While running forms a common ground for millions of people worldwide, we all have very specific individual needs. How much have you run before? How much time do you have available to train? What physical strengths and weakness do you possess? What motivates and inspires you to reach your goals? A good coach learns all this and more about you, putting a personal framework around your training plan.
Trail running, like any sport, has a long list of tips and techniques that will make you better. What’s the best way to run down steep hills? How should you prepare for running at high elevations? What kind of shoes are best for different types of terrain? A trail running coach brings knowledge, experience, and expertise and will pass on exactly what you need to know to be safe and successful.
Running in 2014 is not a odd, fringe sport. I can guarantee you know at least one person who runs with some regularity. Any sport with a fair amount participation is guaranteed to have information available for anyone who is interested. Google puts the internet at our fingertips, and Amazon will bring us any book in seconds.
With trail running, as with many other topics, this glut of information cuts both ways. Websites, blogs, smartphone apps… There is enough information out there about running in general, and trail running specifically, that it can be difficult to sort through. Do a search on Amazon for “trail running” and it returns over 9,000 books. Some folks treat that as a challenge, but many others would like to be runners, not running experts. Using a coach lets use your time, your most precious resource, to get out there and run.
Goals, Consistency, & Accountability
Setting a trail running goal can seem deceptively simple. “Run my first 5k” or “Take 15 minutes off my marathon time” or “Finish my first ultramarathon” are easy to say, and are easily measured. Piece of cake, right? As we all know, it can be a long, winding road from stating an initial goal to actually achieving it.
A coach can assist in picking the “right” goal. “Right” in this context just means a goal that fits with your experience, available time to train, health and fitness history, and other factors.
Running goals, like any goals, require commitment and consistency. Once you’ve got something to shoot for you need a structure and a system that will keep you on the path towards that goal. A coach provides that structure, helping you track your progress and stay accountable.
Inspiration & Motivation
There are many ways to get inspired and motivated to achieve your goals. Sometimes we need a cheerleader, other times a drill sergeant. A good coach works closely with you and knows when to be encouraging and inspiring, and when to be demanding and strict.
I hope this short review of all the things a running coach can offer, personalization and expertise, better time management, goal setting and accountability, and inspiring and motivating as a runner, has encouraged you to consider hiring one for yourself. Everyone can benefit from coaching, so come on in to Trail Run With Jason and see if I’m the trail running coach for you.