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Running coach? (Read 968 times)


an amazing likeness

    Seeking wisdom and guidance of the RA community...

     

    First, I supposed it may be worth asking -- are there running coaches for generic jogger types ?

     

    How does one best approach finding a coach to help?  

     

    It sounds like (from messages I've read her over the years) that there are coaches -- do they always focus on racing times, or some specific event?

    Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

    DoppleBock


      I am not coachable

       

      But coaches come in all shapes, sizes and flavors.  Some charge very little and some charge a lot.  There are multiple people that coach runners within the RA community ... I am not one of them.

       

      If you want a coach that occassionally meets with you in person, it would greatly reduce the numbers.  But if you are fine with internet based coaches I am sure there are many thousand to chose from.

       

      The RRCA - Has a certified coaching program - I do not know if it will give you a better or worse coach than other searches - An example - This is http://www.runwithlloyd.com/ someone I know from OH - A nice guy - I do not know if a good or bad coach

       

      Here is the "Find a RRCA coach tool" - http://www.rrca.org/find-a-coach/

       

      I have contacted multiple people looking into coaching - But I have never been serious yet. 

      http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

      2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

       

        Wannaberunner seemed to do well taking Knobby's coaching advice.

         

        The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

         

        2014 Goals:

         

        Stay healthy

        Enjoy life

         

        bq14


          I use;  http://www.5speedrunning.com/  ( Coach Ken)

           

          Good Luck,

          Sheri

            MT, I think you have to have some idea of what you want out of your training -- e.g., is the focus on ultras or the 1500m?  But I think a coach should be able to structure training around whatever loose running goal(s) you articulate.  I had some specific time-oriented goals in 2011 for various distances.  But more generally, I was looking to run a fall marathon as fast as I could, and the earlier part of the year was to be a focus on 5k racing.  Do the work, and the times either come or they don't.

             

            Right now, my "goals" for early 2012 are pretty amorphous (just getting back to the shape I felt I was in before my injury).  My coach has been very good about coming up with good ways to keep me engaged and active while I couldn't run, and in having a plan to get me into shape absent any concrete time goals.  I know other guys with very specific time goals, and it seems to work for them, too.

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


            Feeling the growl again

              The first question should be, what do you want out of the coaching relationship?  Do you need a training plan, a cheerleader, someone to be accountable to, feedback on workout/race results, or some combination of the above?

               

              Some coaches are good at some of these, and stink at others.  You need to find someone who has the right combination of strengths for you....and a style you can resonate with.

               

              When I was serious enough to complicate things by adding a coach into the mix, I went through two (paid) internet coaches...both with solid professional-level reputations...and "test drove" a couple local ones...also with solid regional-class credentials.

               

              Of the four, only one worked well.  One of the locals just didn't have time to learn enough about me to gear the training to me specifically.  The other was a solid coach with solid methods, but both had a strength (mid-distance) that left him good but not great at coaching a marathoner and a coaching style that worked great for some but was not right for me.  One of the internet coaches knew how to write a plan, but (IMHO) stretched himself too thin to actually keep up with what was going on and go from just being a plan-write to an actual coach who responded to things as the training evolved.  The other internet coach knew his stuff, communicated well, responded to training results by adjusting the plan, etc. 

               

              The moral of the story is that each of the three that did not work for me worked well for others.  The one that worked for me would have been bad for someone who needed a softer hand or a cheerleading, to be motivated by someone, or guilted into doing the work.  So knowing what you are looking for is the first step.

               

              If your needs are simple enough, there are people in this community that I'm sure would help you.

              "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

               

                If your needs are simple enough, there are people in this community that I'm sure would help you.

                 

                And it may be as simple as that. 

                 

                Not long ago, I would have found this question not that interesting.  Of course there are coaches for us joggers, but why in the world would you need one?  I would have answered with some version of "it's not really that difficult to figure out - just run miles, a few workouts and a long run."  Where I think I could find a coach useful, however (and I'm probably not alone), is saving me from myself. 

                 

                Early this year I trained for Boston using my plan, which mostly consisted of the above.  But in the search for never ending improvement, I did more.  More miles, more workouts.  Well that worked.  More miles, more workouts, harder workouts.  Well that worked too.  I needed constant feedback, constant validation for myself.  So I'd run them harder and longer.  I didn't trust my race pace so I raced my workouts.  That all worked until it didn't. 

                 

                Now I'm not picking on him but look at Nader.  We all know how much he has improved over the last few months.  But if you look at his log, there's nothing special in there.  Miles are good, he's got the workouts, but none of them are hero.  And he's improving for sure and probably loving it .  He's been patient but I know he's also got some informal coaching (in this community) that he trusts.  And because he trusts that, he's probably saved from overthinking it to some extent. 

                 


                Feeling the growl again

                   Where I think I could find a coach useful, however (and I'm probably not alone), is saving me from myself. 

