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Running Coach – Do you really need one?

“Running coach” …  its a complicated concept with so much running information out there and so many “coaches”

In the last 10 years, the words coach and coaching have become fashionable in different areas of our society.

Today we can identify different types of Coach:

  • Life Coach
  • Health Coach
  • Couples Coach
  • Career Coach
  • Finance Coach
  • Personal Coach
  • Running Coach

And we could continue the list, but you already have the idea.

I bet you can name more than 5 people, myself included, without any problem

There are an offer and demand for coaching in all social settings, and areas of life. Every day a new coach appears in our life with books, offers, messages, memes.

And all this has generated great confusion and little clarity on what it really means to be a coach and coachees.

To top it off, as in any discipline, there are people with little training and a certain lack of ethics who speak and exercise something they call coaching, without having the minimum necessary preparation and without really understanding what they are doing.

Everyone is expert and share phrases, memes, and recommendations of what is best for you.

Part of the problem arises because the word coach (coach) and coaching (training) are used to refer to very different disciplines and looks. Coaching, basically, is a training to achieve better results, but only with this term is not enough to define what we are talking about.

According to the methodology used, we can say that there are 3 totally different types of coaching currently

1) Expert Coaching:

This is how we call coaching where a person, with knowledge, skills, and experience in a specific subject, trains another person or persons in this area. It can be a dance or singing coach, a financial coach, or a coach of a specific sport. Ultimately it is the same figure as the teacher, tutor, advisor, etc. dedicated not only to transmit their specific teaching but also to actively train in it.

In this category you will find Sport coaches / Running Coaches / Personal Trainers

Patrick sang

Here is Eliud Kipchoge with Patrick Sang, his coach

2) Action Coaching:

It is a type of training that arises in the sports world, mainly in the US, and then is taken to the business and personal.

It is a training based on the challenge, pressure, and motivation of the people. It’s stressful experiential, aggressive and oriented exclusively to the achievement of objectives, usually with high costs.

It has good results, especially in Anglo-Saxon cultures. And it has had a great boom in Latin America for a few years, generating much controversy for its aggressive methodology and sect traits. (In the USA this type of coaching is already prohibited and regulated) but in Latin America, they abound and are NOT regulated

Those courses or seminars are 3-4 days that last thousands of hours, they put you under super pressure and announced that they will change your life in 4 days. “Oh, and please bring your family and friends and you cannot share your experience with anyone”.

3) Ontological Coaching:

The ontology of language is a thesis developed by Rafael Echevarria, which tries to explain the human being as an intrinsically linguistic being. The language as well as describing what exists is capable of generating new realities, that is, we construct future and transform the world through language

But Coaching and these methodologies are NOT NEW. Ontological coaching, which is the most fashionable now has deeper roots.

The Greek philosopher Socrates was the first to introduce one of the main concepts of what we call coaching. The Socratic method is called MAYÉUTICA.

This term described the midwives, who help to give birth but DO NOT give birth. The Socratic method proposes a series of questions to help someone find their own answers but does NOT provide the advice. Plato, a disciple of Socrates, contributes with his dialogue to what would be the Coaching process in a session.

Aristotle develops the concept that argues that, through action, through habit allows the construction of being. It also introduces the gap where we are and where we want to go.

Language not only allows us to speak “about” things: It makes them happen, therefore, language is action, it is generative: it creates realities.

Human beings, when speaking, make declarations, affirmations, promises, requests, offers. These actions are universal.

And what does all this have to do with Running? or with Health?

When making the decision to hire a coach, we must take into account that something as simple as running or incorporate a habit or a healthy lifestyle, can become very complicated when we do not know what to expect from a coach.

  • Coaching consists of liberalizing a person’s POTENTIAL to maximize their performance
  •  It consists in helping you LEARN instead of teaching you 
  • It consists of working together with clients in a creative and stimulating process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

The essence of good coaching is to develop awareness, responsibility and think for themselves.

Running Coach

When you want to hire a coach, think about whether he is offering you those 3 things.

Unlike other professionals, a coach does not diagnose, recommend, decide or think for the person. What you do is help you to see yourself in a different way, to visualize more options and to distinguish the gap between what you do and what you want.

Coaching is a more collaborative and Co-creative process. But you are responsible for 100% of the results.

