Beginners and Beyond

1

Experiences working with a coach (Read 84 times)

runmomto3boys


    If you have used a coach in the past, can you tell me about your experience?  What did s/he do for you, how much interaction did you have with him or her (limited to e-mailing plans, regular contact about paces, one-on-one stuff, etc.), was it beneficial to you, etc.?

     

    I already have a coach lined up that I'm going to start working with after my next race in May, but I was just curious as to what some of your experiences were with coaches.   Thanks!


    Muddling through

      I began my adult running career with the help of a coach. The situation was a little unusual so what I experienced and gained is perhaps more an ideal than a typical experience. I had almost daily hands on contact and supervision of my workouts like a HS runner would have with a coach, but my workouts were personally designed for me and my particular goals unlike in a team setting. Since she was present at my workouts, we could even make on the fly changes if the workout wasn't going according to plan. At least once a week we would sit down together to discuss my training, plan my workouts, and teach me the whys of what we were doing. When I moved after 16 months under her tutelage I felt confident to coach myself, though since we maintained our friendship she was still available by phone or mail if I needed feedback or help through a rough racing or training problem. More unusual was that since I was an undergraduate at the time and met her through a fitness program she had designed and was supervising as a phys ed grad student, all this was free.

      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

      happylily


        Heidi, I wish I could help you... But I am such a bad subject when it comes to being coached... I don't think that even the best coach in the world could do something with me... I hired mine thinking he would have some magic workouts for me. Now, I see that his plan looks suspiciously like a mix of Pfitz and a few others... I also thought that I would be more "tamed" when working under the supervision of someone. But I'm not. I think it only makes me more rebellious. If he tells me that I ran too fast my MLR, it pisses me off (pardon my language) and I run my recovery run faster the next day, just to piss him off in return. God, I must be awful to work with... The stupid thing is: I know I'm only hurting myself by doing this. He calls me a couple times a week, to see how my runs are going, what I've done, and between you and me, there are times when I don't answer the phone because I see his number... :-) I'm sure he's done excellent work for other people and has helped many. But being coached just doesn't fit my personality and I only realize it now. I would never have made it as a professional athlete, even if that had been my goal at 20. I won't be renewing the contract with him. In fact, I barely follow his plan at the moment.

         

        I hope that other people here will be of more help to you. You will make a terrific student for your coach. Anyone would be very lucky to have the honor to work with such a great runner as yourself. I give you a big hug, sweetie and I can't wait to see what wonders you will do this year and in the future!

        PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

        4 years racing, 14 marathons, 14 BQs     


        Muddling through

          .... But I am such a bad subject when it comes to being coached... I don't think that even the best coach in the world could do something with me.... I also thought that I would be more "tamed" when working under the supervision of someone. But I'm not. I think it only makes me more rebellious...But being coached just doesn't fit my personality and I only realize it now. I would never have made it as a professional athlete, even if that had been my goal at 20. I won't be renewing the contract with him. In fact, I barely follow his plan at the moment.

           

          Julie, you just haven't found the right coach. A good coach should work with you and that means taking into account your mentality and personality as it applies to your training. Some people, and I think you are one, do not work well with a highly structured program, rather you would do better with general guidance from the coach while you work out the daily details.

          2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

          runmomto3boys


            Heidi, I wish I could help you... But I am such a bad subject when it comes to being coached... I don't think that even the best coach in the world could do something with me... I hired mine thinking he would have some magic workouts for me. Now, I see that his plan looks suspiciously like a mix of Pfitz and a few others... I also thought that I would be more "tamed" when working under the supervision of someone. But I'm not. I think it only makes me more rebellious. If he tells me that I ran too fast my MLR, it pisses me off (pardon my language) and I run my recovery run faster the next day, just to piss him off in return. God, I must be awful to work with... The stupid thing is: I know I'm only hurting myself by doing this. He calls me a couple times a week, to see how my runs are going, what I've done, and between you and me, there are times when I don't answer the phone because I see his number... :-) I'm sure he's done excellent work for other people and has helped many. But being coached just doesn't fit my personality and I only realize it now. I would never have made it as a professional athlete, even if that had been my goal at 20. I won't be renewing the contract with him. In fact, I barely follow his plan at the moment.

             

            I hope that other people here will be of more help to you. You will make a terrific student for your coach. Anyone would be very lucky to have the honor to work with such a great runner as yourself. I give you a big hug, sweetie and I can't wait to see what wonders you will do this year and in the future!

