Should You Hire a Running Coach

imagesCA32IXH9We often come to a plateau in our fitness levels–a time when progress isn’t a word we can use. Many times you feel like speed stays the same and burn out occurs. When this happens, you may think of hiring a professional to help you reach the next level or simply take a little step off that flat road you’ve been metaphorically running.

Here are things to consider when deciding on spending your money on a running coach:

1. Does he or she ask about your goals?
A coach will want to know much more than how fast you want to go or your current 5K PR. Professionals will want to discover the time you can devout to running, what you do for a living, your family, etc. They will try to understand your lifestyle to create training plans that allow for a work/life balance and one you will stick to based upon the time you have allotted for running.

2. How often are they available?
Do you want someone who emails and/or texts with a quick response? No one is available 24/7, but it is acceptable to expect a reasonable response time. Also, what can they help with? Do they simply email running workouts? Do they meet with you at the track and can help you with form?

3. What is their track record? Excuse the pun.
Running coaches with experience will cost more, but might be worth it if they’ve helped others successfully reach their goals. You might be able to save money with newer coaches who could be as good and have more time for you. Check out their credentials and if they’ve received accreditation from any organizations in the industry. I highly suggest using professionals with a few letters behind their name.

4. Do they run?
What is their background in the sport? Some running coaches really are not runners, but fitness professionals. I do not suggest this. You really want a runner, even if they do not actively run now.

Good luck!