Slow Down! Running Your Easy Run, Easier.

               Every run has a purpose Many runners, especially new runners, are under the impression that in order to get faster, they must run all of their runs faster.  This, very simply put, is not true and can quickly become counterproductive.  Your easy run is a key building block for endurance races, but only if done correctly.

               In order to understand why, you need to think about how training works.  When you work out, you are applying a stimulus to your body.  That stimulus breaks down our body, and then our body adapts. The adaptation occurs because our body repairs itself stronger then it was before. The problem is when you run all of your runs too fast then you aren’t allowing your body to fully recover. Many runners, even more experienced runners, will run in the “medium” zone.  Individually, the runs can feel easy.  The problem is, the body isn’t being allowed to recover.  Slowly the body begins to break down and eventually leaves the runner feeling fatigued or injured. 

Running Easy for New runners

This is very hard for new runners, who find themselves struggling to complete new distances or increase their weekly mileage.  Your body can only take so much before it breaks down.  If you are completing new higher mileage, both in individual runs and in weekly mileage, than that is the training stimulus itself. Running it faster will only increase your risk of injury.

Your body has two main energy systems; anaerobic and aerobic.  While training you can’t efficiently build both at the same time.  As a new runner, your focus should start on base mileage. Base mileage develops your aerobic system. As you build this base mileage, slowly, your body adapts in many ways.   You muscular-skeletal systems needs to adapt and your body begins to use oxygen more efficiently.

The act of running is hard on your body. Allowing your body to get use to the pounding that occurs with every step is important.  Increasing, the speed only increase the amount of force being applied to your body.  When you run slower, easy mileage to build you endurance base, the heart becomes stronger, pumping blood more efficiently by increasing stroke volume.  The mitochondria, remember the powerhouse of the cell, becomes stronger and more efficient.  Also, your capillary density increases, which brings blood flow to your muscles more easily.  (If you can read and follow that, thank a middle school science teacher).

So new runners, it’s okay to slow down. It’s actually good for you!  If you’d like to know what a good pace for you to be running at, and you have a race time. Try one of the calculators I have linked below to get an idea of where your runs should be. As a new runners who should be focusing on building base mileage, I would focus on easy pace runs only for a while.

Here are two great calculators from well know professional coaches;

Jack Daniels running Calculator or McMillan Running Calculator

Running Easy for Experienced Runners

               More experienced runners, who have developed a general endurance base, often add in some type of speed work.  This speed work, is meant to begin working on your anaerobic systems.   There are a large variety of speed work outs but the idea behind running easy, or taking off days is the same. You are engaging in active recovery and the key word is RECOVERY!

Pushing your pace on our easy day is further fatiguing your body before you next key workout.  At the very least, running a tad faster than a true easy pace, you are not allowing your body to full recover between those key workouts.  Your subsequent workouts will begin to suffer.  Your growth is going to come from recovering from those workouts, not from going 15-20 seconds faster on your easy days.   You are putting the work in, but you won’t see the growth.  If you continue to run like this, your body will build up cumulative fatigue.  This will cause your performance to plateau, get worse or worse you are at a high risk for injury.

Use a recent race time to get a good idea of what your easy runs should be. These are estimates, the key should be listening to your body.  It’s not uncommon for me to run a day or two slow than my recommended easy pace because my body is still recovering from a hard run. 

Here are two great calculators from well know professional coaches

Jack Daniels running Calculator or McMillan Running Calculator

Thanks for visiting my page.   If you enjoy reading, please subscribe and share!

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes how have gone on to compete a national Division I championships, and adults runners of all abilities.   For more information about customized training plans or private coaching opportunities click here  for pricing and package check it out here

Food Groove Mission- Product Review

img_1823

I was super excited to receive 10 pouches of Food Groove Mission Super bites, an all natural snacks packed with a healthy punch, great for both before and after your run.

img_1820There are three flavors.;

I tried all three flavors.  I love peanut butter and thought that would be my favorite but it was actually the mother earth flavor. It was a hint sweater with the berries. I first tried these bites before my run and they were the perfect option for holding me over between lunch and my afternoon run.  They aren’t overly filling but have high quality ingredients to keep you satisfied on the run.

I also used them after my long run one morning.  They pair so well with a warm cup of coffee and great conversations with running buddies on a cold morning!  I’m usually a junk food monster after my long run and these were a great way to satisfy my craving while getting a lot better quality into my body.

