Over the past several years, I've run one full marathon and three half marathons. To train for each of them, I've either made stuff up on my own or followed an online plan like Hal Higdon. Now, there's nothing wrong with doing that, but when you want to push yourself harder and when you want to break outside of what you know when it comes to training, you have to bring in other resources.
Here are the main reasons I wanted to hire a coach:
- Accountability. With all of the races I have coming up (a 10k and two fulls), I don't want to stray from a regular training rhythm. Accountability helps everyone - whether you're a first time racer or a marathon coach yourself. My coach's husband actually makes her training plan for her. We all need accountability sometimes.
- Appropriate training. I tend to either push myself too hard, to the point of injury, or don't push hard enough and lack improvement. I wanted someone to help push me to be the best I can be without hurting myself along the way.
- Outside knowledge. Yes, I am an NASM certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and yoga instructor. I am not, however, a running coach. I lack specific knowledge that a person who specializes in running has.
- Breaking out of the mold. Like I said before. I need to shake things up. I know I won't improve if I keep my training the same all the time.
- One less thing on my list. I could create my own plan, but it's nice to have someone else do it for me for a while. I don't have to think. I just have to do what she tells me to do. And I won't be second guessing myself the entire time because someone else created the program specifically for me.
I've been doing research on the idea of hiring a running coach for a while, ever since my friend Katie (of Katiesfitscript) hired her running coach. I looked into several different options and got a bunch of quotes and landed on Neely Spence Gracey.
Also, Neely actually lives like 10 minutes from me in Colorado, so we were able to do our kick-off meeting in person. She also offered to do some of my training runs with me, which is so great!
How it works
Neely uploads my plan into an online platform called Final Surge. I go into my calendar, look what the run/workout is for the day, and go run it. My Garmin syncs with the platform, so it automatically tells her how I did-- and holds me super accountable to doing the work. It's pretty seamless and easy.
Today was my first official day, so I'll keep you guys in the loop on how it's going and how I'm improving!