I was just talking today to an athlete of mine who had taken an extended break from running due to a non-running related injury and operation.
The subject of this conversation was about getting back into running after a long period with little or no ability to do any impact related sports.
We were talking about the best method of easing back onto the road. This is where the benefits of a coach came up. I’ve said before that a coach is not there to tell you what to do, but what not to do. As a coach, I don’t care that my athlete only ran 5 minutes today, or that they really really want to run more. I have no problem with being overly cautious.
Years back when I was just returning to running after a short break, I started with 10 minutes of jogging. Very slowly and gradually I extended the duration. The longer a volume buildup takes, the more successful and safe it is bound to be.
In a recent Running Times article about sub-15 minute 5k athlete Sally Kipyego and her return to running after an injury induced break, Sally shared that her first run was 10 minutes where she alternated 1 minute of walking and 1 minute of jogging. Talk about self control!
Only after 2-3 months of training was she up to 30 minutes of running at one time, and it took many more months for her to run a 60 mile week.
Patience is a word that should be at the forefront of one’s mind when something new is being introduced into training, even if that’s training itself. Be it anything from new shoes to new terrain. Even intensity should be brought in slowly. Brad Hudson gives people following his training plans their first taste of a hill sprint with a single 8 second max effort!
Social Media has even been blamed at times, for the lack of patience people can experience. Seeing all of your friends logging miles or joining a run streak can place pressure on an athlete to run more.
But remember the important of gradual adaptation! Nothing good comes quickly in running.
Let me point you in the right direction with your running!
I was hesitant about doing this because it's far less effective than the 1 on 1 coaching I do, but due to popular request I've created an entry-entry level plan that is simply a training plan designed around your history, work/life schedule, personal best race times, training abilities, etc etc. You may purchase this option here!
This is far better than a cookie-cutter plan downloaded from the internet that does not take YOU into consideration, however it's of course lacking much of the benefits of investing in a coach, such as accountability, more plan customization, nutrition strategy, race strategy, and me being available for discussions and check ins. However if you simply want the long-term plan, this is a nice option.
Other coaches charge $150+ for this and follow ups require booking new consultations that cost additional money. I charge a third of this and don't mind if you email me to ask questions about the program.
This is purely accountability for helping you do daily, consistent, and frequent general strength and mobility routines (GSM). You can find most of the routines at that hyperlink and if you think you can do make yourself do them on your own with no accountability, you’re more self-committed than I am.
With this plan, I do not work with your running. You’re on your own with that (or you need up upgrade!). With this plan, I’ll schedule you daily general strength & mobility routines that work around your running/life/edu/work time availabilities. Most importantly, the accountability to do these daily routines will be there! I’ll expect you to log the time duration it takes you do complete the routines (2-20 minutes daily) and I’ll check up on you if I see you not executing. Doing consistent GSM makes you a stronger and more injury-resilient athlete. Paying me to prescribe you the routines and having me expect you to do them is incredible for accountability.
This option is for those who simply desire someone so tell them what to run and when to rest. The running and strength schedule is updated once monthly and 100% based on your unique work+life schedule, fitness level, and goals. This plan has limited contact with me.
It is like downloading a pre-written cookie cutter running schedule, except it’s updated each month based on your work/life/education schedule, your unique fitness abilities, needs, etc. It includes regular check ins and is built for your specific needs, but lacks the Facetime with me and more intensive accountability that comes with the Standard Plan, below.
This plan is for two types of runners.
I only work with ~20 clients at a time on this standard plan and about the same amount on the above entry level plan. Coaching is my primary focus, I'm not coaching as a side job...this is what I do. I'm focused first on my athletes. As best I can I get to know each client of mine so I can best help them reach their goals.
This plan is slightly upgraded from the entry level option as you get a more custom schedule that’s updated more frequently, I monitor your training updates daily as they come in while providing feedback/thoughts along the way, I will modify the schedule on the fly if a run is skipped or the week needs to be shifted around, and you have the option for a monthly video call.
My premium plan is for highly motivated runners who have the money, time, and desire to give their running the focus and energy to truly become the best runner they can be. You don’t have to have the running times of an elite runner, but you’re going to come darn close to having the training habits of one!
With this plan you get all of the above from the Standard Plan as well as more accountability from both of us. That means you’ll have to do some work as well. We’re talking about frequent check-ins with me, diet logging, weight tracking, weekly video or phone calls. We’re really going to get to know each other. If you want me to, I’ll call you at 5am to make sure you get up to run.
If you know which plan is right for you, please fill out this questionnaire below. I typically recommend the Standard Plan as it's the most well rounded in regards to customized the plan is, check in frequency, etc. You may select that you’re not sure which plan is ideal and we can chat about it as well. This will give me most of the details about your history and current details to begin working with you. Once you submit, I’ll reply back with further questions and comments!
If you’re seeing this you are either an athlete I coach who has a race coming up or you stumbled upon this online and are not a runner I coach.
For those I coach, please answer the questions for your upcoming A race and we’ll discuss.
If I don’t coach you, feel free to submit the survey to me and we can chat about it or take the questions and answer them privately on your own 🙂
If you’re an athlete I coach and I sent this to you, please fill it out for your recent goal race.
If you’ve happened upon this post some other way and wish to fill it out, please do! I’ll happily reply back with any thoughts or suggestions. You can also of course save the questions for your own personal reflection.
This week I was honored to be featured as the Reddit Running Friday Spotlight.
I was interviewed and then was able to be asked some questions. I wanted to take a moment to share the link with you so you can learn more about me. I also wanted to sort of brag a bit. I work hard to be out there offering people help and advice and it feels really good to hear that people appreciate it.
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I’ve no certification to coach running.
Such a title is not needed to be a running coach, unlike a dietitian or cosmetologist, for example.
Recently a Road Runners Club of America class opened up within driving distance of me, and I became interested. This is likely the most well-known coaching certification available.
I did some researching about the certification and have decided not to attend.
How the certification is done:
These are things I have spent hours upon hours reading about for the last decade. I have a degree in clinical nutrition and have taken exercise physiology courses. I spend my days reading and writing about these topics.
Here’s why I decided not to attend:
However, there are reasons I would consider taking it.
With my past coaches and my coaching, what I do care about is how well I work with them and how happy they are with the relationship.
Every month when I send a monthly invoice out I ask them what they’d like me to do more of and less of. I’m always available to talk and the schedule is written just for them and is fully dynamic.
The best indicators of my qualification as a coach are the referrals (30% of my athletes are referrals) and the payments every athlete continues to send me every month.
Don’t get hurt! You’re not going to get anything accomplished in training if you do not have the energy, motivation, and health (mental and physical) to allow you to execute the necessary workouts and recover from them. Happy runners are successful runners.
Increase your ability to resist fatigue at goal race pace through progressively increasing both time and distance at goal pace as the race approaches.
These are the most important days. These workouts should have plenty of time between them to ensure proper recovery. The days these land on are even very flexible, the beauty of training with a coach instead of a static plan is you can more easily move key workouts around and have the coach assist you with the schedule.
Instead of gradually going longer and longer at a slow pace, slowly extend a given pace for longer and longer time. As a race gets closer, you should be able to do more and more distance at race pace. When looking at intervals, they should become longer with a constant pace or more.
Diet should prioritize whole food and nutrient dense options
I do hold high expectations and a full commitment from both you and I. On my end, I’m going to do everything I can to earn you as a client. On your end, you’re not going to skip workouts or sell yourself short with training, nutrition, or recovery, and you’re going to do everything possible to respect my mentorship to you.