Get Out of Your Own Way: Getting a Running Coach to Simplify
Have you ever google searched “marathon training” or “beginners running plan?” I bet if you have you’ve noticed that there’s hundreds of thousand web pages that are willing to pitch in there two cents. Even if you click on a couple of those links, you could find advocates for high mileage and next-to-nothing volume, programs that preach the necessity of speed work and others that say all you need is a few runs a week and magically strength training routine to trim those tough minutes off your personal best.
The truth is, for lack of a better metaphor, there are a hundred ways to skin a cat. I do not advocate for animal violence, I love my two year kitty, Muffin, but my lord there is a lot of information out there. That’s one of the beauties of this age of information we live in, you can approach training for your next race in so many ways. But that embarrassment of riches can also create some unnecessary confusion. How do you know if you should listen to Dr. Yoga or Prof. Strength training?
You can end up losing your grip after reading contradictory articles on the benefits of ice bathing after runs. So what do you do? You want to get better right? You’re not an expert and your own research is yielding inconclusive results on how to proceed with your next interval session; or should it be a tempo run? Or hell even a fartlek?
Here is where the value of having a personal coach can streamline training choices! It may come off as flippant but the workouts you do generally don’t have to be specially devised from a book like Jack Daniels. And don’t get me wrong, Dr. Daniels has contributed an enormous amount of physiological research to Out sport, but his training manual shouldn’t be taken as the word of god, uncontested and never question. The training itself is incredibly nuanced because we are all different athletes. While, yes, there are principles of building fitness and race preparation, there are an insane amount of ways to build your road to your goals. Having a program individualized to the type of runner you are will get you so much farther than a pre-programmed plan ever would.
I have a constant dialogue going on when it comes to my own personal running. On one hand, I have been coaching at a high level for a number of years, and on the other, I am not subjecting my athletes to the same grueling mileage and intervals sessions I go through as an athlete. Arrogant or not, I have a belief in myself as a coach, but not in the ability to coach myself. It’s far too easy to rationalize deviate from my planned workout because there may be a less painful, or as I like to put it “optimized,” was to get it done.
That’s why I got myself a coach! And yes, Team Wicked Bonkproof would be my first recommendation, just having another person to defer to on training can alleviate the stress of trying to figure out how to structure training. I think the saying you here with strength training holds just as true with running, “the best workout plan is the one you’ll do.” Coach Caleb and Johnny no doubt know what they are doing to prepare athletes of any and all abilities, but there most important role (which I believe is a valuable trait in any coach) is that they remove the thinking that is involved in implementing training and they are there to keep you accountable and on task.
Get yourself a coach that will work with you through your moments of doubt, just as much as they will celebrate with you in your eventual greatness. Often when we train alone we neglect the emotional toll that a small injury or the like can eat at you if you don’t have someone to talk you off the edge and keep your mind focused on the goals at hand!