Some of the other Bib Rave pros used these on the run, personally I have a lot of texture issues when I fuel on the run so this wouldn’t work for me.  It’s definitely more of a me issues that a product thing, however.

My overall opinion, these super food bites are an all natural snack that are super tasty.  I found the little pouches to be perfect for tossing in my bag for work on gym back when I headed out to run.  They can be stored at room temperature and hold up well.  I will be  ordering more.

Need a bit more? These super bites are Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Dairy and soy Free. Sorry they are not vegan as they contain Manuka Honey.

Want to get try some bites?  You can order directly from their website at http://foodgroovemission.com/ and use the code “BIBRAVE15” to get 15% off your order.

img_2026
Disclaimer: I received 10 pouches of Food Groove Mission Superfood Bites to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find and write race reviews!

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes how have gone on to compete a national Division I championships, and adults runners of all abilities.   Check out my coaching page for more information!

 

 

20 weeks until…. Grandma’s Marathon

I have been a bit quiet as I flip flopped on what I want my spring racing and training to look like.  Overall, there are a lot of super awesome spring races but my time gets super limited when track season with my high school team starts.  I have finally narrowed it down to two goal races this spring/summer.

My typical favorite spring half marathon (Rock the Parkway) is the same weekend as the NSTA convention for science teachers. This conflict had me looking for other races in the Midwest that didn’t conflict with my track meets as well.

I have decided to race a brand new event, the Valley 7 lakes Half marathon. This course was designed to be fast! I think it will be a great check point race for me as my goal race this training cycle will be Grandma’s Marathon! 

  • Are you interested in running Grandmas Marathon? Use code BibRave10 to receive $10 off!

I am super excited to race Grandma’s Marathon as it has been on the marathon bucket list for a while.  Every year I see a handful of KC runners go and I always am super jealous. It’s a fast net down hill course, and everyone who has raced it, always talks about how beautiful the course is.

Going into these races and this training cycle I am going “back to basics” a bit. I feel like I need as step back before I can more forward. I am focusing less on my finishing time at the races, and really looking at overall growth as a runner and enjoying the processes much more this time around.  How am I mixing things up?

I have decided to cut out or at least cut back on the early speed work. I plan to get a good 6-8 weeks of solid base building in before introducing speed work.  During this phase I will be focusing on building mileage, and getting stronger and healthier.  My goal is to complete strides 2-3 times a week along with short hill sprints twice a week. I plan to be more diligent in my strength training and mobility drills.

Once I have that base foundation set, I think my body will be better equipped to handle the demands of different types of speed, interval and threshold training as I go into the half marathon.   Along with taking time to enjoy running with friends and not spending months on end completing workouts by myself that left me a bit mentally over worked.  As this is how I felt during the last two marathon cycles I have completed.

I hope you will follow me over the next 20 weeks as I tackle this new cycle.  You will find my weekly recaps every Sunday along with regular tips and tricks throughout the upcoming weeks.

Check back tomorrow as I share my review Food Groove Mission Super Food Bites!

 “Disclaimer: I received free entry to Grandma’s Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.   Check out my coaching page for more information!

Zwift Running + Zwift Runpod Review

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift RunPod as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews! img_1846

I will start out with saying I am not a fan of treadmill running.  I do, however, appreciate it’s convenience when the weather isn’t so great for outdoor running.  I am always looking for ways to make treadmill running more fun so I was excited to try out Zwift and the Zwift Run Pod.

So you may be asking, what is Zwift?   Zwift is a multiplayer program that allows runners and cyclists to interact and train together from the comfort of their own home (or gym) while navigating a variety of virtual reality locations. Adding a sense of  community and fun to the traditional treadmill run.  I only used Zwift for running purposes and that will be the focus of this review.

Before beginning there are a few items you will need;

  1. Zwift app downloaded to the device you will use.  I tried it with both my Iphone and Ipad.  There is a huge experience difference using the Ipad.  The phone just isn’t quite as good.
  2. You will need access to a treadmill, this seems pretty obvious.
  3. Zwift Run Pod.  You can use other brands of running pods, however if you are only going to use the Run Pod for Zwift running, then this is an easy and budget friendly choice.

img_1744How did it go? 

I felt a bit foolish because I couldn’t quite follow the directions on getting the back off and battery inserted before use. I feel like there is a step missing on the online directions.  The back clip needs to first come off before you can remove the battery cover. Even now that I know how to do it, the smaller pieces are sort of difficult to grasp. I usually change out my shoes for different runs, however I don’t think I would want to frequently change which pair the footpod was attached too. Thanks to my hubby, that mystery was solved and I headed to the gym for my first run.

img_1747

The first time I used the app, I used my phone.  Thinking for size purposes it would be the easiest.  Getting started was fairly easy for me.  The app walks you step by step on pairing your foot pod and I was off and running in no time.

