I'm not an elite athlete, why would I hire a coach? This is a reasonable question - one I circled back to for years. I had a coach when I was a high school athlete, but once I started competing again as an adult, I trained on my own. I moved up from 5ks, to 10ks, to marathons, and even up to a 100miler without hiring a coach and had quite a bit of success along the way, but I always wondered if I could do better. It's possible to do well training on your own, but what I have found is that my greatest successes and smartest training cycles have come when I have had the guidance of an experienced coach who can look at my training from an objective viewpoint. I'm lucky enough to be coached by the incredibly successful ultrarunner and race director, Amy Rusiecki. Under her guidance, I took my racing and training to another level and gained huge amounts of confidence in my abilities.
So why hire a coach?
-- A coach can give you an honest assessment of when you can continue to push hard and when you should back off to avoid injury.
-- A coach gives you a plan, so it takes the stress off you of deciding when to run, how far to run, and what your workouts are.
-- A coach keeps you accountable on those days when the weather or life seems to be throwing obstacles in your way.
-- A coach can share their experience and expertise and help you form realistic, yet challenging, goals.