Most runners, from a novice to someone aiming for a sub-3 marathon or quicker, will benefit from having a coach. A coach will write a training plan personalised around your lifestyle that will take you safely from where you are to where you want to be. The plan should be easy to understand and if not, the coach should be able to clarify the run before you do it. The plans should only be written on a shorter-term basis, usually monthly and be adapted by the coach when needed. Want to run with friends? No problem. Can’t run today? Just a small tweak to the rest of the week and all is ok. Doing better than you thought? The goals can be adjusted as you go along. Last minute race you want to enter? A quick change of the plan and advice on how to run the race and it all works.
For a small outlay per month all of the time and effort that you invest in training and improving yourself can be used far more efficiently and effectively. A good coach will provide you with feedback as your progress, so that you know how you are doing and not guessing by looking at a piece of paper with a load of runs on it. A good coach should also act as a sounding board, mentor and be there to hold you accountable.
It can be a scary thought if you’ve never considered working with a coach. A lot of runners don’t believe a coach would want to coach someone like them. Maybe you’re a novice, maybe you think you’re too slow, maybe you don’t have a specific target race? I have coached a very wide range of runners to meet their personal goals – including to ‘complete’ a marathon, to run under 3 hours for a marathon, to run their first 5k, to run a 5k under 16 minutes and a 60 year old to complete a 24 hour race. More importantly, I’ve helped a lot of people to keep running and improving through lockdowns, even without the focus of races.
You won’t have to worry about how much, how often, or what type of running sessions you should be doing. Simply follow the detailed plan, ask questions when needed, and start improving. I will guide you through any fears you may have and help keep you motivated and on track.