Currently, I’m training for the Eugene half marathon taking place in May, 2017 in Eugene, Oregon. I’ve completed the full Eugene twice.
This year, I decided to do whatever it takes to hit my personal best. This requires that I do things differently than the previous two years.
A little back story. In year one (2015), I hired a woman who attended one of my business workshops. During one of the “get to know attendee” segments she mentioned that she has completed several marathons, triathlons and is an avid runner. She has a facility in Eugene where she works with people who have been injured through physical activity.
I shared with her, and the rest of the group, I secretly wanted to complete a full marathon. At that point, I wasn’t a runner, but more of a fast walker.
After a bit of prodding on my part, she agreed to coach me on my first marathon.
Having not done an official coaching program prior to this, my new coach quoted me a price for her services, which I immediately agreed to.
After months of training, I did complete the marathon, but not within the allotted time or without feeling like a Mack truck had run over me. After careful evaluation, what I know to be true is this; I conveniently focused on one aspect of the training, getting distance under my belt.
Even though my coach talked to me about my eating, resistance training and stretching, I didn’t much pay attention to these things because they didn’t seem “sexy” enough. Big mistake on my part.
From what I hear, this was her first (and last) time coaching someone for a marathon. After the experience with me, I’m sure she decided to focus on her own “sweet spot” of physical therapy.
It takes more than distance
In 2016, I attempted to learn all I could through books, videos and being self-taught. This time I put more focus on areas other than just distance. I completed the marathon within 3 minutes of the legal time, but still felt like that Mack truck had run over me.
After both experiences, I decided to do a half marathon the next time around. By this time, I had gone from fast walking, to slow running, to a 12 ½ minute runner.
Over the spring and summer, I participated in several 5k, 10k, 5 & 10 mile and even a couple of half marathons.
I knew that if I was going to achieve my personal best for the 2017 Eugene Half Marathon, I needed to get coaching.
I also knew I needed something different than my first coaching experience. What I really wanted was some group coaching that also included individual coaching. My goal was to achieve a more well-rounded approach to the process.
There’s a “right” coach for just about everyone
Within a day or two of making the commitment to find a coach, I received a gift card for Run Hub; a premier running store in Eugene. Within days of receiving the gift card, I heard from several people about what a welcoming environment the store created for all levels of runners.
A quick visit to their website was all it took for me to find my next coaching group. They offered a 14-week program leading up to the Eugene marathon.
Wanting to make sure this was the right choice for me, I called the store. The gentleman on the other end of the phone answered all my questions and assured me the program would be a great experience.
As soon as I hung the phone up, I went back to their website and registered for the group coaching.
It’s amazing all I’m learning this year in my marathon coaching program. A well-rounded approach that includes resistance training, core workouts, foam rolling, lots of stretching, pacing myself with steady improvements and of course, running.
The best part of all is I’m feeling like I’m making some great progress with my training. Additionally, I’m making friends who also have an interest in completing the marathon.
As I’ve immersed myself into the training, there’s a stark difference between my first marathon in 2015 and this one. Rather than focusing on only the “fun” stuff, I’m committed to a well-rounded approach that will yield better results all the way around.
The greatest lesson is…
My greatest lesson in all of this is this; if I hire and pay for an expert’s knowledge, insights and guidance, why would I not do what they say?
To get the best results at anything it takes more than taking a one-sided approach. And it takes the willingness to do things differently. I see this in business all the time. People hire coaches and yet, continue to do things their way.
Truth be told, if we want different results in virtually any area of our life, we must be willing to do things differently. We must be willing to do those things that may not seem like fun at the time, but lay the foundation for that which will yield the greatest outcome.