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Coaches (Read 1198 times)

    Many professional coaches are also active contributors to the RA community.  One of the most obvious examples is Nobby, who regales us with his humor --  : o ) -- and valuable insights.

     

    I think it would be nice to have a thread for runners to share their (hopefully positive) experiences with being coached.  I recall, for example, that wannaberunner has made no bones about her great experience with Nobby and all that he has done for her.  I think Boiler Tom, too, has mentioned his coach. 

     

    In this vein, I was happy to learn that our very own Jeff, who began coaching me on a volunteer basis about a year ago, has recently begun accepting a limited number of athletes for coaching clients.  I highlight this mainly because I'm confident many of you would want to know about it. 

     

    My experience with Jeff has been tremendously positive on several levels, and I'm really passionate for others to work with him, too.  I have a lot to say about my experience but it may be a bit much to write here. Suffice it to say, I welcome anyone to contact me by PM to discuss it further.

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


    just a simple cat

      I am genuinely curious Nader, how is being coached different from following a canned plan, and then customizing it yourself based on your schedule and physical responses to the workouts?

       

      I can see advantage of course to in-person coaching, where the coach sees you train and can spot things you miss.   But you are talking about coaching primarily by email aren't you?

       

      I  guess as you get more bodacious, you begin to lose more brain cells, because there is a limit to how much magnificence your body can house

        I am genuinely curious Nader, how is being coached different from following a canned plan, and then customizing it yourself based on your schedule and physical responses to the workouts?

         

        I can see advantage of course to in-person coaching, where the coach sees you train and can spot things you miss.   But you are talking about coaching primarily by email aren't you?

         

        Good point.  

         

        In my case, the coach adjusts my workouts and the plans weekly, sometimes daily, based on all the factors in my life and health.  The give and take is so studied that I have become a smarter and more intuitive runner just by thinking about the questions he’s asked and the ones I anticipate will be asked.  He has helped me to discover my strengths and work from them.  He has also helped me pinpoint areas ripe for improvement and offered ways to address them.  I don't feel I'd get that from a plan.  

         

        I think there is also an accountability thing. In my case, the coach invests himself in me and with this comes an unmistakable expectation that I am also committed and accountable.  He would be a bad choice if you're not both communicative and committed.  It would not work out.

         

        I feel this is all very unlike working from a canned plan.   Also, re: e-mail, there's a very regular e-mail exchange. We have a great local coach here (will be running for Ireland this summer), but I prefer working with Jeff.  

         

        I don't think it is a question of a particular mode, only (e.g., by e-mail or in-person).  I think it is a question of the person and the mode (Coach A and Mode A).  In my case I am very happy and have had great results.  

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

          I've used both canned plans and hired a couple of different online coaches.  For me the biggest thing was the accountability - to have to report back to someone daily and tell them that I didnt do the workout as prescribed (or at all) really motivated me to get the workouts done.

            I've used both canned plans and hired a couple of different online coaches.  For me the biggest thing was the accountability - to have to report back to someone daily and tell them that I didnt do the workout as prescribed (or at all) really motivated me to get the workouts done.

             

            In my case, it was helpful that this particular coach was familiar with my background and had been offering me advice over the last few years. In my case, the relationship evolved. 

             

            I think this is different from going out and hiring an on-line coach.  That is something I had never considered.  I have never, for example, even considered hiring a personal trainer.   

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

              I think that technology allows for some very effective internet coaching or Geo-coaching (whatever the terminology) for obvious reasons.

               

              1. I think a good log with splits and heart rate data can provide a lot of information that would allow for a coach to personalize a workout plan better than a canned plan,

               

              2. The ability to have conversations about how certain runs felt under certain conditions could help coaches make determinations about what the athletes strengths and weaknesses are. Also adjustments that need to be made for red flags for things such as overuse injuries.

               

              That said I think Geo-coaching is less effective than in-person coaching for obvious reasons. The most obvious is it's harder to cheat when someone is there in person keeping you honest about your recoveries and hitting you intervals on time.  

              Fall  2013 Goals: Doable sub 22:00 5k; Challenging Sub 21:00 5k; Unlikely Sub 20:00 5k.

                I was looking through Nader's log over the past 2+ hours to figure out what Jeff can see through E-Coaching.

                 

                I'm somewhat surprised that Nadar's log doesn't show HR data or graphs or mile splits or consistent interval data.

                I'm guessing that Jeff does his analysis based on information supplied outside of the data logs (emails, phone calls, text msgs, etc).

