Get to the next level with access to a professional coach.
“Running is the easiest sport in the world.”
At least, that’s what you thought at the beginning.
Many runners got started because of the sport’s obvious benefits: increased endurance and improved health.
But many runners stay because they just get hooked.
You find yourself searching for the next half-marathon — and then convincing all of your friends to sign up. You track your runs in your favorite app and celebrate after with your running partner.
And eventually, you start researching how to improve. Whether it’s your splits, your form, or those recurring aches and pains, the internet probably has the answer.
The only problem is the sheer amount of time you spend sifting through that wealth of knowledge. Between books, magazines, and blogs — it’s a fact that there are piles of information out there.
Not to mention the struggle when you start setting goals for longer and longer distances.
The internet’s training plans are unfortunately a “one size fits all” situation. Many runners have given it their all while following one of those plans — only to find themselves dying during the race they trained for.
As it turns out, running isn’t the easiest sport in the world. Especially when you set your eyes on longer mileage, like a marathon.
It’s because of these trials and tribulations that many runners are now turning to online running coaching services. These services give you access to a real running coach through the magic that is the internet.
Online marathon coaching isn’t just for elite athletes. Those established, middle-of-the-pack runners can benefit tremendously as well.
These coaching services can help you improve your times, overall fitness level, and even give you a nutrition plan to follow.
How Online Marathon Coaching Can Help You
As we discussed above, designing your own training plan isn’t easy.
It takes a ton of time and can actually end up being inadequate for your needs. Plus some of us have trouble getting ourselves to stick to it, with no one holding us accountable.
Your marathon training coach can create a training program designed specifically for you as a runner. Depending on the service, this can include a daily running schedule, one-on-one coaching (over the phone or internet), and even a nutrition plan to help you reach the next level.
These coaches are trained professionals. If something isn’t working or you feel an injury coming on — your coach is there to adapt the program and help fix any problems.
Modern GPS tracking technology even allows your coach to examine your daily runs and further work out any kinks.
Not to mention that knowing you have your coach to answer to helps you actually achieve your goals.
Online coaching is becoming more and more common. Many runners see these benefits:
- Accomplishing their next mileage
- Shaving time off their splits
- Getting out of a rut
- Solving aches and pains
- Improved form
Who wouldn’t want even just one of those?
What Does Online Coaching Cost?
With the increasing popularity of online coaching programs, there are more and more becoming available.
And, fortunately for us, that means that there are programs to fit any budget. Prices can run anywhere from $25 to $300 per month.
Some programs, like runcoach, are more affordable but with less personalization. These are automated computer programs — you update the program with your information and an algorithm builds you a training program.
If you want more of a human touch, you can opt for a program that puts you in contact with a trained coach. You can have your coach go through your training log and tell you what they think.
For top dollar, you can get an analysis of your form, a nutritional plan, and even unlimited communication with your coach.
With tons of options out there, you can easily pick one that suits your needs. Some of us are happy letting an algorithm develop our program, while some want a pre-race pep talk.
There are many large-scale online coaching programs, but you can also look for options locally. Many of these are smaller and can give a more fine-tuned experience.
Another benefit of small scale programs is that they create a community of runners. Some will even have Facebook groups and encourage runners to sign up for the same races. This way you can connect with your fellow students and enjoy some camaraderie.
Make Sure Your Running Coaching Program is High Quality
As with anything in life, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough bang for your buck.
After deciding on the kind of program that suits your needs, the real vetting process begins.
Don’t be afraid to ask coaches about their education, experience, and philosophy. You’ll want to be sure that you and your coach are going to get along.
You can even request testimonials from previous clients — to learn what kinds of outcomes previous athletes in the program have enjoyed.
Finally, be sure to check if the coach is certified through the Road Runners Club of America or USA Track and Field. These organizations ensure that their certified coaches are trained in the basics of physiology, theory, and sports nutrition.
Online Marathon Coaching Could Take You to the Next Level
If you’re a middle-of-the-pack runner, setting your sights on that next marathon, you should consider online marathon coaching.
Maybe you’re really close to your next goal, but can’t quite get there. Or you want to take the guesswork out of developing your training plan.
An online running coach can make all the difference. These professionals set you up for success, from your very first run.
As we talked about above, there is a wide range of options to choose from.
The best way to start would be to choose an intermediate plan. You can start off with a smaller, more affordable program, and then add more bells and whistles — depending on your needs. Not ready for a coach just yet? Try a monthly running subscription box like Fun Run Box which comes with a monthly running challenge.