The app has the option to start training in a few pre-made workouts, however I skipped this step and headed right into running .  I am not sure what was happening at first, my avatar was going in circles and I was running into people. I thought maybe I did something wrong with my footpod, so I adjusted is and tried again.  I am not sure if the adjustments made a real difference or just exiting and re-entering the app fixed it.  Either way, my avatar was off and running without a problem.

img_1749.png

 

I was running on the streets of London, which I thought was pretty neat. Along the way there were lots of bikers and a few runners.  Exciting land marks and images to look at, as well. The accuracy of the pod seemed pretty good as my treadmill and Zwift footpod where pretty darn close the whole time.  Along your run you can earn some badges and level up. I earned some for completing my first mile, 5k and 10k in the first run.  The app used a large amount of the battery life so, if you choose to use your phone plan accordingly.

img_1752

The second time I used the app I used an Ipad and I joined in a group tempo run.  This made a world of difference in the experience.  I was able to chat with other runners, and see the app much more in detail. We were going for a three mile tempo.  I got about 2.2 miles into the run and my footpod died leaving me unable to complete the run.  I haven’t completed any follow up runs, however other runners did note that while the initial battery did have a short life span that once changed it wasn’t a problem.  I have not tested this yet, myself.

Overall, I think the Zwift running and run pod are a great addition to treadmill running.  I think having friends that I know on the app would really make the group running and training even better.  If you have friends all over the globe this is an amazing way to catch up and get some miles in!

If you are interested in getting your own Zwift Runpod use discount code bibrave15 to get 15% off your purchase! (limited to the first 1,000 purchases)

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.   Check out my coaching page for more information!

RunCanvas Customized Coaching Packages

Customized training plans are built just for you!

This is done through a one time consultation.  The certified coach creates a unique training plan based on your individual history, schedule and needs and then uploads it into the app.  From there, you complete the workouts and modify on your own.   This is a great budget friendly option, that allows motivated runners the chance to work with certified coaches without the daily/weekly check-ins and modifications.

Customized Plans can vary in length, depending on the fitness level and current needs of the individual runner. Maximum length of a single customized plan is 24 weeks, which includes a base building period.

Self-motivation and individual commitment are required for this plan. A weekly follow up email is optional for athletes who have questions about the structure or function of their training. This can also be helpful if navigating injury or other issues that come during training.

If you are interested in purchasing a RunCanvas Training Plan, visit the VDOT Market Place! 

 

If you have questions feel feel to contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

One-on-one Coaching options

This is a list of the One-on-one packages RunCanvas Coaching offers.  If you would prefer the customized training plans check out this page!

Work one-on-one with a certified coach! Prescribed workouts will be uploaded into the VDOT App every 1-2 weeks and consistently updated based on your progress and feedback.  Tailored to your personal needs and daily schedules.  Ideally athletes would be able to commit a minimum of 5 days of training to receive best results.

Training plans include;

  • Initial consultation
  • Full Service online coaching offered through VDOT training App
  • Pre-hab exercises
  • Uploaded workouts and feedback
  • Plan adjustments as needed
  • Performance nutrition guidance (as needed)
  • Unlimited communication via text, phone calls or email with certified coach

Athletes who wish to pay monthly for the desired coaching package can check out the VDOT Market Place

 

 

One-On-One Coaching Sessions-$60/ 1 hour sessions

  • In-Person Coaching is exclusively for runners in the Kansas City area, or runners visiting from out of state. In-Person Coaching offers the benefit of live coaching sessions during your training that help ensure that the workouts are performed correctly, provide motivation and stimulus for improvement, and give the athlete an opportunity to seek feedback on technique, pacing, and other factors influencing performance.
  • This package can also include one-on-one goal specific race pacing.  (some limitations apply).
  • If you are interested in this package please email runcanvas@yahoo.com

Small Group Coaching Sessions- Inquire for pricing

  • Like In-Person Coaching, small group sessions offers the benefit of live coaching sessions during your training that help ensure that the workouts are performed correctly, provide motivation and stimulus for improvement, and give the athlete an opportunity to seek feedback on technique, pacing, and other factors influencing performance. Small groups sessions add in the benefit of having a team to train with and making private sessions more affordable.
  • If you are interest in this package please email runcanvas

 

RunCanvas offers both Customized plans and Private coaching options.  Check out the Runcanvas Coaching page to see which one would fit your needs best.