             

            I burst out laughing just reading this, Julie!!! You are a freaking hoot.  I love you!

            happylily


              George, you may be right. In fact, you probably are... But part of me thinks that it's too late for me at this point, at my age...

               

              Heidi, you love me because I'm stupid? Big grin

              PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                      Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

              4 years racing, 14 marathons, 14 BQs     


              Muddling through

                George, you may be right. In fact, you probably are... But part of me thinks that it's too late for me at this point, at my age...

                 

                Heidi, you love me because I'm stupid? Big grin

                 

                I'm a tad older than you and I think hiring a coach may be just what I need to make my intro to ultra-marathoning a success. If I'm capable of working with a coach after 4 decades of coaching myself and as stubborn as I am, I think you probably could too - if you found the right one. I'm tempted to come out of retirement and offer, but I'm not sure I want to take on a major project while I'm in the midst of jumping into something entirely new myself.

                2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                runmomto3boys


                   

                   

                  Heidi, you love me because I'm stupid? Big grin

                   

                  No, no no (and I know you know that, but I'm just making sure!)!!!!!  I love you because you are so honest and open about your stubbornness!  I love your sass and your no apologies approach to things and the whole story about you/your coach is just beyond hilarious.  I can see your coach's # coming up on Caller ID and you checking it and going, "oh, heck no I'm not answering that!"  You are too darn funny!


                  Dad of a real runner

                    Runningmom (can I call you Heidi?) - you obviously have the motivation and based on the improvement in such a short time, you have the talent - A coach can be a great asset if nothing more than to help you determine what you want to get out of your running.   I was fortunate in my early (way back when) running to have as running partners a couple of guys who ran the local running shoe store the Coachs Corner;  names of Slavin and Braman - they are now head coaches at University of Tampa and Florida State respectively.  Braman has led the Seminoles to a couple of national championships.  These two men guided many of us in our local running club to determine what we wanted, and then gave us gentle guidence (and not so gentle when it was required) to help us meet those goals.  Their knowledge of what would help, and what would hurt saved many of us that would listen from lots of frustration.

                     

                    Lily (Julie, OK?) - you suffer from the same problem that many of us have - you know what you should do, but damn it, it just feels wrong to run slow.  If two days of speed is good, then 4 days must be better!  I agree with George - if this coach isn't doing it for you then look for another, maybe just to bounce ideas off.

                     

                    George - I think anyone who is working for new goals (not just faster times) can benefit from those that have gone before.  If nothing else than to make sure we don't do something that will set us back years (and you and I con't afford too many delays)   


                    The Chairman

                      If I am working with a coach, I feel that my job is to communicate how my workouts are feeling and any concerns I have. The coach's job is to take those into account when structuring my training, but I strongly believe the ultimate decision on what workouts to run and how to run them should rest with the coach. Some people are simply too neurotic to give up control of their training schedule to that extent, and in my experience those people have difficulty working effectively with a coach.

                       

                      I have had several coaches, and the experiences have been both good and bad, with the bad ones primarily the result of feeling like the coach wasn't willing to take my feedback into account.


                      Dad of a real runner

                        If I am working as a coach, I feel that my job is to communicate how my workouts are feeling and any concerns I have. The coach's job is to take those into account when structuring my training, but I strongly believe the ultimate decision on what workouts to run and how to run them should rest with the coach. Some people are simply too neurotic to give up control of their training schedule to that extent, and in my experience those people have difficulty working effectively with a coach.

                         

                        I have had several coaches, and the experiences have been both good and bad, with the bad ones primarily the result of feeling like the coach wasn't willing to take my feedback into account.

                        Do you coach at the student level (HS, College) or adults or both?  If both, do you see a difference - both on your expectations and the runners?


                        The Chairman

                          Do you coach at the student level (HS, College) or adults or both?  If both, do you see a difference - both on your expectations and the runners?

                           

                          Sorry, I meant to write "working with a coach"

                           

                          I am a runner, not a coach.


                          Trail Monster

                            Working with my coach is amazing. She emails me a week worth of workouts on Sunday. I do them and email her the results the following Sunday. She takes my feedback, asks some questions, and sends me the next week's workouts. I set a new half PR with her but I know it's still soft. We will see the real results at Shamrock next month. The best part is that I never skip a workout because its like throwing money away! I needed that motivation!

                            2013 races:

                            3/17 Shamrock Marathon

                            4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

                            7/27 Burning RIver 100M

                            8/24 Baker 50M

                            10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

                             

                            My Blog

                             

                            Brands I Heart:

                            FitFluential

                            INKnBURN

                            Altra Zero Drop