>Last night in the car the subject of getting a coach and how beneficial it can be to your training came up in conversation. If you know me at all, you already know I am a huge proponent of hiring a coach, or at least seeking out a mentor of some sorts to help you with your training. This was my first year working with Frannie to help me improve my running. The time commitment was pretty minimal. We meet 3-6 months out from a goal race and plan out my training. She gives me 3 key workouts to do during each week, and the other ones are loosely defined to give me the ability to do what I want and keep things interesting. About once a week we touch base with a phone call or e-mails depending on how much time I have, and we go through what is working and what isn’t. She then amends my training plan according to these discussions to fine tune it for the race.
A lot of people are quick to say that with their training logs and their own knowledge of the sport they don’t need a coach. If you’re getting faster on your own what’s the point, right? Well I was getting faster on my own too. But there is something about having a coach who cares about your training when you don’t want to…who asks you the questions that you don’t think about when you’re done with a training run or a race…who believes that you can be better than you are now, and is always pushing you to the next step. Or, who is there to listen when things are frustrating because of an injury or just being super tired. I respect Frannie not only as a runner, but as a person as well, and I would put forth my best effort into any training plan she expected me to do. I never slack off on her expectations for training like I may allow myself to do with my own.
I admit that I have been lucky to find Frannie, and to have become a good friend of hers along the way. Not everyone has a coach who is so committed to them, or who would think of inviting their client to their house for a training weekend like the one I have coming up. However, not everyone may want to be that close to someone who will be putting them through some hellish workouts. You have to find the balance that works for you. All I know is that after working with Frannie for 3 months I won GEER against several women who have always beaten me considerably in the past, and 2 months after that I had an excellent race at JFK as well. I am confident that her guidance will lead me to a great race at Western States as well.
I have also recently been fortunate enough to have begun working with someone who I consider to be a coach in a different aspect of my life – diet & nutrition. Melissa Bosslet, of EB Nutrition, recently sat down with me to take a look at what I am eating now and how I can make some changes to be more beneficial for not only my overall health but also for the training I am putting in. I can honestly say in the first 3 days of changing some simple things with my diet I am already noticing some benefits, and I’m looking forward to what is to come with it. I will give it a couple weeks before I give it a complete writeup on how it’s going.