Monday, December 20, 2010

On Becoming a Running Coach

From my earliest days as a high school sprinter/cross country runner, I was always interested in learning more about running and the reasons behind why we do the workouts we do. Not everyone was, as some just showed up and ran their workouts. I somehow knew it would come in handy later on in life.

As an unofficial "coach" for many friends and family, I've helped a number of people move in the right direction and take on some of their goals. And although not everyone likes to listen to me, I usually am trying to be helpful ;) I'm just glad there will be others who are interested in hearing what I have to say, because I've got a ton of stuff up there in that brain of mine!

So when an opportunity recently came up to become a coach at one of the local distance training programs to prep for the National Marathon, I jumped (or ran?) at the chance.

It's one thing to be a self coached runner and be responsible for your own progress, but it's another thing to take on the responsibility of others. As a coach, your responsibility lies in looking out for what is in the best interest of that particular athlete. Everyone is different and each person requires a different application of training. It will certainly be a challenge to find out what works best for some, but not others. In the end though, I'm really there to support them, encourage them to work toward their goals, and provide as much (or as little) assistance as they need.

Our program began just a few weekends ago, with the past few weeks of introductory runs - in the neighborhood of a nice little 8 mile jaunt. This week's biggest challenge was the snow/ice on the trail. Rather than extending the run distance, running 8 miles on that kind of surface honestly felt a lot closer to 10. Over the next few weeks though, that distance will surely increase. I'm really looking forward to the challenge ahead for both myself and the runners as we begin to take on the challenge of the marathon.

Stay tuned for more updates in the future!

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