It’s not technical
Despite the conventional wisdom, the knowledge a coach has is secondary to his or her effectiveness. That’s right. Knowing the ins and outs of periodization, tempo runs, and intervals on the track are not the primary factors for success as a coach. Information, especially in the age of the internet, is a commodity. You can do a quick google search and come up with a quiver full of training plans for any race distance. Got a nagging injury? You can find a great PT protocol in seconds. Wondering how to reconcile all the races you want to do with your training? There are few articles/blog posts about that. So if I can get all that information at the click of a button, what’s the value of a coach?
A Coach’s True Value
The true value of the coach is to be a front stabber; someone who will speak truth to your face that you may not necessarily like but desperately need to hear. A good coach will know when to tell you to ease up and not go as hard as you think you should. At the same time a good coach will be able to tell you when to push the envelope safely to get you to the next level. A good coach knows what to say to pick you up off the floor when you fopped in your goal race. They will also be your biggest cheerleader when you crush your PR. There aren’t any articles out there to do those things for you. None of these things are contained in a coach’s technical expertise but are driven by the dynamics of the coach/athlete relationship. The technical acumen is necessary, but that should not be the determining factor in selecting the person to help guide your running journey. A good coach will be 80% therapist and 20% technical consultant.
What to think about
When choosing a coach, this relationship needs to be your primary focus. Does this person get me? Am I comfortable letting this person speak into my life? Will I listen to this person when I’m at my lowest point? Can I be vulnerable with this person? Will this person blow sunshine up my butt? All these questions and more should be going through your mind when you consider working with a coach. Fit and compatibility are vital in choosing a coach.
My coaching profile
I’ll be the fisrt to tell you that I am not the best coach for every runner. I’m all about the facts and am a fairly efficient communicator. My ideal client is fairly serious about running and craves scientifically based training methods. My ideal client has broad shoulders and thick skin. They are ready to put in the workand understand that all growth is uncomfortable. I’m better with more experienced runners and have little patience for things stemming from a lack of focus or commitment.
With all that said if you think you fit the profile and are looking for some help with your running, contact me. We’ll do an initial fit session and go from there.
Enjoy the run.