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Your experience with coaches and recommendations (Read 127 times)

    I would love to hear about your experience working with coaches and coach references.

     

    I have been running since 2010, mostly self coached. A couple of times I tried to use co-workers as coaches (they offered), I ended up being injured. My fault entirely! I have loftier running goals now and am wondering if working with a coach could help. I'd love to hear how a coach worked out for you.

      I might not be the most objective guy to respond due to the fact that I have coached a lot of runners over the years. My main goal with runners over the years has been to get them to become lifetime runners and not a flash in the pan. The ones who listened are more than likely to still be running. Sadly some of them did too much, too soon, too fast and injuries or burn out caused them to leave running.

      You mentioned listening to coaches but decided your way was best.

      Finding a coach and being comfortable with that person seems to,work best. I have turned away athletes who had answers before my questions.

      Some street creds: over 88,000 miles run coming up on 42 years of mostly injury free running. Coached the All Army Marathon team back in the early 80’s. Still running 40-50 miles a week.

      Tell you what, I would be willing to chat with you and if we click I will coach you for free. Actually,

      if you make a donation to my favorite charity(St Jude’s) or your favorite charity we will be even. PM me if interested. Nick

      Fredford66


      Running Musician

        I received 8 sessions with a coach from the local Y as a birthday present from my family about 2 years after I started running more seriously.  The coaching was helpful for me in terms of pointing out some things I could do differently, some things I could do better, some things I should start doing and some things I had to stop.  I don't know that I could justify the cost of working with a coach for a prolonged period of time, but those 8 sessions, coming at a good point in my development, were of good value to me and I continue to reflect on some of the things I learned.

        5k 24:47 (1/18); 4M 32:37 (2/18); 5M 42:33 (11/17); 10k 53:36 (5/18); Half 1:59:57 (9/18); Full 4:47:04 (4/17)

        Upcoming race(s): New York Marathon, 11/4/18; Turkey Trot 5M, Westfield, NJ, 11/24/18

          I had a coach after doing it by myself for about a year. It was a very smart decision. She helped me correct the way I was training which allowed me to go from doing a slow 5K to completing 2 Half Marathons and signing up for a full this year. Make sure you look at a variety of coaches and find one you are comfortable with. Look for someone who will develop training plans and give you feedback on your runs.


          I'm out of ideas

            A coach can be an invaluable asset. There's a lot more to coaching than simply setting up a training schedule. Don't be misled by runners who say you can get everything you need from a book.  I started out with a coach 50 years ago. What I learned from her still stands me in good stead today. Though largely self-coached after those first 18 months (moved east so no longer able to work together on a daily basis), I've consulted with friends who coached at various times when I've reached a plateau I couldn't work through myself. I also hired a coach when I made the jump to ultras five years ago since I had no experience in that area. Though on the pricey side I thought it was worth every cent because I surpassed my expectations.

            My first coach was an ideal situation because she was at almost every workout and guiding me closely while also teaching me the principles behind the workouts. My ultra coach was long distance with most of the coaching done through frequent modifications to my training schedule based on my feedback from the workouts. Every two weeks we touched base for 30 minutes via phone for questions and more detailed comments. In between phone calls email was available if I needed an answer more quickly. Both worked fine for me, but then I had 45 years of running and racing experience (800m to marathon) when I moved to ultras so I didn't need the daily and face to face interaction like I had first starting out.

             

            Personal recommendations and an in depth interview in selecting a coach are important. Credentials alone won't make a person a good coach and I've also known great coaches who had no formal training or credentials. Nor does the coach's personal running accomplishments have a great deal to do with one's ability to coach.

            2018 Goals: taking suggestions
            2018 Races: 10/27 - Piedmont 8-Hour

                                     11/17 - Crooked Road 24


            Old , Ugly and slow

              I  had 2 coaches in hs that i didn't learn anything from.

              But my college cc coach was great. I was a walk on with no talent but he taught me a lot.

              first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007

               

              2018 goals   1000  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes

                I worked with a coach last summer to just work on pace, eight weeks together but he was great in keeping me accountable. My problem was inconsistent split times in my interval training, but with him there timing me for every one and yelling at me when i started to slow down i really was able to narrow in in the type of mental focus i needed for intervals and gained a lot through working with him. he was also good at giving me some different types of intervals to work through, he ran track in college (short sprint stuff) so that is what he had me working on and it was super hard, i always run longer intervals because i like to run a bit slower, but running the short hard stuff was a good change of pace for me and it translated well for my longer intervals later in my training cycle

                GC100k


                  A lot of professionals don't have coaches, there's not much reason for an amateur to have a coach. But if you're externally motivated and having a coach will help, then why not?

