This month I decided that researching, finding, and hiring a running coach was the next step in my personal running journey.

Why would a running coach need a running coach?

I assume, the same reason financial planners have financial planners – to have someone outside of yourself to guide your decisions, despite your knowledge of the subject. I wanted a coach that would help me become a faster runner, a better marathoner, and preserve a bit of my sanity.

While I had thought on it before, three reasons eventually tipped my decision. Do you relate to them?

Hiring a Running Coach: Three Reasons I Hired a Running Coach

3 Reasons I’m Hiring a Running Coach

1. I needed an objective voice

No matter how much I try, when I review my training, I find at least some emotion attached to it.

It can be easy to look at the data and sell myself short or push forward foolishly, because of how I feel.

Am I being lazy? Rationalizing? Am I scared?

Having someone else to say…

  • Yes, you need this hard workout to get stronger
  • No, that’s too much
  • Slow down, you’re not recovering enough
  • You really are phoning it in this week. What’s up?

…pulls me out of my head and allows proper training to take place.

Hiring a Running Coach: Running Plans

Running plan creation process

2. I needed to decrease decision fatigue

There are a lot of decisions in coming up with an overall training plan, a training cycle, a week, a day, a workout.

And that’s just… running.

When I first heard about “decision fatigue,” I related a lot to the concept. Decision fatigue is the deteriorating quality of decisions after a long string of decisions. For me, it comes in the form of decision avoidance, overwhelm, and over thinking late in the day.

I am a morning person, a lark, a lion – I tire as the sun sets. The decisions in the morning come quickly and easily. By the time I’m trying to assign workers to a Tetris-like schedule in the afternoon, it’s hit or miss whether I’m decisive or stuck in a loop of questioning. And if I’m avoiding something, for sure 100% it’s because I need to decide something before I can move forward.

So, if I can offhand a big set of decisions to someone else – to someone I trust – please, take it.

Take it all.

Hiring a Running Coach: My brother and me

My brother and me at a race

3. I needed to open up to a larger world

After my brother’s death in December, it was hard to keep running. Being out there, alone with my thoughts, scared me.

I skipped runs. I shortened my training weeks.

That woke me up to how isolated my training was from other parts of my life. While I treasure my alone time during solo runs, I also don’t want my training so compartmentalized that I can just slice it off of my life when things get rough. Because, that’s when I need it most.

Rather than turn my back on running, I invested in it. Adding a coach and entering her community of coached runners created new dimensions in my world. My runs are still mine, but with others invested in my training, it becomes larger than me – outside of me. My running is evolving and my brother spurred that.

Both Sides of Coaching

I’ve found a lot of joy in being a new running coach. But, I’m also learning the joy (and the angst) of being coached.

I’m happy to be a part of both sides.

Related Reading:

Runners: Do you have a coach?