I’ve never had a running coach before, nor have I had any training with a team or a club. It just wasn’t something that I had access to previously, so when I was offered the opportunity to test out some online running coaching with Runner’s Connect, I jumped at the chance.
Now I think the question of ‘is an online coach really the same as getting an in-life coach?’ comes to the front of mind. Right? I didn’t know what it would be like having someone to help, but someone who I can’t actually see in person. However I think it works because there are a few coaches and they can see all your logs and can help with any questions you have.
Online Running Coaching Tailored to Your Needs
First things first, I had to fill in a form.
When you sign up to Runner’s Connect you have to answer questions about yourself, about your training and all that kind of important information about fitness. Then a coach will take a look and devise a plan for you.
This is then all set out in your dashboard in an easy to find calendar. I can see at a glance what my week is going to be like and I can also look ahead too – my schedule is currently planned out right up to my half marathon date.
Whether you’ve got a big race or you just want to improve on distance and time, the coaches can create a plan for you to work towards that goal. My goal is the Disneyland Half Marathon in September!
No Need To Think About What To Do
The hardest thing I find about sticking to training, no matter what the exercise, is creating a plan. I’ve tried to follow so many online, but at the end of the day it’s difficult when you’re just looking at generic plans.
They don’t take into account your lifestyle or your end goals, and it can just get a bit frustrating sometimes. I find myself wondering if what I’m doing is right, and especially with running I find it hard to judge what is enough when it comes to different types of workout.
With Runner’s Connect you don’t really need to think about that. Everything is set out ahead of time so you can see what you’ve got coming up and whether anything needs changing in advance. I work different hours each week so being able to see a plan in advance helps me to schedule in a run at an achievable time.
Someone to Ask When You Need Advice
Every time you log a run, there’s a little form full of things you might want to add. Things such as how you’re feeling, your heart rate if you track that, the weather and a few other bits. You can also leave a comment to describe the run, your feelings or whatever else you want to share, and there’s a space to ask a coach any questions you may have. This bit is great.
I’ve found that the coaches are super attentive and always comment on each training log. It’s just really nice to have someone to push you along or give you a bit of a confidence boost when you need it. I’ve asked a couple of questions and have been met with helpful answers. And I’ve had a slight change to my plan already. One big plus of having the coaches is that they quickly swapped things about and I didn’t have to worry about the volume that I should or could do.
There’s also a forum to use and you can see other peoples training logs in the main stream. I find it interesting to see what others are doing.
Science Behind Training
There is actual science behind the training, and what is best to get where you want to be. I’ve discovered many helpful articles on the site with information about different aspects of training, running and how the body works.
I mean I was surprised to begin with when I was given 7:10-7:55 per km pace easy runs. Because my usual pace was generally between 6:00-6:30. If I wanted to hit a fast 10k (to me!) I could just about keep it under or around 6:00. But was that an easy run for me? Nope.
And it has since hit me that I never really did an easy run. I was always pushing, always wanting to get that faster time. And whilst I did hit some new PB’s last year, I didn’t really improve all that much.
This article on how fast your easy runs should be was really interesting to read. In basic terms, the slower runs help your body to build a better aerobic base, and ultimately that will help you to reach those faster paces further down the line.
Each day there is a tip/helpful article included on your schedule, and I’ve found them all really interesting so far. Even just basic things that can make even the slightest change your training and thought process around running.
Helps Mentally, Not Just Physically
Physically it has been good. I’ve managed to get out so much more than I had been doing, all because I’ve had something to stick to. I have a bigger push to get out now.
And after just a month of running on this plan, I’ve found myself enjoying it so much more. I think mainly it’s because I’m now relaxing in my pace and not focusing so much on running faster each time.
As well as that, I feel like I’ve always got someone there that I can ask for help or advice. Running can be a lonely sport. Quite often you’ll be out on your own let to your own thoughts. That’s one thing I love about it – but sometimes it’s nice to know that there is someone available to speak about what’s going right, what’s going wrong. I don’t really know anyone in person that also runs, so online is where I look to speak about that. It’s just good to have!
Overall I am very happy with the experience so far. I’m still only at the beginning of my training plan, but I feel like these few weeks have made a definite difference to me.
If you are struggling with training and feeling either demotivated or at a loss of how to improve your skill, online coaching could definitely be the answer. Have you ever looked into online running coaching?
*I was gifted the coaching membership plan to review thanks to Runner’s Connect.