Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I’m a coach!

….at least unofficially. On August 6-7, I’ll be taking the RRCA coaching certification course and will have at least one of the pieces of paper that say that I know what I am talking about. (The other of course being my “NOT INSANE” certificate that I carry in my wallet). The RRCA certification is one of the more popular amongst amateur runners turned coach – mostly because it doesn’t require any college level coursework to obtain. Beth and Aron are certified as well as many others I’m sure. (Although, the classes are a pain in the ass to get into – so the field has to be somewhat limited)

I’ve long thought about looking into sharing my love of sweating and eating sugar running with others and have finally gained the courage to decide to try it out. So, while I am not certified yet, for the last few months or so I’ve been building a custom week by week plan for this mega-blogger:


And have also been reviewing and adjusting a pre-existing plan for this local Phoenix-blogger:


Throughout my 4 years of running I’ve gone from running 10:30 minute miles (at MOST half a mile at a time) to 7:30 minute miles (20 miles at a time) for my long runs. Oh, and in that time I’ve had about every injury you can think of (Stress fracture, tendonitis in my foot & knee, pulled calf muscles, etc), made every bonehead training mistake possible, and tried to learn from each of them as much as possible.

Honestly, having a coach isn’t for everyone. I’ve found that people who are highly self motivated and have the practical knowledge / physiological knowledge can do quite well on their own. Hell, there are about as many plans as I have holes in my head (approximately 12) available online or in books. However, there are lots of reasons why someone would want to dive in head first and hire a coach:

  • Accountability – believe me, when you have an email / tweet / message waiting for you asking how your run went, it only takes a few guilty excuse laden ramblings to start to avoid missing workouts
  • Plan tailored to your own needs based on current workouts/injuries/schedule - Just like the people on Jerry Springer say “You don’t know me!!!”. Hal Higdon doesn’t know me (actually he does) neither does Jack Daniels (opps, this guy does I think). The plans that you find online will require some tweaking based on this crazy thing called “life”. A coach will know what run is OK to miss, which one is essential to get in, and when to call you dirty names and tell you to suck it up
  • Sounding board / Mentor - My family exercises, but none of them want to discuss which pace I should do my 400m intervals. My friends think 400 is the cost to fill up your tank with gas. Sometimes, it is just nice to know that there is someone that you can call / email and ask questions about running – someone who has been there, done that
  • Someone to have confidence in you even when you don't in yourself – If you’ve ever ran with a faster friend or been chased by a cougar, you know that the body is capable of amazing things. A coach reminds you of this and pushes you just a bit beyond your comfort zone


So, if you’re looking for some direction, no matter if you are completely clueless or are just looking for a nudge, shoot me an email: TheBoringRunner@Gmail.com. If nothing else, we can swap horror stories about injuries or scars. I’ll send pictures. It won’t be creepy at ALL.

25 comments:

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

Did you have any tips for running a 5k backwards? It's been a dream of mine, just to stare at all the people I beat as I cross the finish line.

AnMiSu said...

Congratulations on working towards the certification!

Chad said...

Can you train me to run a 5k backwards faster than Rose? I'd like to finish while staring at her ass AND the faces of tons of people that I'm beating.

Also, where can I apply for the not insane card?

Adam said...

I've got some bad news Chad, you already have applied. Let's just say that you have one of the two cards in the mail....

Andrew Opala said...

I like it man.

Hey you coached me to my first 5k!

I knew you were cut out even then!

Carolina John said...

They are going to start calling you Sue Sylvester! RRCA is a good way to go. I signed up for (and have yet to complete) the ITCA coaching program. Helping others is really rewarding. Congrats!

XLMIC said...

"It won't be creepy at ALL" .. yeah, not like that pic of you in the track suit with the bullhorn.

I am sure you will do as fantastically with this in an "official" capacity as you have been doing unofficially ;-)

And thanks for FINALLY coming over and checking out my blog... even if it was just to congratulate me and not say anything about my totally kick-ass micro-tri.

Who loves you, baby?

Jill said...

I think part of being a great coach is experience....and you got that. Plus an awesome personality. You're going to do fantastic!! Now, for $100 bucks, I'll give you the answers to the test!! ;)

EricaH said...

when i first saw you post title on twitter I was thought birth coach or life coach , but hey I guess running coach is a good one too. If i ever get serious about running a marathon i will definitely hit up your inbox. :)

ShutUpandRun said...

You will be great at coaching. You have the knowledge plus you've been there and know how to progress. Most people want to know how to get faster. You will have something to offer there for sure!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Maybe I need to start searching your blog for the stress fracture posts...Congrats! I think you'll be great as a Coach!

Char said...

I love having a coach. I love not having to work out how far or what type of run I should do. I love having other squad members to run with. And today I loved that our coach let us keep our jumpers on for the first part of the run and drove to the top of the hill so he could collect them once we were nicely warmed up (it's Winter here). I also like having someone to bitch about when the session is hard.

Lisa said...

I think I may be emailing you soon... congrats on taking this great step! I hope you write about your coaching experiences a bit!

SupermomE12 said...

Congrats! I think you will be an awesome coach! :)

Nobel4Lit said...

Woo-hoo!!! Enjoy it! I'm sure you'll learn lots even if you are the coach!

Razz said...

Congrats, man!

Thank God you can't get a doctorate in that sort of thing. I'll call you "coach", but not "doctor".

The Banter said...

Are you sure about that 'not insane' card?

Johann said...

Nice one Adam! You will make a great coach.

Morgan said...

Congrats Soon-to-be Coach A!!! I've been trying to get in to a class to get my certification as well! Let me know how the class goes and what you thought!

Running Through Phoenix said...

Ok coach, time for your "running coach" pills and then its time for nighty night. Yes, you may sleep with your "I'm sane" certificate, but Family Feud is over now so let's get over to the dispensary and you can dream all about your 'blog' and your 'running team'. (This guy thinks he's a race director!!)

Nitmos said...

I think we are soon reaching critical mass - the point at which there will be more coaches than actual runners. But everyone will be able to have a nice 2:1 coach:runner ratio. If only we could get that same teacher:student ration in our classrooms!?!

Good luck with your test!

Pam said...

Awesome... I do think I shall be emailing you.

B.o.B. said...

I just want to exchange creepy photos.

Quix said...

Congrats, and good luck with the cert! I love playing with training programs myself and trying to torture my husband and giving out unfounded advice on the internet, but I think that's where it stops.

Oh budding coach, I do have this one question (you said we could ask...):
1. What's the best way to get better at running hills (besides just "do them"). If you're only running 2-3 times per week, how would you work hills in with speed/distance? (I say 2-3 not because I'm a slacker and don't want to run more, but it's tri season and I have 2 other sports to deal with + life).

funderson said...

cool! I only trust coaches that wear slicky striped track suits.