Although I love to run and my heart and mind crave that ability to let go and break out a sweat, I have really struggled to run over the past couple of years. I’ve watched my finish times drop by 30 minutes in a half marathon and the entire race feels like a struggle, whereas I used to be able to run hard for all 13.1 miles and had more energy at the finish line than I did at the start. What happened?
A number of life’s stresses and illnesses got in the way that caused a rippling effect onto my fitness. I found myself with a lack of energy and had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I lost my desire to stay in shape, which caused a depression. This only led to getting even more out of shape. Reading my friends’ Facebook posts about their PRs, medals and shaving minutes off their daily runs made me jealous beyond belief. I almost had to shut down social media. I even set my athlinks.com profile to private because I’m so embarrassed by my finish times.
I vow to change this.
To get me out of my rut, I decided I need a running coach. I am currently in the process of choosing one. Here are a few deciding factors for me in locating the best running coach:
Running with a group. Many coaches offer one-on-one training, but I know I will train harder doing tempo runs in groups. I will push myself to keep up with their speed and raise my heart rate as high as possible. I also need other people to keep me motivated. If we’re all training for a particular race together, I feel like I will stay true to my training schedule and properly do my weekly runs rather than sleep in and hit my snooze button. In a sense, I should be looking for a running group with a coach, rather than just a running coach.
Budget-friendly. You can spend upwards of thousands on private coaching and training. If you check my bank accounts, you will not find thousands of extra dollars. Any extra income I make is spent on traveling to races (as evidenced by previous blog posts.) Therefore, I need someone who can fit my budget–and most inexpensive options offer the group training module, which I am looking for… win/win.
Someone encouraging. Because of the challenging time I’ve had watching my fitness fall into oblivion, I really need someone who will provide a friendly voice and not discourage me when I try, but don’t see results so quickly.