How to Become an Online Trainer or Coach!
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CLICK HERE ← Online Trainer Academy! (affiliate link, thanks for the support!)
While I mainly talk about being a running coach and the OTA is mainly targeted towards personal training, the two are 99% interchangeable when we’re talking about the business part of being an online athletic mentor.
I’ve developed the knowledge of running through experience and learning. However, I strongly believe I would not be able to successfully coach others without what I’ve learned from Jonathan Goodman, the Personal Trainer Development Center, and the Online Trainer Academy.
As an online running coach, I’m able to work on my own schedule. This means I get to train to my heart’s desire! I still work a lot, since I’m living my passion and it does not feel like work! My wife is a teacher and gets the summers off. Since I’m able to work from anywhere in the world we are able to travel when she is on break. We spent a month in Panama one summer, and few weeks in the Pacific North West another, and other shorter trips!
ENROLLMENT OPENS FEB 21 through March 2nd! Only opens twice a year.
If price is what is holding you back, I have a tip for you! I was able to put it all on Paypal credit with zero interest. That meant I saved $200 because it was paid to the Online Trainer Academy in full (vs a payment plan) and I simply used the initial payment from each new client to pay off the Paypal credit!
If you have any other questions, please comment below or contact me privately 🙂
First, why do runners get patellar tendonitis?
The patellar tendon is a short but very wide tendon that runs from your patella (kneecap) to the top of your tibia.
The reason you have a kneecap in the first place is to generate a bigger mechanical advantage at the knee—this allows your quadriceps to create strong forces at the knee, which are important in any sport with running or jumping elements.
However, the result of this is that the patellar tendon has to absorb a lot of this loading, and as a result, it’s prone to injury in runners and jumpers; one study found that patella tendonitis accounts for just under 5% of all running injuries.1
Unlike many common running ailments, patellar tendonitis is somewhat more common in men than in women.
Patellar tendonitis usually begins with a stiff feeling in the patellar tendon, especially when running downhill or descending stairs.
Like most tendon injuries, it may go away once you get warmed up, but as the injury worsens, it will remain painful for the duration of your workout.
It is also important to distinguish patellar tendonitis from patellofemoral pain syndrome: patellar tendonitis does not hurt along the top or the side of the kneecap but typically under it, and isn’t usually sensitive to the touch.
If squats hurt: Decrease the load. You can achieve this by decreasing the weight you squat, decrease the range of movement you use, decrease the number of repetitions you do, increase the rest intervals in-between sets, change your technique by getting your bum back more and loading more through the hips than the knees.
Do you find it hurts more running in shoes with a bigger ‘drop’: If so, you may find that switching to a more minimal running shoe, or even barefoot, is enough to offload the knee and switch the load more to the foot and ankle.
If running, in general, is irritating your patellar tendon:.
Try these running re-education cues. They all generally shift load away from the knee.
- Increase cadence. Increase how many steps you take in a minute. Aim for 5%-10% increase and assess how it feels
- Improve posture. Work on running up tall. This will prevent the foot landing excessively in front of you (over striding) as you try to catch a forward positioned centre of mass.
- Increase heel lift. Something like the piston cue will help to get an increase in heel lift at toe off leading to a more circular movement of the foot, better knee drive and making it easier to land under your centre of mass.
Patellar tendonitis can be a tricky injury to bounce back from, particularly if it’s become a chronic problem. Fortunately, new avenues for treatment have opened up in the past decade or so. The gold standard of conservative treatment right now seems to be Alfredson’s eccentric decline squat protocol. It’s summarized in the points below:
- The basic protocol is three sets of fifteen one-legged squats, twice a day.
- The squats are done on a 25° decline (most calf stretching boards will do just fine).
- Starting from a standing position, squat down on the affected side to 60° of knee flexion (see picture above).
- Use the unaffected leg to return to return to the starting position. If both legs are affected, return to the starting position using both legs, assisting with your arms (on a railing or similar) if possible. Of course, if you have patellar tendonitis in both legs, you should do 3×15 squats twice a day on each leg.
- Exercise into tendon pain, but stop if the pain becomes debilitating. Once you can complete the three sets of squats with little or no pain, add weight with a loaded backpack.
