Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Single, and (May) Be Looking...

...for a coach, that is.

For the past couple of months, I've been contemplating whether or not I want a coach. Before I go into the reasons why, I should explain what I'm doing now.

For those who do not know, my current method is a collaboration effort with Jay and Aaron. We figure out how our workouts can sync together in some way so that we can have the company of each other for hard workouts. Obviously, I am much slower than those two speedsters, but they can still benefit by running with me at times for their Lactate Threshold runs.

I also incorporate a little bit from what I learned from my coach Annie Bennett while at Wake Forest. For instance, I build up to my highest mileage, then back down one week, and then do three weeks at peak mileage right before my hard training cycle starts.

Further, I take a little bit from my high school coach/surrogate uncle. He always taught me that running purely off of strength is what will help me run some of my fastest times. Therefore, I make sure that I run hard when I feel good and easy when I need rest.

While I feel really good about my own coaching method for half marathons and below, I miss having the structured phases of training handed to me. It does sound rather nice to have the direction of a coach, thereby creating less work for me on my end. As much as I love figuring out what workouts to do in order to peak for Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, it does sound quite tempting to

I definitely would want to have a say in whatever training plan my to-be coach would give me. I would expect for them to look into what's worked for me in the past and how they could build upon that success in the future. I would want them to tweak the things that did not work or were just plain stupid. I want it to be a collaborative relationship, like what I've got going on right now, and someone that I know I can call every now and then to make sure I am doing things right. I'm not looking for someone to talk to every night or to coddle me. I'm not that kind of girl.

So - the question is. Do I really want to pursue this whole coach thing? Or, should I continue to just do my own thang, with the help of others, and building upon my own knowledge as a coach?

Thoughts appreciated!


Timothy said...

You're asking the question that all successful collegiate and then post-collegiate runners ask themselves.

It's easy to say 'just keep doing what you're doing'... because the flexibility is ideal.

However, if you want to keep improving, having a coach, I believe, is key.

It's not so much the workouts or structure, as a successful athlete, you already know those tricks.

But the positive is the accountability, idea sharing, and realization that someone else shares your long term vision with you and that there's more than the daily or weekly grind of putting the miles and workouts in.

It took me 4+ years out of college to go the 'coach route'... I had immediate success and was once again running at or faster than I did in college.

Now, I find myself still being 'coached' or advised as I like to refer to it as, along with 'advising' a handful of runners myself.

Again, the relationship works, because it provides a constant voice of reasoning, a bigger picture to the ups and downs of training and racing post collegiately, and provides a sounding board for goals, ideas, etc.

Hope that helped... best of luck!

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