Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Why a coach?

Many of you know I have been internet coached by Jill for CIM and Eugene. I was asked this at work when I posted my Eugene RR to the local running group:

On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM, XXX  wrote:
what was the single biggest lesson from the coach?  run some intervals?  ;-)

Several people have asked me this, and the question had somewhat  skeptical air to it so thought I'd try to hit a larger audience about why a coach can help you do better in your running (and not just running PRs but staying healthy). 

This is what I responded:

#1) She really really kept on me to see a PT person about side effects from my congenital slight leg length discrepancy issues.  I finally did it and it was profound. I would have probably not bothered to do this. Ever. (Lazy, assumed nothing could be done, etc).

#2) She did also figured out how hard I could be pushed and not break. I would have been  too whussy to go there or I would have done too much and broken and figured I'm just not cut out for it etc. 

#3) When life intrudes and things get complex with travel or social constraints it's great having somebody figure out how to reoptimize the quality training around that. I would  have been lazy and just 'gone for a run' because I wouldn't have figured it out in time.

#4) Experience seeing lots of runners. When you get some advice it's got some gut feel behind it from seeing and working with a lot of runners.  There is also some empathy because a coach that has had to work through their own training issues may also know what you are dealing with. 

I don't think coaching is for everybody by any means. You do have to communicate. In my case, as you know,  I write pretty comprehensive training posts on my blog so Jill can know exactly how each week has gone.

Considering all the time put in training for a marathon, it's money well spent in my opinion.


  1. Well put. Jill has been my first and only coach. Your last point is most likely the most important IMHO. When I first came under her guidance -- I failed to provide enough information to help Jill make me successful.

    You may also earn a friend(s) through your coach as well --- BONUS

  2. Glad it has worked for you--it's such a give and take relationship. Good coaches are only good if they have a client who is committed and communicative as well.

    How was Eugene?? I clearly missed the post! I hope it was great.

  3. I am glad that Jill worked for you!

  4. The best part for me is to see others achieve their goals and dreams. I have run for eternity, since I was in middle school and earned a small track scholarship to run the mile in college; but my running was never a gift, I had to work my tail off to be mediocre. I know how tough the journey can be and have had to find that fine line between pushing past the comfort zone and over-training and can read the signs pretty well. I don't have all the answers, but I know what it took for me to achieve my Boston dreams and I love to share that knowledge with others. And along the way, make some true friendships! :)

    Maybe you could write a guest post for me about coaching??

    Thanks, Paul - it's been an incredible journey!! Don't forget, I also swam in college and can always be your swim coach! ;)

  5. I would love to get a coach to help me. I am joining a master swim group starting tomorrow and I will meet with them 2 nights a week. I am going to take advantage of having a coach.


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