                I would have guessed that Garmin Data would have been uploaded through the runs (treadmill or outside), and that data could be used along with other data to figure out upcoming workouts (and also figure out whether past workouts were run according to plan).

                 

                Regardless, interesting topic of discussion, and I've often considered a coach.  Jeff is a great guy!.

                Cheers,
                Brian

                2014 Goals:

                #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                #2: 365 Hours training

                 

                  I think that technology allows for some very effective internet coaching or Geo-coaching (whatever the terminology) for obvious reasons.

                   

                  1. I think a good log with splits and heart rate data can provide a lot of information that would allow for a coach to personalize a workout plan better than a canned plan,

                   

                  2. The ability to have conversations about how certain runs felt under certain conditions could help coaches make determinations about what the athletes strengths and weaknesses are. Also adjustments that need to be made for red flags for things such as overuse injuries.

                   

                  That said I think Geo-coaching is less effective than in-person coaching for obvious reasons. The most obvious is it's harder to cheat when someone is there in person keeping you honest about your recoveries and hitting you intervals on time.  

                   

                  All very good points. On the last one, though, I would go back to my comment about honesty. I am honest about the splits and recoveries. I will tell you, frankly, that I have not always hit the workouts right. This will bother a good coach. If a person doesn't care that the coach is bothered or wants to "cheat," I agree.

                   

                  That said, in-person coaching does have advantages (which Jeff himself has actually pointed out to me), but ones I don't feel I need or want. Also, my schedule does not allow me to work with a coach who meets in-person with a group.  And, my budget does not allow me to hire a guy to meet me, alone, at my convenience.  There is a cost for a person's time. The time I am getting out of this coach disprortionately high, relative to his posted rates.  That's one reason I am passionate that others work with him. He's really in it for the love of the game. In fact, I will take partial credit (and blame) for pushing him into taking on clients. 

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

                    I was looking through Nader's log over the past 2+ hours to figure out what Jeff can see through E-Coaching.

                     

                    I'm somewhat surprised that Nadar's log doesn't show HR data or graphs or mile splits or consistent interval data.

                    I'm guessing that Jeff does his analysis based on information supplied outside of the data logs (emails, phone calls, text msgs, etc).

                    I would have guessed that Garmin Data would have been uploaded through the runs (treadmill or outside), and that data could be used along with other data to figure out upcoming workouts (and also figure out whether past workouts were run according to plan).

                     

                    Regardless, interesting topic of discussion, and I've often considered a coach.  Jeff is a great guy!.

                    Cheers,
                    Brian

                     

                    Yes, you hit it. Also, data is a small part of the back-and-forth. 

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


                    just a simple cat

                      "I was looking through Nader's log over the past 2+ hours..."       Big grin  awesome!

                       

                      I  guess as you get more bodacious, you begin to lose more brain cells, because there is a limit to how much magnificence your body can house

                        I'll chime in and say a couple things, but of course the link that Nader provided tells about my philosophy. He was nice to link this up, and he is right: he's been pushing me hard to do more coaching. I think he's been pushing me because he knows I enjoy it.

                         

                        Anyways, a couple of things. I have an approach to coaching that is more about developing the habits of a happy and successful runner than it is about analyzing data or nitpicking workouts. I basically think the role of a coach is to help a runner identify his or her own strengths and weaknesses as a runner and then educate the runner about how to make those strengths stronger and weaknesses less weak. I don't think this approach is unique.

                         

                        The workouts are a part of the picture, but actually a relatively small part. Most of what I work on with runners (and Nader is not the only one) is helping them develop an approach to training that works for them.

                         

                        Most of training right is about determining when to hold back and when to "go for it." We need people to talk to in order to analyze our mistakes in training and racing, to offer alternatives, to build confidence and trust in ourselves, etc. That's the role of the coach as I see it. Not a master who writes perfect workouts, but a second set of eyes to consult with, offer different possibilities -- and disagree with.

                         

                        Anyways, folks who have been on this forum a while probably have a sense of my approach to training problems. It's certainly not for everyone, and hopefully we could identify whether it might work (from both the athlete end and the coach end) before either of us got too serious.

                          Nader, cool thread.  I'd say, based on your 5K times, your coaching has been excellent.  Kudos to you and Jeff.  

                           

                          Shout-out to my 'coach' who does not consider himself as such but he pretty much is.  Even though he's in my city the bulk of our interaction is via email, though we do some easy maintainence runs together once in a while.  I met JimHowe on the old CoolRunning board.  At the very minimum he is my mentor if not coach in name.  Funny how a 51 year-old runner of 16 years can have a 'mentor' (shouldn't I be mentoring people?  Ummm, no!).

