I hear it all the time..."I'm not good enough to have a running coach." I usually respond with, do you have a personal trainer?" Answer: "Yes."
It's pretty common for individuals to think it's perfectly normal to have a personal fitness trainer, but then to think that only the elite or professional athletes need a running coach. Coach...Trainer....it's all semantics.
"Coach" usually refers to someone training athletes in a specific sports field, be it football, baseball, soccer, swimming, running, etc. Most individuals don't consider themselves athletes. Therefore they don't need a coach. Guess what? If you are out there running and working toward becoming a fitter individual and you're doing it on a consistent and regular basis....you are an athlete. You're not an elite athlete, but you are an athlete.
"Coach" also conjures up for many the stereotypical image of the red-faced, high school or college coach with the tight polyester shorts, ball cap, and whistle around the neck. A rather intimidating image. I had a Jr. High PE teacher like that. He didn't like me and I didn't like him.
Well, as a running coach, I'd like to clarify that running coaches today, at least this coaching dude, breaks that stereotypical mold of the hardcore, in your face, win-win coach. Does that mean I go easy on you? No way! What it does mean is I work with you where you're at and help to get you where you want to go safely and healthfully. That's really what coaches/trainers in the private sector do.
Can you benefit from a running coach? Definitely. Why? The biggest way a coach can help, whether you're a beginner or a long-time runner, is through structuring a training plan that will safely help you reach your goals. A coach is also a sounding board for all the questions you may have about your running. Is my form good? How do I control my breathing? How do I get out of this slump? How do I get faster? Is this pain normal? How should I fuel my runs? What about hydration? A running coach can answer all these questions and more. And better yet, the answers will be specific to you and your running.