If you have been reading for a little while you may remember me throwing around ideas about what I was going to do this year for my marathon training. What plan should I use? Should I find a coach? What would work best for me…as a runner and a person?
How I made the decision…
I looked at every marathon plan I could find, did a lot of research, read Hansons, read blogs, searched websites. I read up on coaches, multiple ones, to see what kind of people out there were putting their time into others. I find a lot of great information and then I decided to do one more thing that I hadn’t thought of before. I went back and looked at my training plans I had used for previous races. Was I, on my own, capable of putting in the work without being held accountable by another person. Weird question but making sure we are putting in the work and not slacking is harder for some than others. For me, I know I can pull off a mediocre time without putting in a lot of effort. So, I settle.
To give you an idea from 1/1/16 to 4/30/16 I had 63 schedule runs, 41 scheduled cross/strength training workouts. I skipped 25 runs and 24 workouts. That is 39% of my runs!!! The workouts I skipped were things from yoga, to strength training, to a HIIT workout. But I skipped so many runs it was pathetic. I didn’t even run further than 8.61 miles when I should have had multiple double digit runs. And I still PR’d. This made me think. Do I want to try to run the Air Force Marathon in September and follow it up with the MCM in October on my own? Can I hold myself accountable to try and not just “get by”? I could, but I would probably skip runs and run a time I wasn’t happy with or know I could have done better. That mentality isn’t acceptable to me anymore, my perspective has changed. So I committed. I was finding a coach.
How I decided who…
In searching for coaches, I looked everywhere! I looked on every website I could find and read blogs with information about the coach that each runner was working with. To me working with a coach needed to be more than someone writing a plan and saying here Staci, now run. It needed to be more personal than that. Needed to have more accountability. Finally, I contacted Kyle. I honestly, first and foremost, was worried about cost. I am a single mom, I can’t dump too much into myself each month. When he replied to me and wasn’t going to break the bank each month (thank you!), we started the process of moving forward.
Kyle researched me just as much as I did him. He also wants to make sure that his athletes are a good fit for him just as we do when looking for a coach. He had me answer multiple questions, inform him on who I am as a person and what I expect out of him as a coach. This is what I needed. Someone to be willing to give advice when needed, create a plan and let me know if I do something wrong or not. He isn’t overbearing but is always willing to answer a dumb question or let me fill him in with TMI about a bad run. I am sure there are times where I tell him the dumbest stuff about my run and he doesn’t necessarily need to know it but it helps us understand each other and learn as our coach/athlete relationship grows.
What the benefits have been…
I have been working with him for about 6 weeks now. I haven’t missed a run, skipped a strength training day nor have I thought about it. I have been squeezing in runs when I can just to make sure I get things done. Just last week, Dare and I ran twice later in the evening (7:30 or 8pm). I don’t do that. Ever. I have to shower after I run (I mean I hope we all do, especially this time of year) and wet hair is not ideal for me at 10pm. Nor is waking up at 4:30am after being up past 10. I like my sleep! But I also used to like my excuses. I don’t know why. But now that I haven’t been following my same slacker pattern, I feel so much better. Part of this also can be directly related to someone else looking at my runs. Every stinkin one. Each workout is uploaded directly into Final Surge for Kyle to see in all its glory (or lack there of). So yeah, the thought of not having a workout loaded or it being completely sub-par doesn’t work well with my personality. Don’t judge me Kyle! 😉
That doesn’t mean I haven’t had bad runs. I have had a few of them! I have had allergies flare up, not hydrated properly, heat get to me, mentally not with it on days but that is all part of it. Those shitty runs are the ones that make those good ones so much better! I feel like I made a very good decision this time around.
As a runner I want to grow and learn. I want to push myself to knew places and I feel that this is what is going to do this for me. I have just about 14 weeks left until AFM and I am going to make it a great 14 weeks. I am sure I will have more things go less than perfect but that is life right? Sometimes it is a little too easy to make things seem better than they really are from this side of the keyboard. 🙂
Do you have a coach? Why did you choose him/her?