I’m back! I was in South Carolina for 9 days (Myrtle Beach) and it was great. Although I was working throughout the trip, I took time off from blogging…I wouldn’t have had time anyway. Most days were spent on the beach, and evenings were spent exploring, dining, etc. It was really fun!
Anyway, being back means getting back into the grind of marathon training. Unfortunately, I only ran 3 times (total of 10 miles) while away. The humidity killed me and on one run I could barely even finish 2.5 miles. I just ended up giving up and enjoying the break.
Now I need to get back into it ASAP…Chicago isn’t as far off anymore! As some of you know, I’ve been working with a running coach, and wanted to talk about why it may be beneficial to work with a running coach yourself. I’ve touched upon the topic in the past, and wanted to add in some new insight.
Workouts Aren’t Set In Stone
When you follow a plan found online or in a book, it lays out every workout for you which is great. But what if you can’t do that workout that week or want to change things around? Sure you can just pick another workout from a different week of training in the book, but how do you know if it is really beneficial for you and where you are in your training?
While I was away, I tweeted at Marc saying that I didn’t want to do the tempo run workout he had listed for me because of the heat. I knew I wouldn’t be able to hit those paces so I asked him if there was another workout I could do.
He responded quickly with a new worokout I could do and we were able to move around the training plan. He knows what my goals are and prescribes workouts based on those goals.
I wrote about running by effort a few weeks ago, and a Twitter exchange with Coach Marc. He basically told me I need to stop worrying about pace while running and go by effort. When you have a running coach, you have someone who will (hopefully) tell it to you like it is.
When I used to complain about running in the rain, he’d always respond with “Are you going to melt in the rain?” Ha! I don’t mind it as much anymore. The only real thing I actually didn’t like about it is the sopping wet shoes and socks but whatever.
A running coach should be able to “be real” with you, whether it’s you complaining about weather conditions, you having doubts about a workout, or you not wanting to run, etc. I’ve heard it all! Whenever I want to skip a run, I immediately think of what I would tell Marc…I can’t just say “I didn’t feel like running today” so I just suck it up and go for a run.
Working Through Problems Together
Marc and I have gone back and forth for years (literally since 2010) about my shin problems. I have consistent shin pain that never goes away no matter what I do. So it has become an issue of just managing the pain and trying to avoid it. He always sends me helpful information or links he might find online, and whenever I can’t do a workout or run, I am able to tell him it’s because of my shin pain. He will tell me to take it easy or go cross-train instead, or offer different options depending on when in training we are (such as don’t run the planned 5K race this weekend or take a few days off to ice and stretch).
A good coach will help you work through your issues, whether it’s injury related or something else. I would do this with my clients when I was a personal trainer as well. If they had some recurring issue, I’d always think of them when I came across articles that could potentially help them. Plus, if nothing else, you have someone to vent to about your running problems! I’m pretty sure my friends could care less about my shin pain/don’t understand why I keep running if my shins hurt
Piecing A Training Plan Together
Marathon training (or any training) isn’t just about the running. A running coach will help you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, that includes cross training, strength training, core, drills, etc. Marc has sent me videos of warm-up drills to do before runs, and schedules in XT and lifting into my schedule so I know when to do what. It’s not just a guessing game.
Answers Your Questions
If you have a question about a training plan in a book, who are you going to ask? You can try to tweet the author (The coaches who wrote Hansons Marathon Method actually do a good job of replying) or searching online or contacting other people who have done the plan, but you might not get the answer you’re looking for.
When I have a question about something, I usually just tweet to Marc and he responds in a timely manner. Such as yesterday:
If you have a random question, it might not be found in your training book or it will be hard to determine the right answer. Having a running coach means you have someone who you can ask anything related to running, and they should be able to help OR they will work to find you the answer.
All in all, it’s been great to have someone to help me create my training plan and someone to talk about running with. You know you’re in good hands with Coach Marc since he has been running forever. He ran in high scool (and recently was inducted into the South Jersey Track Coaches Hall of Fame) and ran collegiately at Villanova as well. He also currently coaches high school and track & field. So yeah…you know he’s pretty knowledgeable about running and training!
If you want to learn more about his coaching services, head on over to his website! He also offers other services such as video gait analysis and training logs (which are great).
Do you have a running coach? Would you ever consider hiring one?
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