I Might Want a Running Coach

I have been contemplating getting a running coach for a couple of months. I am the type of person that performs when someone is pushing me. I want my coach to do that. I want my coach to be with me in person and run with me and yell at me from the other side of the track (which track, I have no idea, we’ll figure that our later).

I believe I am 82% wonderful at following training plans on my own. I follow the training plans first because I enjoy running and honestly want to be out there and second because I am working toward a goal. But I am also human and like to have a life and sometimes I can’t run 20 miles on Saturday mornings because I had too much wine on my couch the night before. This is where a running coach would come in handy (or this is how I see it happening):

Coach: Ashley, meet me tomorrow morning at 7 AM. We’re running 20 miles at 8:30/mi.
Ashley: OK Coach! Can’t wait! Its going to be tough, but I am ready, because I have you!


  • Running coaches are expensive. Especially when you want them to run with you (and yell at you from across the track to run faster) versus strictly sending you training plans online and discussing your runs. I have done some research into some different coaches in my area in NJ. The coaches I have spoken to range from 100-150/mo (and include weekly training meetings). I don’t know if this is expensive though for the type of service I want. If I decide to take the plunge, I will most likely cancel my NYSC membership so I can afford my (ahem, BQ maker).
  • I commute about an hour each way to NYC everyday. Is it realistic that I will even have time for a coach?

I found this article from the NYT (written in Oct 2011) about this exact topic, whether a running coach is necessary or not. Take a look at the article, I thought it was very interesting!

I need any help I can get on this subject. I am clearly a confused puppy.

Has anyone ever used a running coach? What type of service did you get? Do you mind telling me how much it cost you? I hope not. We’re all friends here 🙂


5 thoughts on “I Might Want a Running Coach

  1. Laura

    Check out http://www.rrca.org for a full list of coaches in your area – maybe you can find someone who’s less expensive? That said, wanting someone to run with you definitely drives the price up. Think of it like 2 hours/week if you want them to just put together the plan and listen to your recaps of how you felt, etc, vs 10 hours/week if you want them to show up to run with you AND put together the plan.

  2. Running Bun Post author

    Yea I know it is expensive! That’s why it is definitely up in the air still. I will probably begin training on my own and see if I can make any progress before I make the jump. I just love running with others and think that someone pushing me will help out a lot.

  3. sweatpassionandtears

    I’ve thought about a running coach since I seem to be prone to injuries and need someone to tell me when to go and stop, but the price has always deterred me as well. I think it just comes down to — can you achieve your goals without a coach? If the answer is no, for any reason (as silly as the reasoning may seem), and achieving your running goals are important to you, I say go for it! When I train for a marathon again I will need a coach purely to tell me I can do it, when to run less and force me to train BETTER — which sounds ridiculous, but as I’m still overcoming an injury from marathon training 6 months ago, I obviously need the advice.

    I’m not sure your race schedule, but if you do a marathon (or 1/2) through a charity they often offer coaching for free, which kind of kills two birds with one stone — race entry and coach.

    Curious to read about if you get a running coach and how you like them!

    1. Running Bun Post author

      I decided to stick with the Run Less, Run Faster program again for training! I am very injury prone too and this plan is great for avoiding injuries (you run 3x a week, and cross train 2x a week). I am going to see how training goes on my own and then decide if I want/need any extra help! But you should check out the plans in the Run Less, Run Faster book/website! http://www2.furman.edu/sites/first/Pages/default.aspx


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