Happy Thursday and first day of December!
So I TOTALLY planned to get this posted yesterday, but life got in the way. I know I’m a day late, but I’m linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Jen from Pretty Little Grub, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Nicole from FitFul Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday.
My blog has been dominated by marathon training for the past few months, so I thought I would write about why I hired a running coach.
To give you a little background, this was my first time hiring a running coach. When I trained for my first half marathon in 2014, I used a training plan that I found in a running magazine. I followed the plan exactly as it was written (I missed one or two training runs) because I wanted to make sure I was prepared come race day. Oh, did I mention that the race was in March so I started training on New Year’s Day, right in the middle of winter? Yeah…fun times! My first half marathon went well, and I really had no complaints, but I knew I wanted to run faster. That summer I joined the Half Marathon Training program with Fleet Feet Sports. It was great to have structed times and days for the runs and to listen to words of wisdom from the coaches. I was able to shave off about 17 mins from my time due to that training group.
This was great for the half marathon, but the marathon is a completley different beast. How can I train properly for a marathon? What will I need? Can I do this? After asking myself those questions, I knew I had to hire a running coach, and I had the perfect person in mind, Abby.
Abby and I have been social media friends for about 2 years and I was a participant in Blog, Brand, Business group. I really loved working with her and I read some awesome testimonials from her previous running clients. In addition, Abby was also running the NYC Marathon and we’re pretty much the same age, another two checks in the ‘plus’ category for me! I reached out to Abby in June/July, we had an initial call, and then she put together a training plan for me. After getting the training plan, I knew I made the right decision.
So, why did I hire a running coach?
I know how to run, but I still don’t know what I’m doing…
There’s a big different between running 13.1 and 26.2 miles (duh)! I had SO many questions. How many miles should I run in a week? How many rest days should I have? What about strength training? How long should my “long” run be? Do I need to do speedwork?
Basically I was just one big question mark. I really didn’t know how to apprach training for a marathon without being overwhelmed by the process. Abby made me look at the plan one week at a time and told me to not look ahead because I would just freak out!
I’m pretty good at getting a plan and sticking to it, but it’s REALLY easy to just skip a run because you don’t feel like it. Knowing that I had a log for my daily runs on Google Docs made me want to make sure that I got in all of my runs. Also knowing that my coach would be checking on me made me want to stick to the plan even more. My coach worked hard to come up with a plan that would work specifically for me, so I respected that.
When I first started training back in July, the marathon felt like a unicorn to me. It was this magical thing that I knew nothing about, but somehow wanted. With a few marathons under her belt, Abby was able to answer all of my crazy questions, no matter how silly :).
Hitting Your Goals
Since this was my first marathon, the only goal was to finish. That being said, it still took A LOT of planning to make that happen. Due to my runner’s knee flair up in June and my ongoing IT band issues, Abby designed a plan that would keep me healthy and keep those injuries at bay. That being said, if you have a time goal, a running coach is the best way to go. The plan is going to be completely personalized to your needs and what you need to do in order to hit that marathon time goal.
Looking forward to 2017, Abby and I have both entered the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. We find out if we have been accepted on December 13th. If all goes well, we will both be running that marathon and I plan on hiring Abby again as my coach 🙂
In totally unrelated news, don’t forget to enter my Running Items Giveaway on Instagram – it ends tonight!
Have you ever hired a running coach? Why or why not?