Lets look at a few reasons, you might want to reconsider the coaching thing or at least have a good discussion about what changes could be made to have a better working partnership. Also good to note that many of these could be role reversed in situations coaches might choose not to work with athletes any longer (only fair to mention that).
1. Your training styles are TOO different. Changing the way you approach things in training can be a great way to add a spark, but there is also a limit. Changing the way you do everything, is a recipe for injury or burnout. Usually you can spot this kind of difference quickly though, during discussions with a coach (or potential) be sure to chat about what kind of training you have honestly been doing and what kinds of things he/she would implement into your training.
2. You are constantly injured/burned out. This is a clear sign that something is wrong, and that changes need to be made. Is the training too much? Do you need time off? Some of this could be a negative effect of # 1, training too drastically different than you were. This isn't placing blame, it's simply recognizing something needs to change.
3. There is no trust. Like any relationship, the trust needs to be there. You need to be able to trust the workouts and the plan you are given, and trust the person giving it to you. If you trust that person, and their plans you are more likely to stick to it (and not slack off, or deviate/do more than you should be) which will make you more successful. You also need to trust that your coach has your back, will support you, and has your best interest at heart. Yes, you are paying them to do a job- but would you continue to pay an employee to work for you if you knew you couldn't rely on them?
4. Communication is lacking. Much like number 3, this is crucial in any relationship. Being able to talk to your coach is very important. You need to be able to ask questions (and get answers), you need to be able to make training adjustments if something isn't feeling right, and you need to be able to adjust the schedule to life. Being able to talk about how training is going, or how to prepare for a BIG upcoming race are vital. You don't see NFL coaches taking vacations right before a playoff game do you? You also don't see pee-wee soccer coaches just sending the kiddos out on the field without some instructions. Whether you are a newbie or a pro, the communication lines should be open.
5. It's adding stress. This is one that is tough to quantify or judge. As runners we are constantly trying to learn how much to push when things get tough, and when is too much. If having a coach is stressing you out (undue pressure or frustration from lack of trust/communication) or the training load is too much for you on top of your general life, it might be time to back off a bit. Running is fun (most of the time), and if you aren't enjoying it or it is not adding to your life what is the point?
6. You're not improving/You're not getting what you need. This is kind of a combination of all of the above. But in general, if you are paying someone but aren't getting what you need- why keep paying them? We all need different things, there is nothing wrong with admitting that you need more or less from someone. This could be a great conversation to have, let them know what you are looking for and if that isn't an option you have your answer of what to do. You shouldn't compromise your personal beliefs, training, or happiness to suit someone else.
7. The reasons you started, are no longer valid. There are so many reasons to hire a coach, from complex reasons down to a simple desire to get faster. But just because someone helped you get where you wanted to(in life or running), it doesn't mean you are tied to that person forever (assuming you're paying the person, otherwise we can refer to that as using someone...don't do that). Whatever the reason being, if you aren't content where you are and feel it's time to move forward then there is nothing stopping you. Life changes, goals change, people change, your methods will change along with all of it.
8. It's no longer feasible. Add up the shoes, the fancy clothes, the race entries, and then a coach and that 'cheap sport' gets a lot more expensive. Organizing your finances in a way that allows you to have a coach is one thing (cable TV or a running coach? Personally I'd pick the coach), but jeopardizing your finances is another. Lets just leave it as, if you are unable to pay your bills like an adult and still continue training without the aid of an irresponsible/disrespectful GoFundMe page- it's time to re-prioritize. Be a responsible adult first, and runner second.
|I will file the last year under a reason and a season, no regrets.|
In the weeks leading up to Erie things were changing though, and it was more clear to me that moving forward on my end was imminent. Chalk it up to a combination of the above reasons. Most importantly though, I feel comfortable with myself and training that I'm excited(and ready) to be in control of it again. The details are not important and except for a few of my taper fueled frustrated tweets(the internet doesn't forget), the dirty laundry doesn't need to be aired. At the end of the day I respect our differences and know that I learned a lot that I can use going forward. Live, learn, and move the F on.
I'm looking forward to playing with my training a bit, but still using what I have learned to avoid past mistakes. I do also think being a little more 'relaxed' with my training the rest of the fall will be a good mental break for me before gearing back up for Boston. Maybe I will look at other coaches in the future, but in the mean time I will enjoy the perks of being self-coached again. Fall is my favorite time to run so the motivation won't be lacking, and on days that it is- who cares :)