If you’re thinking about the best running coach ever for you, take a read at the experience of our dynamic duo, Courtney and Angela. They’re preparing for the Walt Disney World Marathon. And today, they wanted to discuss the topic of a running coach. Each of the athletes has a different approach as to whether or not to hire a coach. In effect, it’s a personal decision. In all, it has to be what’s best for the athlete. Every runner has to get what she finds is useful in support of her goal of running a marathon.
So, let’s take a look at the women approached the idea of partnering with a running coach. As a result, if you happen to be a runner, this will provide you with some insights that you may apply to your training.
As we’ve noted in a previous article about our teammates, Angela has run five half marathons and other distance races. In her view, these races have just been for fun. She told us, “I have no delusions of becoming competitive or even really fast.” She’s just someone who loves the challenge of running. But, despite her experience, she’s quick to say, “A running coach is certainly not critical to training for any race.” Nevertheless, Angela decided to hire Megan Conner because she wanted to do the best she could in her first marathon.
“For the Walt Disney World Marathon, I decided this time I’m going all in. I need to put in 110% effort, to make my running dreams come true,” Angela said. So, she searched her local running club and did other online research for a running coach. She just happened upon Megan at Endorphins Training. Megan is voted the best running coach in Nashville by Nashville Fit Magazine. Angela and Megan spoke and got to know each other. And, the result is that Angela has taken 3 minutes per mile off her 5K pace. She’s also running segments faster than she ever thought.
Finally, for Angela, she’s found closely working with a running coach to be a great experience. She said, “I could not be more thrilled with my progress thanks to the smarts, support, and encouragement from Megan. Also, knowing that she is out there checking up on me, pushes me to do the work.”
Courtney’s path to working with a running coach is different. Because she’s always been an athlete and even played for the New York Sharks, she thought she could do it on her own. A few of the resources Courtney has used to train for the marathon include the Disney Training Programs, Chi Marathon, and Jack Daniels’ VDOT Running Calculator. In addition, she’s relied upon YouTube videos and running articles to help her create a training program. Nevertheless, with time, she felt that she was not making the progress she should. And in her discussions with Angela, she began to consider a running coach.
When she got her Garmin watch, Courtney discovered that Jeff Galloway, the Disney trainer was also a running coach for Garmin. She paid greater attention, but still, she did not feel that her self-disciplined training was getting her where she needed to be. As it turns out, Courtney has a good friend, Teri Griege, who is an inspirational speaker. And, she’s also an athlete, Ironman World Championship athlete, and cancer-survivor. Teri got Courtney in touch with her coach, Jeff. He created a plan for Courtney that differs from Angela’s, but she’s starting to progress. She runs 3 days a week, does 3 days of cardio and weight training and rests on Sunday. With a little support, she’s increasing her running miles.
Courtney explained, “Although I’m a natural athlete, I’m not a natural runner. I don’t want to get hurt, and I want to complete my first marathon in January. I’ve decided that partnering with a running coach helps to improve the odds of my success.”
Although Angela has hired Megan to work with her, Courtney is following Jeff’s suggestions, but still training herself for the most part. Meaning, if you are preparing to be a runner or marathoner, you can hire a running coach, but it’s not necessary. However, you will need resources to help you. Both women continually research and immerse themselves with information targetted to running. For more information about marathon training, take a look at Active Cities excellent guides.
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