And you’ll ask, hey, but I just need you to tell me how much to run each day. I do not want anything more complicated.


Maximizing your potential as a runner involves much much that running miles and review analytics, that most of the time you won’t understand or even use after your coaching period finalizes.

When we review the Injury statistics among runners, 70% of runners are injured at least once a year. When the average time to finish a marathon has increased by more than 50 minutes, and the race time limits to “run” it has increased to 7-10 hours, it is when you realize why only knowing how much you have to run on a certain day is not enough.

How do I decide who to hire or do I really need a  Running Coach?

The first question you have to ask yourself is what do you want and what do you need?

And here I am going to focus now on 100% Health and Running.

Do you want to start running and you do not know how to start, do you want to improve your performance and be faster, run a marathon, lose weight, improve your lifestyle and health?

The more ambitious the challenge, the more radical the changes you want to achieve, you need more professional help to achieve it.

And the key word is professional help.

Today, with only a seminar of 2-3 days, and 300 dollars in cost, or a little more anyone can be called a coach. Of Running, Of Life, Of health. Even the most sophisticated programs sold online do not last more than 160 hours

That only gives a partial knowledge. More or less than 20 hours of duration the shortest. The knowledge and experience are achieved with the continuous practice of your profession. NOT your hobby.

The fact that you hire a “speed runner” or a Boston Marathoner as a coach, is not indicative that she/he has the knowledge to recognize and understand your potential and the areas of opportunity you have as a runner and guide you in YOUR PROCESS.

six medal challenge
6 Medal Challenge

A typical trend is that now a Running coach “Knows all”. (Or wherever coach you choose) Knows about Motivation, mental coaching, nutrition, physiotherapist. All in one package.

The wider the spectrum of their services, the more unlikely it is to not really be good in one area.

RRCA, the oldest running club and the one with the oldest certification for Running Coach in America, the first thing that teaches is that a running coach is not a doctor, does not prescribe medication, is not a nutritionist or physiotherapist.

His specialty is to create training plans for runners. Period.

So, my first recommendation to find the right coach for you is looking for experience, knowledge, and professionalism. Ask where he was certified, how many years he has been coaching, what kind of runners he trains and what is his work methodology and philosophy.

• A good coach does not speak or promote HIS ACHIEVEMENTS, he asks YOURS. You are the central theme of his talk.
• A training plan that is more specific and based on you, will always give the best results.

To be a good running coach:

You  definitely do not need a professional career, but you have hours and years of experience analyzed and working with different types of runners. And I emphasize the analysis and experience, and not “years running” or a “fast runner”

Free training plans are all over online. If you are going to hire a coach who is going to give you a weekly training plan based only on miles or km and does not teach you. Do not waste your money and download one for free.

But when it comes to Injuries, Health and Nutrition. My recommendation is that you look for a PROFESSIONAL. That is, someone who has a diploma, went to the university and has a specialization in the subject.

Why it takes years of preparation, study, and experience to master such complicated subjects as sports injuries or personal nutrition, that’s why degrees were created for

Ethics, Respect, Honesty, Integrity Signs

If you do not know how to start and you need a strategy to achieve your goals, then if you hire a personal or life coach, he GUIDED you on how to develop a strategy and put short-term goals that are realistic and challenging. And the duration is no more than 10 sessions.

If you feel physically and mentally stuck, overwhelmed, depressed and without direction and have already tried several times the same goal without achieving it, my recommendation is that you seek a Professional Therapist either Psychologist and/or Psychiatrist, because you require more work and a longer period of therapy

Running Goals

DO NOT spend your money on a Coaching that will not give you the depth of analysis and reflection and even medication to be able to advance.

Yes, it costs more money and work, but in the long run, it is much more beneficial than diverting attention and not working on the real problem.

Working with a professional to discover which is the deepest problem is worth the money you are going to invest compared to the quality of life that you are going to have.

If you want to know more about running, learn the basics, transform your training and become more competitive or just require a CUSTOM training plan designed specifically for you and your lifestyle, you will find different options in my store or send me an email to and I will gladly help you find the best option for you.

Do you wanna be a Running Coach? Start here

Another interesting article here Key Running Metrics . Be healthier stronger faster

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