 

My 2019 Running Resolutions

Happy New Year! The world seems divided into two types of people.  Those who love New Years resolutions, and those who think they are dumb.  Well I am a total optimist and I love the clean slate and hopeful attitude that surrounds New Year and resolutions.

2018 was great, it was full of ups and downs, triumphs and failures.  While I didn’t reach my big, gigantic goal, yet. I made a lot of personal growth along the way which is just as important.  I look forward to taking those lesson from 2018, so that I can be better and stronger when I am chasing my dreams in 2019.

Here is my list of 2019 goals and resolutions

Running goals

  • Qualify for the Olympic Trials in the Marathon – This is will be my only time goal this year.  Its my big, big pie in the sky unicorn dream
  • 3,000 total miles for the year- This is about 500 more miles than I completed in 2018.  While, yes, it is a big jump I also had some inconsistencies that could have filled that gap.  So, really, the 3,000 miles goal is less about increasing mileage and more about consistent training.
  • Race more- this may seem like an odd goal, for someone who wants to focus on a big task like qualifying for the trials. However, I miss racing for fun. I don’t know where or when it happened but I started to fear showing up to a race and not feeling 100%. Even worse when I did, I felt like I had a self sabotaging mind set that would allow me to perform my best for that day to to enjoy the activity I love.  SO, I  am going to race more for fun. Race myself into shape.  Run a few races on tired legs and let loose a bit when things don’t go right.  I think this will also have a huge impact on some of my race day anxiety.  Running CIM was a huge eye opener for me, I  forgot to enjoy what I was doing.
  • Shorter Training Cycles-  I am going to break my training up into small, bite size pieces.  I think by doing so I will enjoy the process more and get to the line less wound up.
  • More of the other stuff- Ya know, that super important stuff that coaches talk about but we don’t always do. Cross training, plyos, strides, hill sprints, hurdle hip mobility drills, strength training.  The little stuff really does make a big difference.  I get into something for a while and then when I get deep into a training cycle, life gets crazy the little things fall off.  Just as I would plan and log miles. I have  set up a tracking system to emphasis these components during my different training cycles.

Blogging and Coaching Goals

  • Grow my blog readership and increase my engagement with readers and followers.  I’ll be more deliberate, about actively connecting with the online running community.  I love it so much, as with anything time becomes an issue and its the first thing to fall off.
  • Help more runners fall in love with running and reach their goals through  my online coaching business.  I love sharing my passion and helping other reach their goals. This amount of time I spend with runners leaves me so fulfilled and I want to return that back to our community
  • Instagram?-  I think I want to be more deliberate in capturing my running journey through pictures and sharing on social media.  I think putting a face the story really helps reader get to know me. I just also, really hate taking pictures of myself.  I feel silly when people “catch” me taking post run selfies. Like, I am probably to old for this stuff.

So, that is my list of goals for 2019.  Aside from me crazy goal of hitting the trials standard, the other things are little changes that I think will make a big difference.  What are you goals for 2019?  Do you like making 2019 goals/resolutions?

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

RunCanvas has some amazing New Years Specials going on to help make your 2019 goals a little easier!  

 

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.   Check out my coaching page for more information!

Why YOU should become a runner 2019

Running is awesome! I am sure it is no surprise, to anyone that I meet, that I think running is pretty great.  I am not the only one, however. Running is growing in popularity, it is definitely having a moment.  There is a reason why, running really is for everyone

Why everyone should become a runner?