- In most studies, the protocol is carried out every day for 12 weeks. It is not a bad idea to keep doing this exercise beyond 12 weeks as maintenance.
- Most studies mandate 8 weeks of no sporting activity. It’s important to note, however, that the subjects in these studies usually have quite severe cases, and often participate in very high-impact sports like basketball and volleyball. Your own plan for returning to running is something you’ll have to work out yourself, possibly with the help of your doctor or physical therapist.
I’ve mentioned heat acclimation many times to people.
Often enough that I decided to finally put together a single blog post with some great resources, so here goes!
First off, I do the hot water immersion method. This can be done year-round. Doing easy runs in the heat of the afternoon can work as well and I typically find myself doing this often in the warmer months.
“In the conventional sense, heat acclimation refers to increased tolerance to the heat that comes with spending time in high temperatures, but there is a wealth of scientific literature emerging that shows training in the heat can actually produce secondary physiological changes that can translate to statistically significant performance gains.” – Emily Dulhanty
This study did hot water immersion at 140°F / 40°C for fourty minutes immediately after an easy 40 minute run. I believe the authors suggested that duration of time may not be completely necessary.
“A recent review found that three to seven heat adaptation runs produced a plasma volume increase of 3.5 percent on average—not as much as the seven percent gain from longer protocols, but still worthwhile.”
This can be done on a treadmill with extra clothing or in a hot room, easy runs in the afternoon heat, and/or easy runs with extra clothing on.
“A 2007 study found that runners who took a postrun sauna for about 30 minutes at 194 degrees four times a week for three weeks boosted their plasma volume by seven percent and endurance by 1.9 percent. And this year, Australian scientists found that just four 30-minute postrun sauna sessions at 189 degrees increased plasma volume. To supplement heat runs, start with five to 10 minutes at 175 degrees and build up, and don’t hit the sauna the same day as a heat run.” – Alex Hutchinson
Lowered resting and working heart rate.
Increased sweat rate.
Increased plasma volume.
You start sweating sooner.
Decreased sweat electrolyte concentration.
Decreased levels of perceived effort.
Heat acclimation improves exercise performance. – Here we had trained cyclists do 10 days of eat training for 100 minutes of exercise each day. They found a 5% increase in V02max measured in cooler temps. Some studies find improvements in cooler temps and others do not. In one that did not, researchers suggested that a longer than 5k time trial may have had more improvements due to heat being more of a limiter.
Effectiveness of short-term heat acclimation for highly trained athletes. – These rowers trained in heat for 90 minute sessions for five consecutive days and experienced a 4.5% increase in plasma volume, decreased perceived body temp at rest, increased heat tolerance, and increased endurance exercise capacity indicated by a time trial improvement.
Physiological and performance adaptations to an in-season soccer camp in the heat: associations with heart rate and heart rate variability. – This study on soccer players had them train in heat for a 7-day acclimation program and then performed sprint tests. Compared to their pre-heat training testing there was decreased submaximal exercise heart rate and increased plasma volume.
Adaptation to hot environmental conditions: an exploration of the performance basis, procedures and future directions to optimise opportunities for elite athletes. – This review determined that acclimation programs of 7 days or less can provide modest performance benefits and thermogregulatory adaptations. They note that 8-14 days will likely increase the benefits.
Post-exercise hot water immersion induces heat acclimation and improves endurance exercise performance in the heat. – This was the above mentioned easy run + hot water immersion and resulted in lower resting temps, lower core temps after exercising in cold and hot conditions, increased plasma volume, and a faster 5k time trial.
Even coaches can make errors in their own training.
In my case, I did a hard race-pace session with a lighter pair of shoes than I normally had been. That along with not actually doing many workouts like this lately due to snow/ice/etc meant that my calves really took a beating.
For the last few years, I have had a quarter sized area on my left calf that has been my only real problem area. Well, the problem area is my brain not being mindful enough to know such a workout was going to overload my calves, but that is another discussion altogether.
It is my opinion that recovery runs as most people think them do not exist. – Click to Tweet
When it is the evening or day after a hard/long run and you’re a bit tired, going out for an easy half hour on tired legs is not going to enhance your recovery. That would be like doing more bench pressing after a hard chest workout, it’s not speeding up recovery.
However, that does not mean they are not useful!
