Three Things I've Learned Since Hiring A Coach

February 20, 2014

My older sister hired a coach last year to help her train for her half ironman and now for her full ironman. She loves having a coach. She encouraged me to get one but for a while I was skeptical and thought I didn't really need a coach. I mean, I trained for five months on my own and was able to run a marathon (not perfectly though). Starting late January I looked up training plans for my upcoming races. I have a triathlon, 2 half marathons, and a 10k within the next few months. I found one for a sprint triathlon, I found one for half marathons, but I didn't know how to organize everything.

When do I start running long distances again?
What if I'm not ready to start with a 10 mile run?
When do I train for another marathon or try to qualify for Boston?
Do I workout twice a day?
How do I train for 13.1 + a tri?

(Insert unnecessary stress)

So I hired a coach and she helped me organize everything. Coach Jenny is great. She has given me tips and answers all my questions. Here are three main things I have learned that I am working on improving.

Only because I don't like posts without pictures.
Here's one of my watch. We spend a lot of time together.

1. An "easy run" is not necessarily easy..

On my first long run my coach told me to run easy.

        Okay, so like really easy, 10 minute pace easy??

Yeah, no. The point of an easy run is to run conversationally but not necessarily slow. If my race pace is 7:00- 7:30s then my easy run should be around an 8:50- 9:00 pace. We are working on running faster at an easier effort. Get it?

2. Tempo running isn't about pace

Tempo running is about effort and building a threshold for races. I am bad at tempo running. I still don't know how to run based on effort than pace but I also have only had two tempo runs so far. I am working on running for effort rather than watching my Garmin.

3. Strength training is more important than cross training

Okay so that is just my opinion. Here is my reasoning. Tuesday's and Thursday's are cross training and strength training days. I do 30 minutes worth of a strength workout then I do 30 minutes worth of cross training (which is riding my bike or swimming laps). There will be some weeks (like last week) where I only have strength training to do. I am pretty sure that means strength training is more important. Which also means I need to do better at it.

The end.


  1. I'm so happy that I run on my school team because I get a free coach! You have so much coming up soon. I'm excited for you!! That's also really good to know about easy runs!

    1. Haha, yes! Enjoy it while you have it ;) Thanks- I'm excited too!

  2. Glad you're enjoying coaching so far! Aren't they the best? And it's funny sometimes I would see your easy paced runs and think "Man, Sara is running at my easy pace but races SO much faster than me ;-)" Impressive what you've been able to do without a coach so far. You have some serious natural talent.

    1. Yes they are! Haha aww :) You just made my day. Thank you Madelynne!!


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