12.31.02 - Washington Resolution Run
01.19.03 - San Diego Marathon
07.13.03 - Tri For Real #2
10.23.05 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.23.06 - Sparks Turkey Trot
05.05.07 - Marathon de Mayo (Half)
05.13.07 - Moms on the Run
10.??.07 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
05.10.08 - Moms on the Run
06.21.09 - Pleasanton Spirit 5K
07.29.09 - San Francisco Half Marathon
10.04.09 - SJ Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon
10.18.09 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.01.09 - New York Marathon
11.26.09 - Spark's Turkey Trot 10K
02.20.10 - Bay Breeze Half Marathon
03.14.10 - Shamrock 'N Half Marathon
03.21.10 - LA Marathon
03.27.10 - Scheel's Fanatic 5K
04.25.10 - Marin County Half Marathon
05.02.10 - Reno Rock 'N River Half Marathon
06.05.10 - See Jane Run Half Marathon
07.25.10 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.05.10 - Pier to Peak Half Marathon
10.10.10 - Chicago Marathon
10.30.10 - Healdsburg Half Marathon
11.07.10 - U.S. Half Marathon
11.25.10 - Scheel's Turkey Trot 10K
02.06.11 - Surf City Half Marathon
03.13.11 - Dublin Shamrock 5K
04.18.11 - Boston Marathon
05.01.11 - Big Sur Marathon
06.11.11 - Lake Tahoe Relay
07.31.11 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.11.11 - Walnut Festival Run 5K
09.18.11 - NorCal Half Marathon
11.24.11 - Scheel's Turkey Trot
12.03.11 - Las Vegas Santa Suit 5K
12.04.11 - Las Vegas Half Marathon
03.11.12 - South Bay Duathlon
03.25.12 - Oakland Half Marathon
05.20.12 - Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon
06.24.12 - Silicon Valley Intl. Triathlon
07.15.12 - Ironman 70.3 Vineman Triathlon
03.09.13 - Lucky 13 Half Marathon
04.28.13 - Eugene Half Marathon
05.11.13 - Folsom International Triathlon
06.23.13 - Ironman Coeur d'Alene
11.02.13 - Silver Falls Half Marathon
11.15.13 - Mt. Tam Half Marathon
11.28.13 - Scheel's Turkey Trot
5k:19:17 @ Dublin Shamrock 5k 2011
10k: 41:01 @ Scheel's Turkey Trot 2010
Half:1:30:07 @ Oakland Half 2012
Full: 3:12:57 @ CA Int'l Marathon (CIM) 2013
70.3: 5:20:07 @ Vineman 2012
140.6: 12:14:21 @ Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2013
Tag Archives: coach
Fresh off of my Ironman recovery rant, I went into the next stage of the new adventure: moving from temporary housing to my new apartment, my next training cycle and working with a new running coach. All exciting and all a bit nerve-wracking!
I’ll breeze over the whole moving situation, but let’s just say that downgrading your life to a much smaller, one-bedroom apartment in a new neighborhood is a bit of a shock to the system. Plus, it was a real wake-up call of just how much crap one owns and how it all feels totally unnecessary. My closet literally can’t fit one more thing.
But I’ll get over my first world problem (seriously, who am I?) and get on to the exciting news.
As I transitioned from Ironman training, I knew I wanted to revisit running, build my speed and legs back up, and hopefully demolish some old running PRs. I didn’t have an intention of getting a running coach as I’ve never had one and didn’t think I would ever need a running-specific coach (it’s just one foot in front of the other, right?). Ironman? Of course…I might die if I did it wrong. Running? It didn’t seem to be worth the cost. Plus, I love, love, love my triathlon coach, and I felt like I’d be cheating or something if I went with a running-specific coach.
But as I was scanning the Internet for a plan that I could tweak, I couldn’t find anything that would leverage my Ironman base, help ease me back into running (injury free) and still prepare me for a marathon in early December. I was stuck and found myself plotting my own plan with the help of the McMillan calculator. As I was perusing the site, I noticed that McMillan offered training plans and of course, I tweeted asking if anyone had used them.
One thing led to the next and I was soon emailing back and forth with Greg McMillan himself and we developed a great little partnership as I embark on my next running goal. Full disclosure here, I paid for a training plan and Greg has generously offed to be my coach pro bono.
I’m excited to work with Greg because I’ve not only used his calculator for years, but because of his specific running focus and academic exercise physiology background; plus, being an accomplished athlete doesn’t hurt (I’m looking for a sub-3 someday, Greg. Riiiiiight).
Insert pretty Portland running photos here. Just because.
As I embarked on this new partnership, I filled out an extensive questionnaire stating my goals and what I’ve been doing thus far. Pretty simple: Run sub-3:15 for a full, break 1:30 for a half, and get my running legs back. Greg then built a custom plan for me with the following approach:
- A smart, flexible plan that progressively builds into a complete runner – ready for any distance.