Recovery runs, running easy on tired legs, is a further stimulation for adaptation just as a workout is. All running is a workout, some are just more difficult than others.
When you do recovery runs you’re simply getting more fit! Your body is getting stronger and you’re eventually over time able to run better.
This is why I refer to what would often be called a recovery run as a “Tired Legs Run” for my athletes.
There IS a secret to improving your running…however, the secret is different for everyone. – Click to Tweet
For those that want to improve → If you only do what you FEEL like doing, you’re not going to get anywhere. – #runchat #runningcoach #halfmarathontraining #marathoner #trailandultra #ptyp #makeyourmoment #worlderunners #runshots #runitfast #runnerSCommunity #werunsocial #activegoals #runjumpgo #monitorthebeat #runnersrepost #justrunnn #runningterritory #runinspireshare #instarunners
Uphill hill workouts get all the glory, but are they overrated? – Click to Tweet
While running hard uphill is something you should do, I think performing downhill hill workouts can be more beneficial.
Chances are you’ve done an event with a great deal of downhill running, and felt it for a few days afterward. Running downhill, especially fast, puts a lot of eccentric loading on your muscles. This means they are lengthening and tightening at the same time, which cause a great deal of muscle damage. While running hard uphill may FEEL very difficult, running hard downhill is doing the most damage. This is why you should do downhill workouts in training, to prepare for the hard downhills in races.
“But my race isn’t a net downhill” you may think. Yes, that’s true. But even a looped course is half downhill!
Uphill workouts don’t let you run as fast as you’re likely going to be doing in a race setting and they are not quite as hard on the muscles since you’re not hitting the ground as hard, lengthening your stride as much, etc. Hard hill workouts can be too intense as well, which works the anaerobic system (not necessary for most runners).
So, uphill workouts may not be as important as you think because:
1) They are too slow (not close enough to race pace)
2) They may be too intense and not focus on the correct energy pathway
On the other hand, doing workouts on a slight decline serve to:
1) Work on your leg turnover rate
2) Help you run at a faster pace
3) Prepare your body for hard downhills during events
4) Stimulate the leg muscles to strengthen.
Remember: Because downhill workouts and running is so damaging, it’s incredibly important to be very very progressive with them and ease into them. I’ll often start my athletes with doing simple thirty-second downhill strides during regular easy runs. That can progress into a once monthly (or so) downhill workout of increasing length.
How to do them:
This is simple. You may really take any track type workout and do that on a downhill. I will do my warm up with an easy two or three mile climb and then start the downhill reps at the top. Run hard downhill for 800m and then do a 400m easy uphill recovery.
You don’t need something very steep, preferably it’s only a slight downhill grade. Too much of a downhill will not let you run faster.
The 10% rule dictates that you should never increase your weekly running volume more than 10% week by week. This is a good guideline for runners who are upping their volume but it’s only half of the mileage equation.
The 10% rule of increasing mileage is only half of the story – Click to Tweet
It is crucial to take unloading weeks as well! Increasing and increasing volume (stress) does not make you stronger, the periods of unloading and rest are when this occurs. Not only are rest/easy days necessary but if you’re running towards the upper end of your abilities than rest/easy weeks are also key to keeping you physically and mentally healthy.
With my own athletes and myself what I’ll often do is leave the long runs the same but reduce or cut out the midweek volume and workouts. In essence, you’re only taking an unloading work-week, but for busy working adults this is a nice relief physically, mentally, and with their work/life schedule.
Blisters are always a tricky issue because they seem like such a minor injury, however left unchecked they can really wreak some havoc!
I’ll spare you the disgusting running blister photos, but you can certainly google them if you’re wanting some reference photos.
Did you know tightening your running shoe laces for downhill runs can prevent blisters? – Click to tweet
Running related blisters can happen from a number of reasons. What you must consider is that skin is rubbing against something else and this is causing chafing or blisters. The rubbing must be prevented.
Today’s run went by the parking lot where a lady was stabbed a few days prior.
She was stabbed trying to prevent two teenagers from stealing beer from her convenience store in the early morning hours.
I could not help but think about the occasional runner story you see about chasing down a thief. This is NEVER a good idea. This lady was killed over a few cases of beer. Let it go, don’t be a hero.
Even though you could probably catch them, NEVER chase a thief! – Click to Tweet