  • Running is not one size fits all. Training and goals are all specific to the individual.  Unlike many other sports, your biggest competitor is yourself and the clock.  It’s an amazing feeling to run your first race, and complete it.  It’s an even better feeling when you set a goal and watch yourself break new PRs (personal records), after putting in the work. You EARNED that.  There are so many new types of races and distances available.  Really, there is a race out there for every type of person; casual, competitive, destination, fun, obstacle, dog races, trail, road, holiday and so much more.
    • You can check out my post on picking goal races here
  • Running is a great way to meet new people! The running community is full of awesome, uplifting and motivated individuals. As a collective whole, I haven’t met a more supportive and goal oriented group of people. My running friends go out of their way to meet up for runs, push you through difficult workouts and cheer you on to new PRs. You know you have made a great new friend, when they agree to get up a zero-dark-thirty, put on a headlamp and run with you.  It’s always worth it! Bonus, are you single?  Running is full of other goal oriented, active singles.img_0066Health– I am sure I don’t have to tell you, that running is good for you. There are so many health benefits to beginning a consistent running routine.  This doesn’t include diving head first into a high-mileage marathon program.  Running at least 30 minutes a week, 3 times a week has great health benefits.  Regular running raises your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and boosts your immune system. Running can lower your risk of many diseases; including some types of cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis.  Running may help by reducing high blood pressure and lowering your risk of heart attacks.  Running tops the charts as one of the best way to burn calories.  Worried about your knees? Don’t be, here is a great post on how running is actually GOOD for your knees.  The best part is, it can be done almost anywhere at any time!
  • Mental Health-running is a great stress reliever. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins (a natural hormone that acts similar to a drug that improves mood and increases energy). These hormones are also great in decreasing your risk for depression. Ask a runner, friend. They usually are in a better mood on days they get to run.

Steps to successfully becoming a runner

               Many people want to start out the new year with awesome New Year’s Resolutions.  The problem is many of them don’t make it to spring break.  Let’s not become another failed resolution, and instead, become a success.

Let’s making 2019 the year you became a runner.

  1. Running doesn’t have to be expensive, to get started. One thing I do recommend before diving into a running program, is investing in some good running shoes.  Go to a local running store, one that will watch you run and help you select the correct pair of running shoes for your stride.  This is very important to a new runner.  You are going to work new muscles and may have some soreness. Prevent injuries and get the right kind of running shoes, to give you the best chance for success.
  2. Set a goal, or a few goals. Set goals that are realistic and measurable.  Don’t try to go all in, the first day. All or nothing plans, almost always fail.  Start with smaller goals that lead to a larger goal.  Try signing up for a 5k next month.  Promise to build up to 30 minutes of running 3 times per week until you reach that 5k.  Reaching this goal will help motivate you to move onto bigger goals. Once you have run a race, set a new goal, rinse and repeat. Be careful, there is a natural high that comes from completing these goals, and it can become quite addicting.

    img_0068
    My big ol’ Ugly cry after finishing my first marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon. You can not beat that feeling!
  3. Train with friends. Find some friends to train with. This will make the miles more fun, and help keep you accountable. If you aren’t sure who to run with, join a local running group. Running groups have become a big part of my social life. I am super bummed when I miss out on our Wednesday night group runs at the KC running Company store, or Saturday mornings with KC track club-Lee’s Summit group.  There are runners and groups for every speed and distance.
  4. Make back up plans, NOW. Sometimes things are going to happen, so you need to be proactive and have back up plans. It’s easy to find reasons NOT to run.  When things don’t go as planned, what is your back up plan?
  5. It’s okay to slow down. Many new runners, try to run too fast.  This causes a lot of strain on the body.  You need to work up to those fast speeds, only once you have built an endurance base. Try the talk test, if you can’t hold the pace and carry on a conversation, you need to slow down.  I wrote a previous post here, about slowing down your easy run.
  6. Consider a running coach or a plan. There are a lot of couch to 5k, 10k or half marathon plans. Consider your fitness level before choosing. Some may start out easy and increase in difficulty too quickly, some may start out too conservative for your current ability leaving your bored, while some may start out too difficult putting you at a high injury risk.  Getting a running coach can be a lot of help in ensuring you are successful in your running goals. I am a certified run coach, and I still use a running coach for training.  Here are some post about running coaches.
    1. Why YOU could benefit from a running coach!
    2. Which type of Running Coach is best for YOU
    3. Picking the right running coach

The first step is to get out there and run.  Take it one day or one mile at a time.  You will have tough days.  You will have days that you are feeling unmotivated, but I promise it will be worth it.  Taking on a more active lifestyle will have a rippling effect on many other life choices.  You will feel great!   

 

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

 

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.  RunCanvas is currently running some excellent New Years specials!  Check out my coaching page for more information!

 

RunCanvas Coach, New Years Specials

I love New Years! Reflecting on the personal growth and journey of 2018 and the excitement and hope looking at 2019.  cropped-Capture-1.png

To help celebrate the New Years, I will be sharing a New Years Special from RunCanvas.  Hurry these deals won’t last long!

8 week Beginning Runner Training Plan

Normally a one time fee of $50, you can now get it for $35

12 week Customized 5k training Plan

Normally a one time fee of $75 for this service, you can now get it for only $50!

