Back in May I was gifted a membership on Runner’s Connect and started with their running coaching plan. I wasn’t asked to do a follow up on the online running coaching plan, but here I am writing one 12 weeks down the line because quite honestly it has completely changed my running, my attitude and my outlook on training. And here’s why.
Learning How to Pace Correctly
When I first started the training plan, the aim was to slowly build my base back up. I needed to get the running in more consistently each week and I needed to get my fitness back to where it needed to be.
I did a lot of slow running in those first few weeks. My target pace was almost 2 minutes slower than what I would usually be doing. It felt super slow to begin with but I stuck to it, having faith in the trainers and the plan. And now I’m onto speed work I’m reaping the benefits.
When I head out for an easy run now, I don’t need to put so much focus on what pace I’m running. Being able to run slow on those all-important easy runs feels more natural now.
And likewise, if I’m aiming for a speedier session I have a better feel for what pace I’m going at. The variety of training that I’ve been doing has given me a better understanding of how to pace myself.
Understanding The Difference Between Can’t Be Bothered and When Your Body Actually Needs Rest
So many times throughout my training so far I have gotten home from work and not felt like heading out for a run. Too tired, it seems like too much effort. But being on a training plan had me going out. Because there was no real reason not to. And it nearly always made me feel so much better afterwards.
However there have been a couple of times when I’ve had an unplanned rest day. For example, last week I had to swap a fast tempo run for an easy one. That easy run was awful, and not easy at all. So on the day I was planning to do the rescheduled tempo I took a rest day. Not because I didn’t feel like running, but because my body genuinely needed the rest. I had an aching foot and a tight calf – they aggravated my run earlier on the week and I didn’t want to risk getting an injury.
After spending so much time on my feet this summer, I’m starting to understand all the feelings in my body. What classes as just tiredness, and which niggles need to be properly looked after. I’m obviously no doctor, but I’ve definitely been able to change my mindset.
Actually Enjoying Running
So I thought I liked running before, having done it for a good 6 years or so. (On and off, admittedly!)
However, I find that I have a newfound love for it now. I’ve never trained before – properly. My running was just plodding along, doing the same thing week in week out.
Now I have variety each week and I look forward to getting out each night after work; I’m seeing the improvements both physically and mentally; I feel more positive about things on the whole. It’s a great change to see.
When you find the exercise that works for you, it really makes such a big difference to attitude and motivation. Running may not be for you – but there will be something that gives you the same feeling!
Verdict on Online Running Coaching?
If you want to take a more serious approach on your running training, but can’t quite fit in finding a face-to-face coach, I say go for it. I couldn’t join any running clubs because of work times, and having someone online within easy reach instead gave me more flexibility.
You don’t have to worry about getting to a session at a specific time, you don’t have to worry about having to meet up with anyone or make an appointment around work schedules. Runner’s Connect has a few different coaches that speak to you so whilst it may seem like it’s never really ‘personal’ it does mean there is always someone on hand. All your training is easily accessible on the website for them to see.
I personally love it. Never before have I had this much motivation to stick to a plan, nor have I ever enjoyed a fitness plan so much thanks to the variety. For me, online running coaching is well worth it.