It’s time for another update in my series on working with a running coach.
If you missed the first two posts be sure to check them out:
Why Did I Get a Running Coach?
Can I Afford a Running Coach? (You’ll be happily surprised by the answer.)
In this post I will be discussing exactly what my running coach, Laura of MommyRunFast, and I do together and how it is positively impacting me as a runner. My hope is that this not only answers the question: “What does a running coach do?”, but that it also helps you to see the benefits in working with a running coach.
First, I emailed back and forth with Laura asking her questions to make sure her program was the perfect fit for me. I asked things like:
What are the lengths of your program options?
How much does it cost?
How would we set up my training plan?
How often do I have contact with you?
What happens when I am confused or have questions?
After Laura was able to easily answer my questions, with answers that seemed to be a perfect fit for me, and the level of interaction I wanted to have with my coach (a lot), I knew that she was the right one for me.
Next, Laura and I scheduled an initial call. During that first call we talked for about an hour! Laura asked me about my main goals, past running injuries, recent running performances, what types of cross training I like, what facilities and classes I have access to, and how I would feel about certain things being added and taken away from my plan. In my case this meant more cross training and strength workouts and less running while I focus on my number one goal: getting healthy and being able to run injury, and pain, free. If your goal was different, say setting a new PR, then your conversation would head in a different direction.
Laura created an initial training schedule for me, based on what we had talked about on the phone. I love that she did this in a Google Document because it means we both have instant access to the spreadsheet and it updates every time you type into it (without having to worry about saving). The fact that it is a Google Document also means I can easily open it on my Google Drive from my phone or tablet so it is super easy to check in on. Every night after my workout I go to the document and type in what I actually did, how I felt, and any additional comments. These are all instantly saved so Laura can see my responses too. Then I peek to make sure I know what my workout for the next day is (though they are listed way in advance in case I want to plan). I LOVE how accountable this keeps me. Knowing I have someone to report to really keeps me on the right track. I need that!
Laura then goes into the document and makes comments next to my workouts and alters things as needed. When I commented that I tried running (after a few weeks off) and it was still hurting my knee, she altered the plan and let me know I needed to stick to the elliptical for a bit longer. She is always there to change and modify things as necessary. As I begin to get healthier, and the pain goes away, we will be able to increase not only the length/distance of my workout, but also the intensity. It is great having Laura there to make these decisions for me so I don’t overdo it by trying too much too soon. Plus, when I am healthy it will be great to have her there to push me past what I would normally do on my own.
What if I need to ask her something ASAP? It is really easy to reach her by email. When I was feeling horribly sick and didn’t know if I should try to power through a walk to get something in, or just sleep, I emailed her and heard back within the hour. I also have her number in case something is even more urgent and a quick email response is just not fast enough.
Would you ever be interested in working with a running coach?
If so what would your running goal be?