COACH POWER!

GROUP SHOT 1_DSC5537

Team RUN-FAST – out for a training run in London – super fast half marathon and marathon runners!

Unbelievably we are already six weeks into 2015. That leaves about two and half months or ten weeks, or to really focus the mind, seventy training days left, not including any taper time, to nail that spring marathon. Where on earth did the time go I hear you say?

If you haven’t quite got your training in order yet, it’s time to address that and get in some consistent weeks of training over the next eight weeks. That leaves you two weeks of taper before your spring marathon.

I have found out this year, since I got myself a coach, that more focus on quality over quantity and making those training sessions count produces results. So where I would have run every day and done a 5, 6 or 7 mile session at whatever pace I considered appropriate, now my training is more likely to be a 10 mile progression run or an 8 mile hill session and there are guilt free recovery days included,. The most important thing I have really benefited from by having a coach is the level of accountability it brings to your training (and really to yourself). Whilst I was disciplined in running almost every day it brings a deeper level of commitment knowing that you will have to at sometime tell your coach what you have been up to or not for that matter! And whilst they are not your mother, father or your schoolteacher it’s going to be a bit lame just saying ‘I didn’t feel like it on that day’.

A good coach will guide you through the appropriate training plan, mentor you and assist you through the ups and downs (mainly the downs!) for when it doesn’t go to plan. Remember, the plan is the ideal world but its not reality and obviously things happen in our lives that impact the training that you would like to do, like you get ill, you have family or work commitments that mean you have to reschedule or drop training sessions, or you are just plain over tired and need a rest. When it doesn’t go to plan it can all feel overwhelming, thinking that you have failed and that your objective race will not be achievable and that you must catch up those miles (btw – big mistake!) but a good coach will guide you through that with skill and advise you on what options you have and guide you with the best course of action. It may simply be that you carry on with your training plan or its altered in some way to take into account the dropped training sessions.

I guess the point is that if you are following a marathon plan and you don’t have a coach and you suddenly find yourself not keeping up with what is on the schedule its not a calamity. But, it’s a great idea to get advice and not let it worry you. Get on the runners forums, if you are a member of a running club talk to others with experience for their advice or just get yourself a coach, its never too late!

All images are copyright – Ian Campbell – Photography

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