Working With A Running Coach

Working With A Running Coach

Before I started using a running coach, I thought coaches were reserved for the elite. I also thought that since I'd run so many races, I didn't need a coach to tell me how to train. Well, I was wrong...

Rachel and I met when a mutual friend gifted her one of my bouquets before a marathon. Funny enough, we'd already "met" on Instagram, so it was fun to find a "real life" friend in common. 

We decided to collaborate on a giveaway for Rachel's clients and in exchange Rachel offered me discounted coaching. At first, I turned her down and said I didn't need a coach, but thank you. Again, I'd run a lot of races without using one just fine. I'm also very self motivated.

But, after Rachel described how she works with athletes in more detail I decided it was at least worth a try. 

The benefits of having a coach (in my humble opinion):

  • Accountability 
  • Camaraderie 
  • Education
  • Motivation

Since I am self motivated, accountability alone isn't the reason why I'd chose to work with a coach. But it does keep me accountable for doing things i really don't want to do... i.e. strength workouts. I also found myself wanting to make Rachel proud. Probably stems from my people-pleasing nature. 

Each week, I get a notification that Rachel has updated my calendar (there's a nice app for this, V.02). The app syncs with my Strava which is my source of truth for all workouts. We can comment back and forth before/after workouts.


Rachel has a Facebook group for all of her clients, so I've met several people as a result. It's nice because a lot of them will be training for the same local race(s). Rachel has also joined me on a couple runs since she lives right down the road - an added bonus of using a local coach. And even though I haven't gotten to go, she hosts a Christmas party every year for runners to do a gift exchange of their favorite things. Maybe next year I won't be sick!! 

Remember how I said I thought I knew how to properly train since I'd run a lot? Did you know that you're not supposed to simply follow mileage plans and run marathon pace each training run? Because I didn't... 

One of the most important things I learned from Rachel is that "slow is fast." I would always beat myself up if I didn't run "fast enough". What a gift to have a coach that tells you that you have to run slow to get fast. It makes so much sense now that I've been practicing it. My "quality workouts" (usually workouts that include speedwork) are much better when I give my body time to recover. It's like after that recovery my body craves more speed. 

Before Rachel, I'd never used the workout features on my Garmin watch. I'd just go out and run X miles and see how fast I was going. Now, my Garmin syncs with V.02 and makes it easy to do Rachel's workouts without having to think. 

Using Rachel's guidance (and race strategy), I was able to run my first full marathon post baby number two and actually feel GOOD after finishing. You read that right.

If you're reading this, maybe you know the feeling of getting motivation from internet strangers. It's weird that sharing more about my training/results with others helps me stay motivated. And Rachel really helps because I do want to make her proud. When we set goals, I want to crush them. And it is all for me, because if there's one thing I know it's that NO ONE CARES. 😉 LFG. 


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