At first I thought the idea of it was crazy because after all, I had a fancy piece of paper that said I was a coach...but then I realized that 99% of my friends who are also certified coaches, have a coach of their own as well. Ah, so we're all in the same stubborn boat? Got it. Ever since I started running I have coached myself, written my own training plans, done all my own research on both training and nutrition, and for the most part have been my own source of support. It's a lot of work! The thought of trusting everything I've ever done and turning it over to someone else is a bit terrifying, but the only time we can grow is when we finally let ourselves step outside of our comfort zone. I'm not looking to break any world records but I am looking to grow and improve in all aspects of my running. With the entire first part of 2014 being spent getting myself healthy and free of injury I knew I'd be starting over completely from scratch. Finding a coach who would understand that and respect the base building phase was important to me, as I am not ready to dive into tempo runs and sprint work just yet. I researched several options but ultimately I knew in some form or fashion I wanted to be involved with Hansons. For the latter part of my San Fran training last year I followed the theory of cumulative fatigue that Hansons is founded on, and training your body for the second half of the race and absolutely loved it. Apparently my body loved it too because it led to a 30+ min PR from my last full marathon. If you're not familiar with the Hansons Method I HIGHLY recommend you pick up the book The method they present and the research behind it will completely change how you view training. Is it for everyone? No. But neither is the traditional 'you have to run a 20 miler in training or you'll fail at the marathon' approach. The traditional approach was getting me to the finish line, but I felt like death afterwards.
The decision to hire a coach is something I've been stewing on since last August and after finding out I was in for the Chicago Marathon, I knew it was time to pull the trigger. Early last week I signed up for personal coaching through one of the higher programs with Hansons Coaching and am so excited! After a week of exchanging a lot of information, answering a ton of questions, and getting my coach all of the info he needed I was presented with my first few weeks of training. I was thrilled and finally felt at ease when I was told that my first few weeks of training are just to run these assigned miles with no time expectations, pace, etc. These miles were to start the base building phase and more importantly, just learning to love the run again. I do believe I've found the right coach!
I log in to my online portal and voila, my workouts are entered for each day with any specific notes for those workouts. Every evening prior I receive an email notification reminding me of what my workout is the next day....where have you been all my life?! We can chat as often as I'd like to ask questions, possibly change up training, etc. Form analysis, nutrition assessments, and lots other of fun stuff! I'm not one to usually enjoy being told what to do, but I think I'm going to like this because I know I'm going to be challenged both physically and mentally with my workouts. If I know I have to report back my efforts, I will be that much more motivated to push myself through it. I'm hoping to take this opportunity to learn more about myself and running, but more importantly to get an insiders look at Hansons and the approach. I love to learn (I think it's one of the keys to a fulfilled life) and am looking forward to working with someone who is incredibly talented and has far more experience than I do in both running and coaching. The next few months are going to be one big adventure and I'm ready for it!