Who is your coach? Who do you reach out to when you have questions regarding running, training, setting goals, new shoes, or anything else related to our sport? Who writes your programs? All in all…. who is coaching you?
I ask this question because I recently ran into a former client who has now started a running group — awesome! share the love of the sport– and he is serving as their coach, (and charging for it). Again… awesome! Share the love.
But….. I am not certain he has the ability to coach, yet. He only recently stopped training with me, and still has a lot to learn about the sport and racing. (I know I still have much to learn, and I have been competing since middle school). This interaction caused me to reflect on the sources that we retrieve our information, our go to peoples for our coaching questions.
Who is your coach?
Who is your source of information when you have questions or concerns about your training? These people and things are influences on us and tend to ‘coach us’. Is it the magazine? Is it someone in your running group? Is it the article posted on line? All of these sources influence our decisions regarding our training.
While we can train independent of a coach, all of us do need a coach at some point in our training career/journey. All of us need someone we can trust to sort through the mish-mosh of information and help decifer the details. Someone who can guide us, remind us to rest, encourage us when we fall on our face…. Someone who can help us create or create for us the strategies necessary to compete. We need a coach and a support group.
There are several governing bodies that oversee coaching and training and competing. These include (domestically) USA track and field, USA swimming, USA cycling, USA triathlon, Road Runners Club of America, as well as a plethora of organizations that oversee personal training and strength coaches. These bodies dictate how things should happen, which helps protect the coach and the coached.
In seeking out a coach, there are things you need to consider? Is your coach about your goals, or their goals imposed on you? Do you feel comfortable with your coach? Does he/she understand the demands of training and a job? Does she understand your personal needs? How much contact do you have with your coach? Does your coach have a support group/network to whom she can reach out to? Is your coach currently training?
It is perfectly acceptable to rely on articles or friends or your local training group to assist you in achieving your fitness and racing goals. Acknowledge that these are serving in some capacity as a coach. This group of people is important. If you need more, you need a different coach. You may need different motivation. You may need someone who is more available than the weekly interaction on Thursday evening and Saturday morning. Consider who is your coach, and what a coach means to you. That will help you decide who is your coach? or who your coach should be?