What Type of Running Coach is Best for You?

by On Aug 20, 2014
What Type of Running Coach is Best for You?

Whether you are a seasoned runner or are new to the splendors of running or in search of a healthy new hobby, it is important to consider using a running coach. Before beginning with a coach, you should independently assess your running goals and the expectations that you would have of a coach. Those with more experience as a runner can work more effectively with a coach. It can be very rewarding and motivating to work with someone so that you can improve your weaknesses.

What type of coaching best suits your running needs?

Event Coach

Races can be intimidating for both novice and experienced runners. Event coaching, whether received as an individual or within a running group, can boost an athlete's confidence in his or her abilities. Working with a coach in a group setting is a great way to get your feet wet with racing. It also provides an opportunity to meet other runners who have similar goals. Consistency is key when it comes to running, and sometimes that can actually hinder training for events of different lengths. Half-marathon runners often find 5km races anti-climactic and are disappointed with their race times and leftover energy after the event. Event coaching is an excellent option to help runners of all levels adjust to the particular lengths and terrains of upcoming races.

Beginner's Coach

Do you need someone to assist you with selecting attire and formulating a nutrition plan? Perhaps you need some guidance regarding the proper running form and correct breathing techniques? An experienced coach can teach you this basic running knowledge, and he or she can physically assist you so that you can get your running career off to a good start. A seasoned runner can offer a lot of solid insight and experience, especially concerning how to best engage your major muscle groups while running. Perhaps the best reason to have an on-site coach in the beginning is that he or she can observe you mid-stride - the most objective way to correct poor running form.

What Type of Running Coach is Best for You?

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Motivational Coach

People are all motivated through different means. Some athletes describe the sport of distance running as 'lonely', while others use running to be by themselves and enjoy quiet solitude. Similarly, some athletes thrive on competition, while others, more private runners appreciate the sport of running as competition is optional. Before you search for a motivational coach, try to pin down what exactly appeals to you about running. If you need someone to help hold you accountable while delivering an extra push of motivation, hiring a coach is a smart option. However, if you want to run to find peace, you may find that your own inner drive is motivation enough.

Certified Coach

If you have a medical condition or injury, it is a great idea to hire a certified coach to support you in your running practice. Asthma, pregnancy, advanced age and heart complications are examples of high-risk conditions for runners. If you are working through pain stemming from an injury, hiring a certified professional coach can help to prevent additional pain and physical setbacks.

Many experienced runners and competitive athletes will hurt themselves trying to push through the pain, resulting in extended recovery time and increased damage. A coach can help reel these people in, encouraging them to be more healthful, patient runners. If you can relate to the frustration of working on your running skills despite a serious injury or illness, go for a certified running coach and avoid hiring an uncertified, general trainer. Runners have specific nutritional needs and training exercises that they must employ to help maximise their running potential. Running-specific coaching certifications have become popular worldwide, and some amateur runners can earn certificates in coaching that they do not necessarily deserve because of low skill or expertise levels.

Running Groups and Running Clubs

Running groups and clubs are a great way to meet other runners that match your current athletic level. Running with others keeps people accountable, and it can be especially motivating for those struggling to stay accountable to their training schedule. Many runners choose clubs because they want to spend time with friends who share their hobby. A great deal of coaching can come out of these partnerships. Online forums, such as RunSociety's forum, is an excellent option for people who want to connect with others but live in less populated areas. Those who have schedules not conducive to weekly meetings also benefit from running forums. Running groups and clubs usually advertise themselves at races and at running specialty stores, do keep a look out for them.

What Type of Running Coach is Best for You?

Photo Credit: 123rf

Electronic Coach

In today's technological age, more and more runners are making good use of electronic gadgets to track their progress. These digital coaches - often fee or inexpensive apps downloaded directly to a smartphone - keep track of distance, speed, route and heart rate. They can also track calories and make playlists of songs that are most likely to quicken a runner's pace. Inarguably invaluable training tools, these devices are helping to improve the skills of runners around the world. They can, however, be de-motivational for beginners, as they ask for a lot of progress in a short amount of time. Learn to listen to your body before trusting the advice from a gadget.


Self-coaching is a process formulated through the combination of several different tactics. For example you can go to a running specialty store and get fitted for proper footwear. Also, you can research runners' nutrition needs online. Another great method for improvement is subscribing to running magazines. Many runners also search trusted running websites for new training tips. Using electronic gadgets to record your progress is another popular type of self-coaching. After all, many realised that they do not need a running coach.

What Type of Running Coach is Best for You?

Photo Credit: 123rf

If a coach is what you need to get motivated, go find a specialised trainer that fits your needs! Remember to do some research on the experience, quality and character of a coach to find the one that suits you best. With a properly certified coach by your side, you will running toward a positive, athletic new future!

Aidan is the Editor-in-Chief of RunSociety. With more than a decade of editorial and marketing experience working with over 1,124 writers. Aidan has also written for several popular websites reaching millions of readers. Recognised as an expert on the web, his focus is to oversee RunSociety’s Creativity Channel, spanning a wide range of inspirational and enriching topics daily to the running community.

Get in touch with him if you have something to say, or want to weigh in on an interesting topic at hello@runsociety.com.

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