                          I setup all of my racing plans and then I bounce my proposed training and racing plans off him and take very seriously any doubts or suggestions he has.  His personality is unique in that he is very motivating, can't say exactly why but the guy has it.   The times I've run in the past 4 years since being associated with him have astonished me as I was a long time runner before ever meeting him.  Jim sometimes comes to my key races for Pete's sake even though he isn't racing!  

                           

                          He used to post a lot on these boards but has been hampered by injuries for a while so he's not sharing his knowledge with the board which is a shame.  Hope he comes back.

                            I think that technology allows for some very effective internet coaching or Geo-coaching (whatever the terminology) for obvious reasons.

                             

                            1. I think a good log with splits and heart rate data can provide a lot of information that would allow for a coach to personalize a workout plan better than a canned plan,

                             

                            2. The ability to have conversations about how certain runs felt under certain conditions could help coaches make determinations about what the athletes strengths and weaknesses are. Also adjustments that need to be made for red flags for things such as overuse injuries.

                             

                            That said I think Geo-coaching is less effective than in-person coaching for obvious reasons. The most obvious is it's harder to cheat when someone is there in person keeping you honest about your recoveries and hitting you intervals on time.  

                            FWIW, I work with a remote coach (recommended to me about two years by Nader!).  Ideally, I'd have a local coach so we could look at form and whatnot.  I communicate via:

                             

                            • logging workouts with HR data and splits, including commenting on how I felt and any physical issues/hotspots going on;
                            • weekly emails that recap my week, to put it all in one place and save him the log-stalking;
                            • spontaneous emails if I need to change something, need advice, or whatever; and
                            • phone calls if the situation or my high-maintenance self warrants (e.g. race goals and approaches).

                            It works for us.

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


                            Cat in a Pot

                              This is a great topic.  I've worked with a coach since I began running.  First, witih a local guy who was what I needed at the time (and could afford) but have since outgrown.  Second, the coach I've been working with since April to get me through Mt. Hood at the end of this month (a gift from a friend who has worked with him for about 6 years), but I can't afford his rates so I can't stay with him.  And third now, a friend who is an accomplished ultra runner, has wanted to get into coaching, is willing to coach me at a rate I can afford, and I'm willing to be his guinea pig.

                               

                              I like having a coach because I still don't understand the nuances of training enough to build a program I am confident would help me reach my goals.  Having someone with experience to help me, to answer my questions, to keep me on track, it gives me a peace of mind I otherwise would not have.

                               

                              Ironically, if my friend hadn't agreed to coach me, I was going to beg in the ultra forum for someone to help me. Big grin

                              Leslie
                              Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain
                              -------------

                              2014: May - MDW 70-Miles (w/Trail Factor 50k) - Cascade Crest, WA/Astoria, OR/Portland, OR

                              June 7 - Grasshopper Peak Redwoods Run 30k - Humboldt Redwoods State Park, CA

                              July 12 - Mt. Hood 50 - Mt. Hood, OR

                              Oct 11 - Firetrails 50 - Lake Chabot, CA


                              "The farther you go outside, the farther you go inside." (Unknown)
                              Ultrarunnerpodcast

                              Trail Runner Nation

                              Fatozzig's Place

                                Nader, cool thread.  I'd say, based on your 5K times, your coaching has been excellent.  Kudos to you and Jeff.  

                                 

                                Shout-out to my 'coach' who does not consider himself as such but he pretty much is.  Even though he's in my city the bulk of our interaction is via email, though we do some easy maintainence runs together once in a while.  I met JimHowe on the old CoolRunning board.  At the very minimum he is my mentor if not coach in name.  Funny how a 51 year-old runner of 16 years can have a 'mentor' (shouldn't I be mentoring people?  Ummm, no!).

                                I setup all of my racing plans and then I bounce my proposed training and racing plans off him and take very seriously any doubts or suggestions he has.  His personality is unique in that he is very motivating, can't say exactly why but the guy has it.   The times I've run in the past 4 years since being associated with him have astonished me as I was a long time runner before ever meeting him.  Jim sometimes comes to my key races for Pete's sake even though he isn't racing!  

                                 

                                He used to post a lot on these boards but has been hampered by injuries for a while so he's not sharing his knowledge with the board which is a shame.  Hope he comes back.

                                 Ah, I miss that guy on these boards. Send him my regards.  

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

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