No, i’m not talking to that elite, speedy group over there bouncing on their tip-toes or the genetically predisposed lining up at the front of every race i’ve ever been to. No, I’m talking to you, the mid-packers, the back-of-packers and the i’d-rather-be-watching-the-greenbay-packers. Yes you. You need a coach.
But forget the traditional coach/client model and step outside the box with me. I’m talking about coaches from a partner perspective, and in that vein, coaches can take many shapes, sizes and forms. But there is one common thread among the type of coach that I’m talking about: Accountability.
Your Coach, Your Accountability Partner
Your coach can be the leader of your local running group, that friend that joins you each and every day at zero-dark-thirty in the morning for pre-dawn workouts or that grizzled running veteran that gives you tips every time you stretch together after a tough workout. In a more formal sense, it can be the guy you found in the local paper advertising bootcamp workouts or the gal you met online who sends you your weekly training plan. The key is, though, that you’re partnering with someone.
That partner relationship with your “coach” can be a vital component of your motivation. Not only are you running for yourself, but now you have another person’s eyes on your training. It is easy to make excuses, skip workouts and skimp on harder training when you go about your training plan solo. You’ll find that often times, the days that you just don’t want to lace up the shoes or hop on the bike, you’ll hear the voice of your coach, mentor or partner gently (or not so gently in the case of Hans und Franz) in the back of your mind, coaxing you on. And in some cases, that will be the tipping point; the accountability to that partnership.
So, identify your coach, step into that partner relationship and get the rewards that additional accountability for your fitness will bring. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll be able to do when other people have their eyes on your training.