Every training season brings something new. I’ve always spent hours furiously researching training plans to see what will be best for me to help me reach the goals I’ve set. There are many amazing plans out there, but it often gets a little overwhelming to really figure out what is right for you.
I’ve used different training plans over the years. My first two marathons (that I ran for completion) I used Hal Higdon. It was really the only training plan I had heard of at the time, and the schedule seemed pretty manageable.
Fast forward a couple years and injuries later and I finally talked myself into setting my first big goal. I wanted to Boston Qualify and I wanted it bad. I did my research and selected Hansons Marathon Method. It was the perfect plan for me and got me to my goal!
During the summer when I began formulating my Chicago marathon training plan, I decided that I’d use Hansons Marathon Method again for my next goal.
Outside of the overtraining I had done in the off season, the same schedule I’d used before left me mentally burnt out. There weren’t any changes to the schedule and my body just needed something different. I ended up throwing together my own schedule which got me a PR, but not what I had originally been going for.
We are now officially less than 20 weeks from Boston. Crazy right!? I’ve been going back and forth on what to do for Boston. On one hand, I really want to just go enjoy it but on the other hand I have a huge desire to really hit a big goal in Boston.
I’m still not 100% sure as to where this training season is going to go, but I do know without a doubt that I am going to put myself in the best position no matter what I choose.
I’ve officially made the decision to hire a running coach. You may remember a few weeks ago I posted that my husband has been working with Dan Walters from DWRunning for some time leading up to Chicago. After discussion with my husband and Dan, I’ve decided to hire Dan on as my coach as well!
I am extremely excited about this opportunity. Not only does it take a lot of the guess work out of my training, but I have already seen the success that my husband has had under him. This man knows his stuff!
There is always a point that I believe a runner realizes that they need something different. Here are a few of the reasons I’ve decided it’s time to start working with a coach.
I’d say 95% of the time I don’t have much of a problem getting out there and getting my runs done. Even the runs that I know are going to be hard; I still manage to talk myself into.
However, every now and again it’s easy to just skip a workout or run. Having a coach means I have someone to report to who is watching my progress. My success is his success and so that pushes me a little bit more to get out the door each morning and work hard.
I Needed Help
After my burn out before Chicago I knew I wanted to avoid that at all costs. While I had a base of knowledge and could come up with workouts here and there, I often struggled to know if I really was doing the right things to get me where I’m going.
Having a coach opens up the doors to workouts I would never have tried before. Not only that but they are workouts that are purposely working me towards where I want to be. I don’t have to worry anymore if I am doing the right things.
An Unbiased Opinion
I have always gone to my husband for running advice. He’s been amazing at helping me, but I know sometimes it’s hard for him to really train me because he is emotionally attached. He wants to see me succeed but seeing me struggle and in pain during workouts is hard. He’s also got a ton on his plate between his training and residency.
Having a coach there is someone who will be honest and upfront with you. He can tell me when my goals are a bit too lofty (which might have been helpful going into Chicago) and can make sure that I do even the hardest of workouts, because those are the ones that make you great.
Starting to Plateau
I won’t say I’ve hit a plateau completely because a 4 minute PR during my last marathon is still heading in the right direction! However, I know that continuing the go the way I had wasn’t going to get me much further.
I could have gone and trained the same, done the same workouts, and kept trying to push harder but it would have just got me the same things I’ve been getting. I wanted something more, I wanted a different stimulus, and I knew it was time.
Peace of Mind
One of the most wonderful parts of having a coach is that it now takes a lot of the guess work out of it. I don’t have to sit there and fret over what workout I’m doing in the morning, or if I’m running too many or too little miles that week. It is all done for me.
I check my spreadsheet the week before and it’s done. I know what is expected of me and what paces I need to hit. It’s one less thing I need to worry about each week, and that is such freedom!
I am really excited to take this next step and look forward to see what the future brings. If you are looking for a coach I’d highly suggest giving DWRunning a try! In case you missed it, here is the full interview I did with Dan a few weeks back.
Stay tuned. There is a lot more running fun is coming your way!
Have you ever considered a running coach?