Maybe you’ve accomplished that 5k race, and even a 10k race. However, the more you get invested in running the faster you want to be. The question remains for many is, how do I get faster? You may find yourself talking to other friends and athletes to figure out what improves your pace and running cadence. I went down this exact road many years ago, and for myself, I wasn’t in college anymore or even competed on a professional level. However, what I did want is to compete with myself and train to be the fastest me! I went down many avenues before I found the one plan that paid off the most, and that was getting an online running coach.
It felt a bit odd at the time to be asking for help on “how to run faster,” in my mid-twenties. But little did I know just how beneficial it was to have a running coach that could create workouts, consult with, and tailor to my abilities. If any of this sounds familiar to you I want to share with you a few of the secrets and questions I had when looking for an online running coach.
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What Are Your Goals –
The first and highest priority before beginning your search for an online running coach is to make a list of running goals. If you need some help on ideas here are a few:
- Decrease my running pace
- Run a half marathon
- Improve my Running Stride
- Run for 30 consecutive minutes
- Place in my age group
No matter how big or small a goal may seem, it has to be personal and meaningful. You need a reason to help motivate you and push you when it comes to running. Running is one of the least expensive means to exercise, a pair of shoes, some shorts, and a t-shirt and you can run out your front door. However, only 20% of Americans are getting enough daily exercise. Which is why it’s so important to find your “WHY” or your reason you want to have an online running coach.
I would dedicate some time thinking about your personal goals before you search for a running coach. This way when you begin your relationship with your coach you have a definitive reason why you want them and they understand what you want from them when it comes to coaching.
Runner Checklist For A Online Running Coach –
The second part to creating your goals is to know what you want from an online running coach. Many people that I’ve talked to that were interested in starting with a running coach had some misconceptions of what a coach can and cannot do for them.
The first thing you have to understand is that you’re in search of a coach that is primarily “online.” This means that you will be communicating primarily remotely over phone, texts, or emails. Depending on where you live and your coach you may have the privilege of meeting a few times throughout the year. However, since you’re looking for an online running coach you need to expect how you’ll be communicating and if you want an in-person visit each week then you may need a running coach that is less online and more in-person.
Nonetheless, similar to your goals you want to create a checklist so that you can interview your soon to be running coach. The last thing you want from a coach is one that isn’t meeting your expectations. Instead, it’s better to discuss how you want to work together upfront so that you know if you’re going to be a good match.
Coaching Personalities –
I know from personal experience that there are a lot of running coaches and each and everyone has a different method to their coaching. For example, if you want a coach that is consistently motivating you and talking with you on a daily bases you need to discuss that upfront. I know some athletes that function better being left alone and just simply having a training plan in place. Therefore, you need to be upfront and see if you’re expectations are going to be met by the online running coach you’re interested in.
Checklist Ideas –
To better help with ideas on what to desire in a running coach, we have made a simple list that may help give you a start.
- Daily / Weekly / Monthly Communication
- Over the Phone Communication
- Personal Motivator
- Helpful when injuries or setbacks occur
- Flexible with your personal or work schedule
- Helpful with nutrition
The list can go on-and-on, however, the thing you need to do is be prepared to ask many questions.. This way no one is uncertain of the expectations or goals.
Typical Cost & Commitment of an Online Running Coach –
As you make a list of your expectations, your coach may ask you multiple questions to understand your personality and goals as well. Therefore, be prepared to answer the same questions, on why you want a coach and what are your training habits. I will tell you I’ve never met a coach that has wanted someone to fail. Instead, the coaches I’ve known over the years want to see their athletes succeed. However, I’ve always been interested in asking what frustrates or is the hardest about coaching. I typically get the response, “having an athlete or client not working hard enough for their goals.”
It’s difficult at times in our life we can become busy or unseen events can occur with our jobs or personal life. Therefore, a coach may ask you how you would overcome and continue to workout and training through such an event. They aren’t trying to catch you off guard. Rather they want to know how they can help motivate and give you the right tools to reach your goals even though adversity.
When you do select an online running coach you need to have a sense of commitment. For myself I know having someone observing my workouts is enough to hold me accountable. However, at times I can get lazy and relaxed and the last thing you want to do is waste the time of a great online running coach. Hence, you need to expect to give your 110% self to your coach as you try to accomplish your goals. I will tell you if you do just that, you’ll be able to accomplish the goals you created.
When it comes to the cost of an online running coach it can vary. Depending on where you live, who you coach with, how many clients they have, and the time frame or goal you have in mind. Typically, though they work on a monthly fee or payment plan. Therefore, if you think of a gym membership, it’s very similar. To give an actual dollar amount you can expect anywhere from $50 – $250 a month as a guideline. For example, someone whose goal is to run a 5k may have a different rate than someone running a marathon. The time and work required to create such training plans will differ quite a bit.
Benefits Of Having A Online Running Coach –
When it comes to the benefits of having an online running coach they are almost endless. Hence, why we are going to focus on the leading benefits and not a complete list.
- Holds you accountable
- Adaptive to Work Schedule & Personal Life
- Able To Help Through Injuries
- Right Perspective during training difficulties
- Trained and Experienced in knowing how to reach your goals
- Create Plans that are tailored to your goals and skillset
As you can see a running coach is not going to give you some homogenous plan. Instead, they are going to create a plan that is specific to your goals. They have the knowledge and skill set to understand what it takes to reach your specific goals. If you’re planning on running your first marathon or planning on running for a new PR. Running coaches create training plan that are specifically designed for just that. Someone people assume that an online running coach is a one size fits all. However, I knew multiple athletes that were using the same coach and we would all have very different training plans. As a result, each plan was designed for our specific goals and skillsets.
The idea for having an online running coach isn’t to just sit back and expect the results. Rather it’s about creating a relationship that takes a coach’s expertise and an athlete’s skill set to achieve a personal goal. Each party has to know the goal and work together to achieve it.
Where To Start Your Search –
Now that you’ve created a list of goals, and questions to ask a coach, where do you begin? First start looking for running clubs in your area or near you. These are great resources for finding reputable running coaches. The second is to start looking at resources such as Road Runners Club of America, this is a community-based club that is for runners and offers coaches. You can find a coach by clicking here. This will allow you to select local coaches to your state that are certified by Road Runners Club of America.
If you’re looking for an online running coach that you can start with today TDA coaching. They offer high-quality one-on-one online running and triathlon coaching services. For more details and a free consultation click the following link.