- A plan that has a lot of variety in workouts within a certain energy system as well as across a training phase. Accordingly, we will add a variety of workout types – some that emphasize endurance, some stamina, some speed and some the finishing sprint. Greg says that these workouts will develop all the systems of the body resulting in faster times at all distances.
- A very conservative start just to get things going again. Thus, it will be a base, pre-marathon training and then a 9-week marathon-specific phase. To be honest, I’m quite nervous about only having 9-weeks for marathon-specific training, but Greg assures me that it will be ok in that his philosophy is to “do the training so you can do the training so you can finally do the training.”
- There are also multiple cross training sessions, which will allow me to be back on the bike or still swimming – both of which I’m thankful for.
- The training plan won’t be heart rate based, but rather perceived effort in the right range.
- I’ll also start incorporating trail running on easy or long run days – I am in Oregon after all!
As I make my way back on the running bandwagon, I’m anxious to see how my legs, speed and heart have changed post-Ironman. I’ll be sharing my training here, but let me know if you have any burning questions…or if you want to just give an Internet high five. Love those.
Yesterday I wrote about why I got a coach and perhaps you’re considering hiring one as well. If so, I thought I’d share a few tips to help you in your search because trust me, all coaches are not created equal. Here are a few pointers that helped me along the way:
- Know What You’re Looking For – Do you need a coach that only provides a schedule? A coach that’s available 24/7? A coach that leads group workouts? A private coach? A local coach? The questions are endless, but start with the basics answered so you can steer yourself in the right direction.
- Know Your Budget – The sad but true story is that you have to pay a coach. Shocker! Determine how much you’d be comfortable paying each month and stick to your guns. Some coaches list pricing online, but most require you to contact them.
- Research, Research, Research – Put your mad Googling skills to use and do your homework! Research until your eyes turn blue about all of the various coaching options in your area. If you’re super organized, make a spreadsheet listing all of the potential candidates and their information, narrow them down, and then reach out to the ones that you think are potentials.
- Get Referrals – Before I even went in to meet Paul, I had a good sense that this would be a good fit. A friend highly recommended him and I believe that you should either get a referral, or ask to talk to other athlete’s that your potential coach has coached. Ask them all the nitty gritty questions about their experience and get their honest opinion.
- Email First, Then Meet In Person – Time is limited and you shouldn’t waste it meeting every coach in person. However, I’d strongly recommend not hiring a coach based solely off of email conversations. When I went to meet Paul (I believe I cancelled on him the first time, wait, I might have cancelled twice on him), we met at a coffee shop (PUBLIC PLACE!) where he definitely looked the part. Small, strong, thin build with a Powerbar Elite hat on and an Ironman jacket. Sure I judged a book by its cover, but I knew that I wanted an experienced, successful and accomplished Sherpa through this process. Plus, Paul just did a really good job at marketing himself and I can respect that.
- Ask Questions – This is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART and make sure to ask them in person. Here’s a list of some general questions, but also ask some as they pertain to your life, your race and the areas that are critical for you:
- How long have you been coaching?
- What coaching certifications/qualifications do you have?
- Is coaching your full time job? If no, how much time is dedicated to coaching per week?
- How many athletes do you coach at once?
- How many athletes do you currently coach? (I prefer a coach with a limited amount of athletes so I know he’s not spread too thin.)
- How many of your athletes have finished the races you trained them for? (Sure he could train 100 athletes, but if only 10 have actually finished, that’s a bad sign.)
- How many Ironman races have you raced? (You better tell me you’ve done more than one to qualify as my coach.)
- How many Ironman finishers have you coached?
- What online tools do you use to coach athletes? (This is to ensure that the coach is organized and “with the times", which is very important to me. If I text you, I hope you know how to text too.)
- How quickly do you usually respond to your athletes questions?
- How often can and how do your athletes communicate with you? (Some coaches charge based on how often and how you contact them – email vs. phone – I think this is a bunch of CRAP! Get a coach who has one flat fee and welcomes all modes of communication.)
- What are your qualifications/experience?
- What is your monthly pricing model?
- How do you help your athletes find balance?
- How do you help your athletes prevent burnout?
- What is your approach for race day execution?
- Will you be present at races?
- What are you racing this year?
- What type of fitness analysis and testing does your coaching package include?
- How do you guide your athletes through nutrition, injury and preventative care?
With these tips in hand, you’ll be off to solid start at finding a coach that fits your lifestyle. Anything else you’re curious about when it comes to finding a coach?
Oh, and because we can’t have a post without a photo and I don’t have any that are applicable, here’s Lola’s “oh my goodness you’re home, please scratch my belly” face. I die every damn time.