan, that’s really not that difficult.
Now, I’m not trying to say that you can just pick numbers at random and that you’ll be good to go on race day, but a mileage progression isn’t overly complicated.
Shoot, Chat GPT can create a plan for you.
I’d say it’s not a very good plan, but it’s a plan.
Fact is, there are no shortage of free plans available online and on blogs and whatever that aren’t much more than mileage progressions designed to help you prepare for a race.
So while a coach is certainly going to put mileage numbers and progressions together for you, they better be doing much more than that if they are going to be charging you monthly to work with you.
Today’s Episode is Sponsored By:
What Do Running Coaches Provide Then?
If a good running coach does more than just put numbers on a calendar/training plan, then what do good running coaches provide their athletes?
First though, a couple of disclaimers.
- This list is not exhaustive.
- Not every coach provides every item on this list in the same way. That’s ok.
Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, let’s get to it.
A good coach can explain why certain things are done/not done with regard to training.
Big Picture Planning/Perspective
It’s easy for runners to get laser-focused on the next race on the calendar.
Coaches keep their eye on the bigger picture, and how one race can impact the next race.
Pep talks. Cheerleading. Encourager.
If/when your confidence is wavering, a coach can give you the boost you need when you need it.
The Little Things
Strength training workouts. Scheduling yoga or foam rolling or cross-training activities.
Life is going to life. Always.
Having a coach to help you work through the inevitable ebbs and flows can be invaluable.
Race Day Support
Whether it’s putting a race day plan together or literally running with you on race day, support for race day should be expected.
Sometimes a running coach needs to save you from yourself.
This isn’t a fun part of the job, but it’s certainly necessary at times.
Is a Running Coach Worth It?
Ultimately, that’s for you to decide.
A good running coach can be an asset to any runner, I believe that fully.
But that doesn’t mean a coach, no matter how much value he or she provides to the runners they coach, is inherently worth the cost.
If you don’t think investing the money in yourself to work with a running coach makes sense, that’s fine.
Just don’t assume that all a running coach does is tell their athlete’s how much to run.
Because we do a whole lot more than that.
What is the Most Important Thing a Good Running Coach Does In Your Opinion?
Want to Support the Continued Growth & Production of the Show?
Check out the support page for ideas and suggestions of ways you can help me grow the show. And remember, not all support involves money. Some of the best ways you can show your support are 100% free.
Subscribe to the Show
Never miss another episode of the Diz Runs With podcast by subscribing to the show, and for my fellow Apple fans out there, it’s never been easier now that the podcast app is native on the new operating system. iPhone/iPod/iPad users click here. Android users click here. SoundCloud users click here.
Please Give Me Some Feedback!
Take the 6 question listener survey to help me shape the future of this podcast.
Register for a Free Race Training Plan
Join The Tribe!
There’s always room for more members of the tribe! Both the Facebook group and the email group provide opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else. The Facebook group is still small, but it is a great way to connect with fellow runners and foster community amongst like-minded individuals. The email group is THE way to stay up to date about future guests on the show, as well as getting some other freebies and offers that aren’t available to anyone else. If you’ve got questions about either/both, just let me know!