If you’re looking for additional help and support as a runner, whether it’s to motivate you, help you train for your first race, or looking to set a new personal best time, a running coach is often a great asset. With so many different types of running coaches to choose from it’s hard to know where to start and knowing how to find the right running coach can be overwhelming. For some people, a personal running coach who runs alongside you in the early hours of the morning is a great fit, whereas, for others, a virtual running coach is best. In this article, we’re going to reveal how to find the right type of running coach for you to reach your training goals.
Step One: Assess Your Running Goals
You’ll also need to consider exactly why you want a running coach in the first place. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to hire a personal running coach, which will be crucial to choosing the right expert for you. Perhaps you want to get in shape for an upcoming event, do a couch to 5k, or perhaps you want to take on more consistent training. Or maybe you want to prepare for a big race. As a novice or an experienced runner you can always benefit from professional guidance and a custom training plan.
It is important to choose the right coach for you so that you can maximize your potential as a runner. While you’ll find hoards of free internet resources on running for both beginners and advanced runners, none of them will be individually tailored to your traits, fitness and style. They won’t take into account your fitness levels, genetic history, dietary habits, personal preferences or personal goals. But with a personal running coach whether face-to-face or virtual, you can build up a training program tailored and completely bespoke to you.
Step Two: Do Your Homework
Of course every running coach is different. Whether it is their training methods or personality, they will each have their own approach and way of doing things -which may or may not suit your needs. While some may focus on increasing your running distance, others may be more concerned with increasing your pace and some may combine a bit of both. Like with any service or transaction, don’t be afraid to ask about pricing and shop around before making a final decision. A local, independent running coach may be more affordable than one from a professional gym or well-established company! Or, you might want to compare the benefits of a virtual running coach to 1 on 1 sessions.
Step Two: Join A Local Running Group
Runners looking to improve their training regime may look to local running groups in order to find an appropriate running coach. Joining a group of like-minded individuals near you could open up discussions about training methods and recommendations of tried and tested personal running coaches near you. Meanwhile, your social skills are bound to improve and this sense of community can provide much needed extra support and willpower when you need it most. Most running clubs are very accommodating to new runners, meaning anyone from a beginner to more advanced runners can join!
Step Four: Ask For Their Qualifications
Of course, it is important to find a running coach who not only understands your needs but who is suitably qualified for the role. This can ensure you are the right match for each other, avoiding wasted time and money. Be sure to ask lots of questions from your own research as well as allowing the coaches to properly explain their background and strengths to you. Ask how many years of experience they have, their personal experience with running, for a sample training schedule, and if they're a certified running coach.
Look for the appropriate accreditations that coaches in your country should have. Past client testimonials can also be very useful, especially if these are face to face from someone you know or who is based within your local area. You should feel confident in the abilities and qualifications of your running coach before you commit to them. Otherwise, this may hinder your confidence and training progress.
There are so many benefits to a personal coach, from guidance on training for your first half marathon or crushing big goals like crossing the finish line with a new pr at the Boston Marathon, a personalized approach to your training will take the guess work out of it for you and let you achieve higher goals. Just be sure to find the right fit and be prepared for all your running success.