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Running coach (Read 1096 times)

    Has anyone had any luck with online coaching? I was ready to sign on with someone when a non-running friend of mine laughed and said "That's a business I want to get into. Do no work and have someone pay you. Ha!" Made me think twice...

      Yes


      Interval Junkie --Nobby

        A friend decided he need to get running again.  He ran a few marathons a few years back.  He decided the best way was to have someone pay him to run: so he posted on Craigslist as a "Marathon Training Coach".  Now he runs once a week with a guy doing C2Marathon, and diddles with his training plan for $50/week.

        2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

        Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.

          Whlle I haven't signed on for any coaching yet I have found that the information that I have received here and at a few other site to have been invaluable. I have started downloading podcasts from another site run by a coach that does on line coaching and her free information has led to a whole new attitude towards my running.  Even though it has only been a week that new information that I am using (thnks Jeff) has helped drastically already.

           

          I would not be worried about what a non running friend says.  They probably don't realize that effort you are making to improve your running.  If they don't run they think that it is as easy is putting one foot in front of the other and there is nothing else to it.

          My sport's your sport's punishment

           

          2012 goals

                        

          100 Km month         150 K month      200K month

          5K run    10K run     20K run              30K run

          sub 30 min 5K         sub 55min 10K

            I've been working for 18 months with a guy by Internet/phone/email.  (We just met in person last weekend!)

             

            Assuming you hook up with someone who (1) understands training stresses, (2) takes an interest in you, and (3) tailors the plan to what will help you and that you can handle ... there's nothing at all wrong with it.  Those second and third things are what you typically do not get from online plan generators.

             

            I try to be as interactive as I can, so both the coach and I can see how I'm responding to things and where my physical/mental limits might be.  I figure if I'm too chatty with him, he'll let me know!  But it's better to have the feedback where we can both see and digest it, IMO.

            “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


            Feeling the growl again

              I would say it depends what you expect to get out of it.  If all you are going to get is a basic training plan...well, I have to ask what's wrong with the oodles of them out there that you can get for free?  

               

              Ideally, you will have a situation where the coach gets to know your history enough to get you started on a well-thought plan that starts where you are at and works toward whatever goal that you gave them.  They will follow your progress and adjust your training plan as necessary.  They will play the part of the detracted observer and let you know when you are doing things wrong (running easy runs too hard, for example).

               

              I've seen internet coaches run the spectrum.  The first I used had solid credentials as an athlete (former Olympian) and it was a good experience.  He did all of the desirable things listed above.  The second (more expensive) I used had less credentials as an athlete but more as a coach.  It was not a good experience.  I got a plan that started out geared to me, however when my progress did not track with the plan there was no adjustment and no feedback.  In a few weeks the prescribed workouts were so absurdly beyond what I could have done.  

               

              So ask around, ask for references.  One of the most important parts of choosing a coach is finding someone you trust and work well with.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               

                The particular one I have been talking to and am thinking about signing up with provides a personalized plan that is updated weekly based on the previous week's results. He offers communication by email and phone and I did enjoy talking with him during out initial consultation.

                 

                The reason I'm looking for a change from the oodles of free plans out there is I feel like I don't know how to adjust my own plan anymore. The conflicting information about running more/running less, running faster/running slower, day off after speedwork etc...has left me unable to figure out what to do next when my race time is slower than I expected.

                  Like the others, I say it depends. I think your friend is probably thinking of someone like stadjak's friend. Or maybe she doesn't know what she's talking about?

                   

                  My experience has been tremendously positive.  The person I am working with has not decided to actually start a formal coaching practice.  I definitely recommend you work someone who is a runner and a gifted teacher, who is passionate about the sport.

                  "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


                  Imminent Catastrophe

                    The particular one I have been talking to and am thinking about signing up with provides a personalized plan that is updated weekly based on the previous week's results. He offers communication by email and phone and I did enjoy talking with him during out initial consultation.