                   

                  https://www.active.com/running/articles/self-coaching-tips-from-olympian-frank-shorter


                  I'm out of ideas

                    A lot of professionals don't have coaches, there's not much reason for an amateur to have a coach. But if you're externally motivated and having a coach will help, then why not?

                     

                    https://www.active.com/running/articles/self-coaching-tips-from-olympian-frank-shorter

                     

                    Shorter also worked with one of the best coaches in the business before being self-coached. That's not quite the same as saying a coach isn't necessary.

                    2018 Goals: taking suggestions
                    2018 Races: 10/27 - Piedmont 8-Hour

                                             11/17 - Crooked Road 24

                      I worked with a coach last summer to just work on pace, eight weeks together but he was great in keeping me accountable. My problem was inconsistent split times in my interval training, but with him there timing me for every one and yelling at me when i started to slow down i really was able to narrow in in the type of mental focus i needed for intervals and gained a lot through working with him. he was also good at giving me some different types of intervals to work through, he ran track in college (short sprint stuff) so that is what he had me working on and it was super hard, i always run longer intervals because i like to run a bit slower, but running the short hard stuff was a good change of pace for me and it translated well for my longer intervals later in my training cycle

                       

                      Gosh, interesting.  Now this is a good reason to have a coach...for that that extra motivation and focus and positive energy.

                       

                      I have never had a coach except for 7th-8th grade PE class.  We just called her "Coach" and I thought she was awesome because she made you feel like you *could* do stuff, like finish that last donkey kick or dash across the football field.  So many online coaches aren't really connected to their athletes because they can't see them doing the work.  I would think it would be hard to read an athlete based on his/her training log even if you had all of the heart rate data and stuff.  So my $0.02 is that coaches are good but pick one who can watch you in person if you can.

                      After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting.  It is not logical, but it is often true. - Mr. Spock, Star Trek episode "Amok Time"


                      Interval Junkie --Nobby

                        In my couch to marathon, I was semi-self-coached, semi RunningAhead coached.  I think I picked a generic plan off the internet.  My goal was 3:30.  I missed it by 2 minutes.  I made lots of mistakes in training that RunningAhead peeps were good about setting me straight.  For example, I did almost all my runs at stiff pace.  Didn't realize "easy runs" were a thing.

                         

                        There is was a community coach in the area, who took on all comers for free.  Most people were on the "just finish" type program.  I'd didn't think that was for me, and so never sought him out.  But after my 3:32, and with my sights on 3:15 for the next race, I gave him a shot.  I took my running logs and race performances to him.  He watched me run a few times in a community track practice.  Then he put me in with a group of sub-3 runners.

                         

                        3:08, 3:04, 2:59.

                         

                        I would not have succeeded without his sagely advice.  If I'd tried on my own, I would have been injured.  I don't need the exterior motivation, but explanations of why I should have expected to fail at certain things I did, was much appreciated.  (I ran 20milers three weeks in a row, with a 5K thrown in, then wondered why I couldn't keep my tempo pace on a Monday).

                         

                        Best thing about a good coach is that they help you know when it is time to push, and when it's okay to rest.

                         

                        if you're in the area of Charlottesville, VA: look up Mark Lorenzoni at Ragged Mountain Running.  Heck, if you're serious about your goals, just move there.

                        2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

                          As a former USATF level 2 and most of the way to level 3 coach, I have to say that I am not impressed with most internet coaching I see. It seems to be more of a collection of one-size-fits-most workouts with slight tweaks depending on age and ability. THAT should be, and is, available for free.  It's not coaching, it's a workout schedule. Coaching involves knowledge of physiology and mental state of athletes, and the ability to customize both to an individual to best suit their needs on a weekly basis as part of periodization with a goal in mind. Experience and knowledge allow a coach to make adjustments to form, and know when to back off or work harder.

                           

                          I knew a coach in the Eugene area that didn't know the slightest thing about exercise physiology, sport psychology, kinetics; none of it. They were a track fan and jr high volunteer coach that had a list of workouts that they'd copied from articles about world class runners. (redacted to save someone from embarrassment) I'm sure that coach learned a few things over the years once they became a professional "coach" on the back of that athlete, but at the time it was a local joke. And from what I've heard through the Eugene Track gossip, there are still local jokes involved!

                           

                           

                          Moral of the story; a workout schedule is NOT coaching. However, for most runners, a workout schedule is all you need. That, and a little feedback from peers here on RA.

                          55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying