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You’re training for your next running event and one of your running friends mentions they have an online run coach to help them. It’s got you thinking if you need an online running coach to help you with your upcoming race. So the million-dollar question, what is online run coaching?

What is online run coaching?

An online running coach will guide and coach you through all elements of your running journey. They do all of the thinking and planning part whilst you focus on the training part.

They help you in working towards achieving your goals and what you want to get from your running. Are they the only answer to you achieving those goals? Absolutely not. Sure they play a part, but there are many factors that will affect your outcome.

A good coach is someone who supports you along the way and sets the sessions they believe will get you the outcome, but it isn’t guaranteed success.

What does an online running coach do?

After discussing your goals, desires, and what you want to achieve through your running, your coach will then tailor a plan totally based on those points above. Your plan needs to fit both you, your goals and your lifestyle. Unless you’re a full-time athlete, you most likely have a job, responsibilities and other commitments your training needs to fit around.

A good coach will always be realistic with you. For example, if you currently run a marathon in 5 hours and want to run a sub 3 hour marathon in the next 18 weeks, your coach will explain why that might not be possible in the time frame you have. A not-so-good coach will tell you you’re able to achieve anything in 16 weeks time, but that’s a little unrealistic.

During 1:1 coaching, your coach should be available to talk through your sessions, any questions you have and motivate you week in, week out.

Why would you need an online running coach?

You may have found your running progress has started to stagnate or you are finding your motivation slipping month to month. In a world where we are thrust amongst everyone else around us killing it week in week out, it can seem like we aren’t doing the right things, or enough of the right thing in the first place.

Working with a running coach directly can alleviate the pressure that you need to do more or do what you’re doing better because all of the stress is taken away from you. The responsibility of what you need to do is in the hands of a professional now. When these stresses are taken away, it gives you a lot more headspace to focus entirely on your output and your training in general. We find when runners start to work with a coach maybe for the first time, they find the influence of structured training to be a game changer.

On the other hand, some runners prefer to just go with the flow and see what happens. Others like to follow a plan on their own and feel as if they don’t need the accountability of a coach on a 1:1 basis. Personalised training plans are a perfect fit for this type of runner as they are still tailored to your goals and what’s achievable for you.

How can you work effectively with your online run coach?

It is imperative with 1:1 coaching that there is a strong athlete:coach relationship. It’s two way.

For your coach to set your sessions, adjust your plan accordingly, make sure you’re on target and so on, there has to be good communication.

Your coach can set all the sessions they know will help you in working towards that goal, but they can’t do the sessions for you. Sure they can keep you accountable but they can’t do the running bit for you. They can’t guess when they don’t hear back from you on how things are going. Being accountable to your coach could transform your running. As the athlete, you have the biggest part to play.

Is coaching for me?

A 1:1 coach will be there to provide their experience, knowledge, support, motivation, and most importantly, their passion to help you in achieving your goals and to get the most out of your running.

Coaching is for any runner, of any ability. Coaching is not elitist. You may come across a coach that coaches elite athletes specifically because that is their expertise. However, it doesn’t make coaching elitist. You just have to find the right coach for you.

But believe it or not, 1:1 coaching isn’t for everyone. That might come across as a surprise but seriously, the 1:1 element isn’t always what will work best for you. It is quite a step up from going it alone or following a generic training plan from the internet or a magazine. All of a sudden you are accountable to another human being and the time they are giving you. That can add a sense of pressure. If you’re working with a good running coach, this is a conversation that in the infancy of your relationship, realistic achievements and what you’re able to commit to is something that should be laid out well in advance of your training starting.

It is our mission to show all runners the physical, mental and social benefits of running and what it can do for you in your life. If you’d like to explore 1:1 coaching further click here. We offer online run coaching from 800m right through to the ultramarathon distance.

If 1:1 isn’t something that’s up your street, then check out our personalised training plans which are still totally tailored to you, but without the 1:1 element. You’re free to take your plan and crack on…just make sure you keep us updated with how you’re getting on so we can cheer you from the rooftops!