JB’s best friend shared a story during his best man speech at our wedding. He told of our list of “rules” that we used to have hanging on our wall when we first moved in together several years ago. I had 4 rules for JB. He had 1 for me: “Abigail is not the boss all the time.”
And so it goes for coaching. I am not the boss all the time.
My friend asked me the other day if I coached/trained myself or if I had some input from other coaches or joined other teams for my training. It’s honestly been so long since I was able to join another human being outside for a run that I hadn’t given much thought to getting back into social running.
Mostly, I’m ashamed of my slow-ass right now. Maybe my new shoes will make it look like I’m going faster?
Getting back to running and exercise in general hasn’t been easy. Physical restrictions from the surgery and doctor-imposed restrictions keep me from jumping out there every day and going balls to the wall. My body just can’t take it these days, so my 5 miles and 20 pounds will have to do.
As far as running goes, I am definitely not the boss all the time. I seek out advice from people who are faster than me and who have been running for longer than I have. Success means a lot to me and those coaches who repeatedly get clients to reach their goals are the guys/gals I want to run with.
I’ve successfully coached dozens of runners through races of all kinds. But sometimes a girl just needs some help!
I like a team run for tempo and speed work. I never want to set my own speed work and I really prefer to be a part of a speedy pack of runners for tempo runs. My long runs are my time, though. I run by myself, just me and the road, and try to relax into the solitude.
Here’s the thing, all the pros have coaches. There’s something about having someone else give you an impossibly hard workout that they believe you can do and that translates into you believing you can do it, too. Not that any of us has low running self-esteem, but it’s too easy to say, “I’m just going to run 5 easy miles” instead of, “My workout today is 400, 800, and 1600 repeats on the track at X pace.”
So, yes, I have help. Not a lot, but as much as I want/can tolerate being who I am (see above anecdote for reference).
Coaches can be a great asset to your training. Just find one whose attitude about running gels with yours and who treats you in a way that is productive for you to run your best. Me? I don’t respond to threats or yelling. Only nice coaches need apply. Do you have a coach? Do you love him/her or are you running for the hills as soon as your paid time is up?
If you’re looking for a coach, check out your local running club, running shoe stores, and lululemon for the running coaches in your community.
Now go out and run!