Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Coach
(From the Road Runners Club of America website)
Motivation: Getting started is important for beginners; keeping going is a necessity for even experienced runners. a good coach can provide the necessary jump-start in the first case and continuous pushing in the latter.
System: "Good coaches are like chefs," claims Gary Goettelmann, a coach in Santa Clara, CA. "They have a methodology and a system. A disciplined athlete who follows his coach's system is bound to improve."
Planning: "Proper planning can help sharpen a person's goals ," says Atlanta's Mary Reed. "A coach can help pick goals that are realistic and design training plans to achieve those goals, both long and short term." Goettelmann adds, "This frees the athlete to concentrate on the activity rather than the planning of it. That provides better focus."
Advice: Once a runner has been working for several years with a coach, the training plan becomes obvious, but even dedicated runners need advice especially as it relates to the avoidance of over racing.
Injury Prevention: A coach who carefully monitors an athlete's progress can recognize when the athlete begins to show signs of the fatigue from overtraining that often precedes any injury. If an when injuries occur, a coach can chart a course of rehabilitation and call upon the best medical advice to affect a cure.
Plateau Busting: Sooner or later, all runners reach the point where they fail to improve. How to get off a plateau is a common problem. A good coach can suggest different types of training that may allow the plateaued runner to climb upward to a new level of performance.
Check List: A good coach keeps an athlete on course by making certain the athlete follows the system and plan. According to David Martin: "A coach who is doing his job remembers where the athlete is heading. He will have a check list of what's important about different phases of the training plan. So when it comes time to do a specific workout, the coach can remind the athlete what they are trying to achieve.
Feedback: Most runners have a hard time evaluating their own training. Keeping a diary helps, but still is no substitute for a good coach.
Cheerleader: Runners' muscles run on glycogen, but their minds often run on praise. They need encouragement.
Fun: Finally, a coach can make training fun by varying what the athlete does-even when they run. The coaching environment offers an opportunity to interact with other runners working with the same coach. For those who run for enjoyment, that may be the best reason to seek coaching help.