The benefits of having a coach

Published 28th April 2021 by mymo

In our recent article on team work, elite marathon runner Hayley Carruthers spoke to us about the importance of having a coach. Many will lean on their coach for advice on training, recovery and racing and at the sharp end of running, all will have a dedicated coach who often acts as their manager too. For most of us, coaches can be a great investment and finding the right one can be a brilliant way of improving your running.

So what does a great coach do, and what are the benefits?

What makes a good coach?

First of all, a great coach should have your wellbeing as the focus. They should be the person who guides your training in a way that makes you better and doesn’t break you! Good coaches will understand your needs and the things that may hold you back, and will always try to keep them in balance. A good coach understands you and puts you first ahead of any performance targets (or anything that benefits them and not you!). A coach will plan cycles of training that may eventually lead to a goal or event.

Great coaches encourage reflection, discussion, dialogue, and eventually they should become fairly redundant. A great coach should leave you understanding your running in such a skilled way that you are more autonomous in your training decisions, again with your wellbeing at the forefront.

What do coaches do?

This will often depend on the context of where your coach is placed in your running. Club coaches will often design workouts for a group of runners operating at a similar pace, or with similar goals as their focus such as completing their first 5k, running a 10k in a specific time, or focusing on a marathon. Club coaches often will plan for a group but will have excellent knowledge across a range of events and distances, and are great to call on for any running advice.

A 1-1 coach will perhaps lead your running differently. They may send your training plans across to you online or have weekly catch ups with you on the phone to plan weeks and training cycles ahead. 1-1 coaches may work with you remotely rather than attending sessions, while some will be on hand for some runs of workouts to support and guide. There are some 1-1 coaches who will also offer focused individual advice on areas of your running such as strength and technique.

Where can I find a coach?

Often the best coaches will come to you via recommendations from other people. Ask questions about how the coach operates and whether it suits your training, and remember what works for some may not always be right for you. At mymo we have a dedicated coach on hand who comes with heaps of experience and testimonials from runners with a range of backgrounds and abilities. It can be useful to check your coaches credentials via the Power of 10 website.

Do I always need a coach?

Not always! Coaches are great if you feel stuck in a rut, need some accountability in your running, or if you have a new goal or focus ahead. Some coaches will happily advise you occasionally without you needing to be in touch with them 24/7. As in so many other areas of running, do what is best for you and always do what makes you happy!

To find out more about mymo coaching through Ken Harker, please contact us via the website.


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