Coaches seem to be prolific at the moment for running (and cycling!). It is easy to see why too. Running appears to be more popular than ever. Running groups are turning up all over the place in the UK (and no doubt many other countries) and are very popular. No longer are running clubs seen as elitist and most welcome all abilities.
The amount of disposable income also must be an influencing factor with runners prepared to pay , in some cases, significant sums for personal coaching
But why do we need a coach?
There is a plethora of information available online that you can piece together to improve your running. This ranges from training plans, to videos about improving running technique, warm up and cool down drills, improving times etc.etc. However piecing this together may not be your bag, and you may work better with someone experienced who can help you pull a training plan together. There is also the personal touch that one-to-one coaching can bring.
Do I need a coach
I have thought long and hard over the years about this. Part of me would love the idea of a coach planning my training and helping me achieve my goals.
So why haven’t I made the move?
Every time I start to look into this I cannot identify what my goals are. What do I actually want to do?
Break my PB’s at 5k. 10k, ½ marathon perhaps?
- What is my ‘A’ race? Well I don’t have one. That is my first problem. There are a lot of races throughout the year that I love to run, and at varying distances. I want to do well at all of them! To pick one as an ‘A’ race seems wrong, and if picking one, which distance do I choose
- How often do you want to train? Well…….. I also like to ride my bike and often head out on a weekend and cycle 50 miles plus. I also want to ride the odd (as in occasional, not weird!) cycling ‘sportive’ event. The timing of said ‘sportive’ may not agree with the program to be at my best for the ‘A’ race. So I have to choose what I really want to do! So some weeks I may run 20 to 30 miles. Other weeks I want to do more cycling so may have more rest days. So my training is quite fluid.
‘You need to decide what are your priorities…..cycling or running. When you have decided then you can commit to a training program.’
Well, I am not quite ready for that. If I take a look at what I enjoy doing, I enjoy long sociable cycle rides and I enjoy running. If the running culture was the same as the cycling culture then I would be like a pig in ‘sh1t1’ By that I mean the culture whereby you head out on your bike with likeminded people, nothing too competitive, stop at a café for coffee and cake, then head back home. Running doesn’t really lend itself to that.
So what is stopping me just running the races and not worrying about my times?
Basically I am too competitive! As soon as my form starts to improve I get carried away and start thinking again about PB’S!
Perhaps I need a psychologist rather than a coach!
Is it just me or does anyone else have this dilemma?