As you all know (unless you’re a new reader, in which case, HI!!), I’m working with Coach Suz to train for my first marathon. I went into the reasons why in this post. I thought it might be good to reflect on this process regularly so that you all can see the value of hiring a coach, and the right coach for you.
As of right now, I am over-the-moon happy with my coaching experience. Susie has been incredibly accessible and totally on the ball. I email her at least once a week with a question or looking for some advice, and I always receive an answer within an hour. Most of the time it’s something that’s really no big deal, like, “Can I skip spin class tomorrow and do yoga instead?” If I were on my own, I’d probably just skip the spin class regardless, but having a coach to bounce things off of really makes me consider my motivations, like “Am I really too tired to go to class, or am I just being lazy?” “Will I actually do yoga instead, or will I just succumb to the siren song of my couch?” It’s incredibly helpful for me to have an objective opinion to help shape my workouts.
Having a coach is also really helpful when facing actual dilemmas, like “Do I still attempt my long run outdoors when the high temp for the day is 3 degrees, and the windchill is predicted to be at -25? How do I dress? What happens if I can’t finish?” Instead of worrying and questioning myself and my motives (Is it really dangerous to run when it’s that cold or am I just being lazy?), I can have someone talk me through options. It’s also EXTREMELY motivating to have to report my workouts. This way, I have accountability, and am much less likely to skip a run just because I don’t feel like it.
I’m six weeks in, and on track to have my highest-ever month for running mileage. I might be worried about injury or burnout if I were on my own, but I have complete trust in The Plan, and my coach. It just takes so much anxiety and guesswork out of the whole equation. It’s easy to question or ignore a training plan when it’s just a cookie cutter plan that hundreds or thousands of others use. But mine is uniquely tailored to ME; my paces, my goals, and my schedule.
So there you have it, a little progress report, as it were. I will probably come back to this a few more times over the course of my training, and will definitely do a recap after the marathon so that those of you who are curious about the pros, cons, and overall value of hiring a coach can get the inside scoop.
Have you ever hired a coach for a big goal race? Would you consider it for the future?