                     

                     

                    That sounds pretty good. Since I started working with a coach (who does all that) I've PR'ed at 50 miles, 100k, 12 hours and ran my fastest HM in 5 years (second fastest ever, and on a much slower course). 

                    "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                     "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                    "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

                     

                    √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

                    Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

                    Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

                      That prompts me to add that one nice thing about using a coach is that he helps me push boundaries where I might otherwise not, and more intelligently.  Just having that second set of (more experienced) eyes is a big help.

                      “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                        I think the biggest risk with an online coach is lack of follow through.  I had a GREAT training plan drawn up and very knowledgeable coach. However, when it came time to get feedback, he was nowhere to be found.  Multiple emails -- no response.    When he finally did respond, got lots of excuses...

                         

                        Make sure you have expectations clearly set up front!!!

                        And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

                         

                        Rob

                          The reason I'm looking for a change from the oodles of free plans out there is I feel like I don't know how to adjust my own plan anymore. The conflicting information about running more/running less, running faster/running slower, day off after speedwork etc...has left me unable to figure out what to do next when my race time is slower than I expected.

                           

                          While you're deciding, you might check out Run Faster by Brad Hudson.  His adaptive running approach sounds like it might benefit you, and I find that he explains the reasoning behind things very clearly (as opposed to, say, Daniels).  

                          "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

                          Jack Kerouac

                            While you're deciding, you might check out Run Faster by Brad Hudson.  His adaptive running approach sounds like it might benefit you, and I find that he explains the reasoning behind things very clearly (as opposed to, say, Daniels).  

                             

                            I actually found Daniels pretty good. There's a lot about adjusting a plan, he explains where the vdot tables came from quite clearly, I'm not sure what 'reasoning' you feel is missing.

                             

                            There's probably some in there that's not explicitly mentioned, but I had no problems following Running Formula (1st Edition - I haven't read the 2nd yet), it was the first running book I read, and the best one. I'd been running for a couple months and I got it for Christmas.

                            2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

                            2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.

                              I actually found Daniels pretty good. There's a lot about adjusting a plan, he explains where the vdot tables came from quite clearly, I'm not sure what 'reasoning' you feel is missing.

                               

                              There's probably some in there that's not explicitly mentioned, but I had no problems following Running Formula (1st Edition - I haven't read the 2nd yet), it was the first running book I read, and the best one. I'd been running for a couple months and I got it for Christmas.

                               

                              Hey, don't get me wrong; ain't nothing wrong with Jackie-boy.  There is a reason why DRF is referred to as the running bible.  The info is there if you're willing to put it in the time and effort.  All I'm saying is that I found Hudson to be more readable and accessible, and would probably be a helpful resource and relatively quick read for the OP.  

                               

                              (But, I mean, come on.  I spend much of my waking life reading academic journals, and I often found my eyes glazing over reading Daniels.) 

                              "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

                              Jack Kerouac

                                A friend decided he need to get running again.  He ran a few marathons a few years back.  He decided the best way was to have someone pay him to run: so he posted on Craigslist as a "Marathon Training Coach".  Now he runs once a week with a guy doing C2Marathon, and diddles with his training plan for $50/week.

                                 

                                This guy sounds like an ass, though your story does touch on an important element of online coaching. What most people want from a coach--more than anything else (like, say, intelligent training)--is accountability and motivation. That's in part why the quality of coaching out there is somewhat erratic. Really what most people are paying for is someone to hold them accountable.

                                 

                                Many coaches don't know too much about running, but that's okay because there's not a ton to know.

                                 

                                Right now I am working with a coach, and it's been great. It was also fun to try to figure things out on my own, but after a while I guess I just got too much into my own head (ik,r?) We have a good relationship because we work together to come up with workouts. There is no weekly schedule and in fact we can go for a week or two without even talking, especially when things are going well. I tried other coaches and was always disappointed because what I wanted were reasons behind things, answers to questions that I had, ways of approaching certain problems in training. They just gave me workouts, as if these were answers!

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