Now that races are starting to come back, many runners are considering how they want to train for their next race. Run for fun? Test the waters and just see where your fitness is? Or go all in for that new PR and work with a coach? There’s no right answer; you have to find what works best for you. But in case you are on the fence about if you should work with a running coach, here are a few reasons why a coach can help you get that PR and reach your running goals.
5 Reasons To Work With a Running Coach
Get another perspective on your training from a running coach
Have you been following the same running schedule week after week and you’re not seeing results? Or maybe you’ve been creating your own training plan for awhile now and it’s not working anymore. A coach can bring an outside perspective to maybe see some ways your training can be adjusted that you didn’t think of. Sometimes we are so involved in our own training that it’s hard to see the areas that can be improved, even as experienced runners.
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New workouts and training strategies From a coach
If you have worked with more than one running coach before, you have probably noticed that each coach may take a different approach to planning your training. Rather than providing cookie-cutter workouts, a personal running coach can plan workouts that meet your current needs and goals. They may also have seen a lot of success with certain kinds of workouts in other athletes and tend to use those workouts frequently. If you have been doing the same types of workouts without really knowing how to change it up, a running coach can adjust your workouts and training strategy to make sure you are progressing appropriately.
Ongoing support and collaboration
When you work with a running coach they can provide ongoing support as you train, whether or not you have a race coming up. Think of them like a partner in your training. The coach may be knowledgable about your training and workouts, but you know yourself the best, and need to provide feedback about how things are going. By working as a team you will have the best results.
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Coaches provide personalized training and support
The best part about working with an individual running coach is that it’s INDIVIDUAL. They are creating a plan specifically for you and providing ongoing feedback and support based on how your training is going. While training plans can help you work towards a race goal, it can be challenging to adjust them if training isn’t going as planned. Some coaches do offer training plans without the ongoing coaching, so if you go for this option check and see if they are willing to adjust your plan throughout your training.
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Coaches help with pacing and race strategies
I recently shared a post about how to find your training paces. While these tools are great, they are best used in conjunction with a coach who can help you look at the big picture. For example, my recent 5k time predicts a marathon time of 3:24. (my PR is 3:41.) There is a huge difference between a 5k and a marathon. In order to get a better prediction I should really use a longer race distance (preferably something recent) or do a time trial of a longer distance. Knowing that I have faster times in shorter distances, I would adjust my paces for a more reasonable marathon time right now, until my fitness in longer distances improves.
Running coaches can offer a range of services, from just creating an individualized training plan, to ongoing, intensive support with daily feedback. It’s important to find someone who is good match for you, both based on their training philosophy and personality. But working with a coach can really bring many great benefits to training and racing!
Have you ever worked with a running coach?
If you are planning to run any races this year, what goals do you have?