Lately I’ve received quite a few questions on my decision to get a coach for training and the process I took to find the right one. Thus, I thought I’d share my rationale on why I chose to get a coach. Tomorrow, I’ll share some tips on how to weed through the masses of self-proclaimed “coaches” to find the right fit.
This is my coach, Paul Kinney. Sorry Paul, I stole this photo from your Facebook page.
First and foremost, my life isn’t typical and this is largely because of my job. Allow me to preface this and say that I love what I do, but my job doesn’t keep the typical 9-5 hours. When you work in the world of digital, you are on 24 hours. Plus, I work in San Francisco and live in the East Bay, and it takes me an hour and 15 minutes to get work…each way. I don’t even want to calculate how much of my life is spent commuting. Regardless, it’s easy to see why my time is limited and everything that I do must be intentional to get the most out of my day.
Second, taking the gigantic jump from running marathons to completing an Ironman means taking on two brand news sports, both of which I knew nothing about. I know I needed someone who would not only tolerate, but welcome, my newbie questions, and take me under their wing on this brand new adventure. I will be the first to admit that I have no idea what I’m doing and I don’t have the time to aimlessly keep trying until I figure it out on my own. Having a coach who doesn’t mind how many times I call or email him is of utmost importance.
Third, Ironman is no joke. I think being naïve about what Ironman really entails has actually been beneficial because I don’t totally freak myself out, but I do know that tackling an Ironman is risky. This isn’t something that I can make a haphazard 16 week plan for and even if I don’t train well, I can still push through to the end. No, not at all. If I don’t train strategically, I can seriously get injured, collapse, or get myself in some very scary situations. I knew that I needed someone to guide me down a very strategic path in order to finish smartly, safely and to hold me accountable.
Fourth, groups. I can’t even begin to tell you how much more I enjoy my long workouts when it’s with other people. Not only is it actually more enjoyable, but you push yourself in a way that you never would alone and the time passes much faster. My coach leads multiple group workouts throughout the week and while I’m only able to make one right now, it still makes all the difference.
Fifth, accountability. I have to record every workout that I do on my online Workout Log and my coach looks at every single detail and comment. Knowing that someone is on the other side monitoring what I do is enough motivation in and of itself to not want to skip anything.
And finally, guidance. I’m the type of person who welcomes feedback – the good and the bad. I need someone there to tell me if I’m doing things incorrectly, if I should be changing things, or just a little feedback about how I’m on the right track. Having a coach brings peace of mind in that I’m not alone in this huge endeavor and that feedback in never more than an email away.
There’s a quick look into some of the top reasons why I got a coach, but tell me, do you have a coach? Would you ever get one? Why or why not?
Next up…tips for finding a coach that works for you! Happy running!