12 week Customized 10k training Plan

Get $20.19 off the regular cost of $75!

 

16 week Customized Half Marathon training Plan

Save 20% off the Regular Price of $75

24  week Customized Marathon training Plan

Save $20 off the regular price of $120!

 

12 week Customize Final Marathon Training

$12 dollars off the regular price of $75

Buy one Customized Training Plan, get on 50% off!

 

 

 

You can pick any customized training plan and get a second one for half the price!  If you are interested in this option, contact RunCanvas so I can create a package deal

 

$100 off  16 week Private Online Coaching 

Regularly $300

 

$150 off  6 Months Private Online Coaching 

$350 off  12 Months Private Online Coaching 

 

2-for-1 Training! 

Have a friend or significant other that is training for the same race? I will create a custom training plan for you two to execute and you will only be charged on price! Contact me to let me know which customized training plan you want and I will create a custom package for you.

Picking the right running coach

Follow up from my previous two blog articles; Why YOU could benefit from a running coach! and Which type of Running Coach is best for YOU. Today, I am going to go into details about how to choose the coach that works for you.

Choosing to work with a coach is an excellent way to add motivation, structure and accountability to your training plan. It also takes some of the burden off the runner to create and execute a training plan when we often struggle with being objective about our own training.

Working with a running coach can boost some athletes progress greatly, but coaches some can also do more harm than good.  There are bad coaches who have had runners that have been successful in spite of their coaches and there have been athletes with world class athletes who haven’t fared so well.   A single success or failure does not define a coach. Each individual athlete and coach brings something unique to the table.  When deciding to work with a coach, do your due diligence and you will get the most out of the time and money spent.

 

  1. VDot certified!
    RunCanvas is proudly VDOT certified

    Certification-  A running certification is not required, in any way to be a running coach.  It does, however, show the coach took the time to complete a curriculum and passed a test on the basic principals of the sport.

  2. Adaptable/Flexible– Murphy and his darn law!  Life is going to happen and a coach that can help not only survive during those times, but also thrive, is a great tool.  I have worked with coaches who demanded certain workouts be on certain days and at certain times in the day.  While there might be some sort of scientific reasoning behind that demand, its unreasonable for the majority of athletes.  It doesn’t matter the depth of knowledge the coach brings if what they are asking for is unattainable in the long run.  Remember, endurance isn’t built over night. You are committing at least a few months to this coach if you are going to see this training schedule through.
  3. Approachable, yet can kick you in the rear when you need it-  Coaching is an art and finding that balance between being approachable and accommodating and nudging your athletes when they need it is a huge role, for a coach. Especially, because the balance is based on each individuals needs.  The big picture is that coaching is not a one way street of communication.  The best coaching happens through two way open communication building a bond between the athlete and coach.  This allows the coach to truly create a plan that fits the need of the runner and adjust in a way that accommodates the runners physical and mental needs throughout the cycle.
  4. Budget-  While a one-on-one coach would be an amazing way to reach your new goals.  For your daily runner, it may not practical,  Fitting both your time and financial limitations. Being upfront about your budget will help save you and your prospective coach time.
  5. Testimonials-  Finding a coach with a background of happy clients and success is a clue that the coach is on the right path.
  6. Experience- Experience as a coach,  experience as a runner and experience being coached all go into influencing the coach and how the work with their clients.  Discussing this background can often times give you great insight into the type of coach you could be working with.
  7. Interview-  I encourage you to interview your coach before agreeing to work with them. It doesn’t have to be a formal sit down interview either.  Feeling them out through message or a phone call can be just as informative.  Here are some questions to ask
    • Coaching philosophy and training approaches
    • How does the coach assess progress throughout the cycle
    • How does the coach handle illness and injuries
    • What are the coaches thoughts/and approach to lead up races.
    • Does the coach include or add on strength training, nutrition, race day advice or other similar items
    • How much communication and what type of communication is involved
    • What expectations does the coach have of their runners
    • How will you receive your workouts
    • Any other special circumstances or needs you feel are important when looking for a coach.

Taking time upfront to find the right coach will make working with a coach that much more rewarding.  You will be spending your time and money on this person, so feeling confident you have chosen the right fit for you is an important step in your journey.

Have you worked with a running coach before?  What is the most important factor for you when deciding who you will work with.

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

 

VDot certified! I am a VDot Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.   Check out my coaching page for more information  or you can find me on the VDOT Marketplace.  2019 coaching packages are currently being updated!

%d bloggers like this: