Online Running Coach - Thoughts? (Read 126 times)


    I enjoy running but lately, I find it harder to get out the door. I prefer running alone and was thinking of getting an online running coach to motivate me.


    Does anyone want to share their thoughts on this? I never had a fitness trainer or coach so not really sure what to expect.


      Online running coaches do work for some runners, but these runners have a certain amount of self motivation.  The online running coach will work with you via phone and/or email to determine your goals.  He or she will then establish a plan for you to work towards those goals.  For the better online coaches they will have you check in on an at least weekly basis so they have a clear picture of how you are doing and whether adjustments to the plan are needed.  The big question is whether you will feel accountable to this online coach to follow the plan they set for you or whether you will allow yourself to skip workouts because of a lack of motivation.


      Rather I would recommend picking some goal races for yourself or perhaps some destination races.  Commit to these races by registering for them.  Set your training plan for these goal races.  Find a few friends or some local running group to do a few workouts with each week.  Make yourself accountable to show up and do the workouts with them.  By having some key races scheduled and having already paid the registration you will likely be motivated to get out the door.

      SMART Approach

        As a running coach,  I will say as was stated previously by RunMichigan, we can't make you run. However, if you feel this is what you need to be made accountable and consistent then go for it but you need to have some motivation and some goals. The other key componenet of a coach is to make you a better and faster runner in a safe and fun way. This is my approach and focuses around training smarter. I often see runners who simply are not training the right way, not performing like they would want in races or getting beat up and injured. A good coach will help you do things the right way and help you achieve your goals. If your goal is simply to get out and run, well a coach can't be your alarm clock. If you have a running or race goal or simply want to do things the right way, a good coach can help you maximize the time you put in.

        Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery

        Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training

        Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique



        Are we there, yet?

          That's probably not the best way to get motivated.  That generally has to come from within. Having a coach may increase the level of accountability, but the desire to accept that and get out the door comes from you, not the coach.  It might be a time for some introspection on why you run and what your goals are.

           2023 Races:

                04/15 - Alexander County 12-Hour
                06/16 - Six Days in the Dome 12-Hour




            The thing I really like about having a coach online was that we communicate weekly via emails and he is better than I was at telling me to stop running and recover from my injuries. I've been in a cycle where I press through, have subpar workouts, subpar races and generally hurt when running fast and it had sapped a lot of the joy of running. The downside for me is that I'm constantly reading about training philosophies and I love to experiment and with someone else setting my goals for the week I'm less free to experiment. For instance some things that I want to do are weekly hill sprints ala Hudson whereas my coach prefers lots of strides and critical velocity workouts ala Tinman whereas my coach doesn't prescribe anything by an exact pace. Workouts are mostly intervals or fartleks by effort: easy/moderate/hard/fast.

            1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 41:20 (2021), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Marathon - 3:37:17 (2018)


              Thanks everyone! Going to sign up for a couple races in the fall and will start training for them. Will try this first to see how it goes.


                I have used a couple different online coaches on two separate occasions when I was training for a specific race (both marathons if I remember correctly).  Neither was overly expensive and I actually did enjoy that I had to send them my results after track and any speedwork letting them know what my split times were versus what they had prescribed.  It really helped make me accountable, and at times helped (eg - when he prescribed 10 x 1000 once, I dont know that I would have done that kind of workout if I didnt have the fear of going back to let him know I had bailed before the end of the workout).


                I do agree that you do have be self-motivated to do this anyway because you still have to get out there on your own and they arent standing over you during each workout.

                  To each their own, but david goggins said it...


                  Purpose trumps Motivation,

                  and I kind of like that!


                  state your goal/purpose... and you'll naturally be more motivated to accomplish that goal/purpose.


                  if a running coach will hold you accountable, or you think you'll naturally be running more... or more often, then go for it.


                  can always try it and then no re subscribe...

                  300m- 37 sec.


                  Mmmm Bop

                    I get motivated when I enter races months in advance and then work towards the goal I want to achieve. I would never pay money to an online coach.

                    5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)