Since Covid, more people have found themselves running than ever. I discovered I had neighbours who owned running shoes (and dogs – who knew?!) that were taking to the pathways to get a break from the home office (or family - no judgement here). Maybe some of these people are new to running, maybe some of these people used to be runners and decided to pick it up again. Whatever the reason and level, kudos to ALL for taking steps to get healthy.
As a running coach, I have seen the numbers looking for coaches over this past year increase dramatically. Here are four of the most common sentiments I’ve heard runners say regarding hiring a run coach:
1. I wish I’d hired a coach sooner. Why do people say this? Because they are seeing results being coached! One thing I’ve noted is many runners feel they’ve reached their peak long before they have. A good coach can help identify areas of weakness you might need to work on, help improve your form to gain efficiencies, and keep you accountable to your plan. A coach should bring variety to your training plan and keep it fun and engaging, as well as provide you with mental skills/training. Speaking from personal experience, I didn’t see results for 3 consecutive years until I hired a coach. Learning how to train properly was key and I, too, wish I’d hired a coach sooner.
2. I didn’t think I was fast enough. No one is too slow to be coached. In fact, isn’t that why most people hire a coach – to get faster? Running is a sport all levels can excel at. It’s an individual sport where you can set your own goals and chase after them.
3. Coaches are expensive. There are a wide range of coaching options available. Do your research. And ask yourself, is your health worth a small investment each month? Maybe you have a gym membership you've been paying for that you really never use. If a coach is important to you, try and find ways you can cut back on small things, like the daily Starbucks fix, to fit it into your budget.
4. I figured I could just download a program online. A good coach will design a program tailored to YOU. You may see results from an online program, but you should see even better results from a program designed specifically for your needs and goals. If you’ve tried the online program route, that’s a great start! But if you want to take your running to the next level, reach out to a coach who can help you do that.
There are many coaches local to YYC and across North America. Here are a few clubs based in YYC to get you started on your search:
Visit your local running stores for other individual coaching suggestions, too.