I usually make my own training plans for races, I even made my own for my very 1st marathon, so I’m not sure exactly what it was that swayed me to hire a running coach this time around. Maybe it was having a specific time goal or maybe not feeling confident in my running or the marathon distance itself? Whatever it was, my mind was set, I wanted to find a coach!
Now, I can assure you that you don’t need a coach, there are plenty of great online training plans and tools that are absolutely free. I started out with the Hal Higdon plans and eventually started creating my own based on a variety of free online ones.
I did research, asked my friends, all while trying to figure out what I wanted out of a coach. I was ready to take this marathon seriously, ready to commit and put in all of the hard work that comes with training for a marathon. Here are some reasons on why I decided to hire a coach:
Motivation and accountability. I knew having someone to answer to would be a huge help! Just knowing that there would be someone keeping track of my running other than myself was a huge reason why I wanted a coach. I can assure you, I would have skipped several runs just because I didn’t feel like running if I had made my own training plan.
I’ve also enjoyed filling out my training plan along the way. Running brings out the Type-A in me.
A time goal. I ran my first marathon just to finish and now I’m ready to set a specific time goal. It’s nothing insanely fast, but it’s reasonable and it will knock a lot of time off my first one. I don’t have enough experience with the marathon yet to be trusting myself to make my own plan, especially one with speed work. A coach will make me a personalized plan that will help me reach my goal and it will continue to be updated throughout the training process depending on how I’m feeling.
Friends. I have a few friends who have been working with coaches and they have highly recommended working with one. Not only have they seen improvements, but I’ve seen it too!
I’m calling this my year to start becoming a better runner. I wanted to splurge a bit and spend some time and money on finding a coach to help me on my way.
Coaches know what they are doing and I 100% trust mine! We have developed a great relationship and I already can feel the improvement. I feel stronger, both mentally and physically and I cannot wait to see what I can accomplish at the NYC Marathon in 2 weeks!
What’s your experience with having a coach, of any sport? How would professional coaching help you in your training? What other ways can you find help when you need someone to push you to the finish line? Please share in the comment section below.