2012 is a whole new season and you want to move up in distance.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a runner or triathlete taking your training and racing to the next level is a great challenge, but you need to do it right.

When I started training for my first marathon I looked up a training program online, found one I liked and started running. At first everything seemed awesome, I was building endurance and increasing my distance like a champ… Then I got injured.

When you use a cookie-cutter training program there is no “sub-program” to help you recover from injury or deal with any “what if’s”. Trying to figure it out for yourself can be dangerous. Plus you have no one to turn to with your questions and concerns.

After the marathon, I wanted to jump into triathlon but I didn’t know the first thing about it. So I looked in to coaching, and it was the best thing I could have done.

So how do you find a coach?

Well again I went to the internet first. There were already a few coaches I followed on Twitter. I emailed them and asked about their programs and pricing.

I also asked some of my fellow runners for their input. Much like looking for a new doctor or dentist, everyone thinks theirs is the “best”, so you need to do some work to make sure you’re choosing the right coach.

First figure out what your budget for coaching is. Some coaches have different plans with varying prices.

Next you should make a list of all the questions you have about training. If there is one thing I learned, there are REALLY no stupid questions. Cause I feel like I’ve asked them all.

Set up a phone call with the coaches you’re interested in working with to discuss everything on your list to determine who would work the best for your situation.

I hooked up with Coach Jen Harrison, who was recommended to me by multiple people. We had and excellent phone conversation and she got me in to a training program right away. That was a year ago.

When you’re on a training program that is designed for you, the positive results come quickly.

I PR’d the first race (an 8K) I ran after working with Jen, I completed my goal of finishing an Ironman 70.3 (my first ever Triathlon), completed a 112 mile bike ride on a Computrainer and I PR’d the Chicago Marathon this year.

Working with a coach gives you the piece of mind that you have someone in your corner through out the long training season and on race day. You know you’ll never have to worry about what workouts you should be doing, and when you should increase the intensity.

If anything working with a coach will help you focus. It seems that every month I read an article in Runner’s World or Triathlete magazines that talks about “The Best” workout. While these magazines are great (want to hire a TV producer?), if there was one perfect workout these guys would be out of business. Your coach will tailor the workouts to meet the needs of the races on your schedule.

I have a big race season in 2012 including 2 70.3’s and Ironman Wisconsin (my first attempt at the Ironman distance). There is no doubt in my mind that I’ll be ready and perform well, and it’s all because I work with a coach.

One thought on “Want to run a longer race? You need a coach.

  1. yep yep! Even us coaches have coaches! I like the accountability and not having to think for myself. I just follow orders! 🙂

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