                   

                  Early this year I trained for Boston using my plan, which mostly consisted of the above.  But in the search for never ending improvement, I did more.  More miles, more workouts.  Well that worked.  More miles, more workouts, harder workouts.  Well that worked too.  I needed constant feedback, constant validation for myself.  So I'd run them harder and longer.  I didn't trust my race pace so I raced my workouts.  That all worked until it didn't. 

                   

                   

                  An important point I left off my list.

                   

                  The coach that worked for me, was actually not coaching me during my best times -- it was 2 years prior, when I imploded 2 months prior to my goal race.  The implosion was not his fault.  I set a super-ambitions goal of going from 2:29 to sub-2:22 in a year; he gave me an 80% chance of imploding but agreed to put together the plan that would do it...if my body would hold together.  I further complicated things by insisting on running some of the easier runs too fast.  I would have imploded sooner had he not corrected my errant behavior.

                   

                  After another coach failed I went back to the successful coach's plans and basically did the same thing, only behaved myself this time and was doing it on a body that was better trained and stronger from a couple years of additional high mileage running.  Results were much better.

                  "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

                   


                  an amazing likeness

                    The first question should be, what do you want out of the coaching relationship?  Do you need a training plan, a cheerleader, someone to be accountable to, feedback on workout/race results, or some combination of the above?

                     

                    If your needs are simple enough, there are people in this community that I'm sure would help you.

                     

                     

                    MT, I think you have to have some idea of what you want out of your training -- e.g., is the focus on ultras or the 1500m?  But I think a coach should be able to structure training around whatever loose running goal(s) you articulate.

                     

                    Good points and advice.

                     

                    I *think* what I need most is help figuring out why I'm not getting what I expect in terms of results from my running -- the output isn't matching the input of effort (to my perspective). That doesn't just mean race results...it is broader and gets into things like race results, training results, pain and injury management, etc, etc.  There is a lot of guidance available from the RA community in these things -- and although I participate here less than in the past, I still read most of the advice shared here and how folks are absorbing it and turning it into action.

                     

                    I'm starting to think of it this way...if I'm not getting what I want in terms of results and satisfaction from the 3,465 miles and 25 days of elapsed time I've spent running in the last 2 years (which was a time window I set)  -- it may be time to get some help.

                     

                    I'm thinking this may take at least some face to face time....but I'm eager to learn more about coaching relationships that will help me be a better "shopper".  I'm sort in that stage where I don't want to wander into the store without knowing at least a little about what I should know.

                     

                    (If at first you don't succeed, try and try again, then quit -- no use being a damn fool about it.)

                    Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

                      I'm starting to think of it this way...if I'm not getting what I want in terms of results and satisfaction from the 3,465 miles and 25 days of elapsed time I've spent running in the last 2 years (which was a time window I set)  -- it may be time to get some help.

                       

                      This is a great time to get help. You've done enough to know you need a change, but you don't know exactly what to do to change. I think you interview coaches, tell them your story, and see what they suggest. I think it will be pretty easy to sort the wheat from the chaff with this sort of question. A good coach should be able to tell you two or three things to change, tell you why to change them, and you should be able to see results soon.

                       

                      (Any coach would love to have a runner like you as well because your training has you on the verge of a breakthrough, so you will make the coach look good.)

                        MilkTruck, many of the reasons you listed are what prompted me to look for a coach. I can read Noakes, Daniels, et al. all day long, post here ... but then I've got to make sense of all of it and create a cohesive plan.  Well, I did that and felt it wasn't giving me as much as I was capable of.

                         

                        I've not been running as long as spaniel, so I've only gone through two coaches. Big grin  Another key I forgot to mention is making sure anyone you work with understands YOUR physical abilities and limitations, including your age and any legacy issues from your accident; generally speaking, masters runners can't be trained the same as 20-year-olds.  Because IMO, it's not just about cobbling workouts together, but also working with the runner to maximize training while avoiding/neutralizing injury risks.

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


                        Feeling the growl again

                           

                          I'm thinking this may take at least some face to face time....but I'm eager to learn more about coaching relationships that will help me be a better "shopper".  I'm sort in that stage where I don't want to wander into the store without knowing at least a little about what I should know.

                           

                           

                           

                          Will work for beer.  Wink

                           

                          I'd likely make a rotten coach...but I see you get out to the midwest occasionally so if you are ever in Indy again let me know.

                           

                          As I look at your log, it looks pretty good to me.  Perhaps you don't see a lot of progress but it looks pretty darn solid to me.  I think a coach would add a little more variety of paces into your workouts....unless I'm missing some details buried inside individual workouts...but I'd say you're doing pretty well this year.  I would agree that it would be good to find a coach locally who could get some familiarity with you.  Some people just have a knack for being able to pick up athletes and coach them....personally I've always found it difficult unless I have a pretty deep understanding of their history and capabilities.

                          "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

                           

                            he's probably saved from overthinking it to some extent. 

                             from over-doing it, for sure.

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