I think everyone has their own reasons for getting a coach for endurance training. I have resisted for a long time, mostly because I just felt like I didn’t really need one (and didn’t want to spend the money if I didn’t). But also because I REALLY enjoy making my own training plans. I also enjoy controlling my own decisions and my training and never really felt like I needed the accountability. But…
To be honest, over the last year, even as my paces got a bit faster and I had some PR’s in different distances, I never really imagined that I could be a 3:30 marathoner. Did I think my body was capable of it before Eugene? Yeah, I think so. But it still seemed crazy to me.
As I ride my PR high, I have naturally started thinking about future goals. Could I be a sub-3:25 marathoner? Could I be a sub-3:20 marathoner?
Those are numbers that I NEVER, EVER considered possible. But now, somehow, it seems kind of natural that those would be the next goals.
And I don’t know how to get there.
I believe those are truly crazy-fast numbers and I think that if I want to DREAM BIG and go for it, I need some help. I also think that to continue to get faster, I am going to have to do some things different than I have always done.
So I hired a coach.
There were several things important to me in my coaching selection.
- I wanted someone local. I wanted to be able to meet with someone face-to-face occasionally. I wanted someone who I could get to know, outside of a computer screen or a phone.
- I wanted to be a part of something. I played team sports my whole life and while endurance sports are a great substitute for the competitiveness, I really miss the team environment. I wanted to be a part of a group that had a “team” feel.
- I wanted someone who would be invested in my training. Our (non-running) spouses may support us and be proud and excited when we PR, but they aren’t really invested in our training and results. And our running buddies and friends are certainly happy for us and support us, but they aren’t analyzing our numbers and training trends or thinking about our performance the way we are and a coach will. I want that.
- I wanted to “click” with someone. I wanted to feel like we got along, had a similar mentality, similar approach to training, similar vision for what I can do.
- I wanted someone responsible. Maybe this should be a given, but my Type-A personality would struggle with someone who was giving me my training schedule at the last minute or, worse yet, late. I wanted to know that my coach took their role seriously and was committed to being consistent and organized from week to week.
- I wanted someone who would scare me. I want to be challenged. I want to push my body in ways I never have. I want to look at my running schedule and be a little bit afraid of what I see. Pushing my limits, but in a smart way, is how I know I will get faster.
Do I think having a coach automatically guarantees that I will PR this fall? No. Not at all. I know I have to put in the work and do all the right things to stay healthy. Even after that, I know (from experience) that the stars still have to align on race day. But I am ready to give up control. I am excited to see what my training looks like. I am looking forward to doing new things. So, July 9th, it begins…NYCM training with Coach.