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coaching query

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  • 04-04-2020 12:32pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,160 ✭✭✭


    I've been with a coach now for almost a year and from day 1 I've told the coach that from experience I know I don't cope well with consecutive days running and 5+ days running a week and have reiterated that point over the months, I have a certain race (may not go ahead now) and goal time in mind and we have been working towards that.
    I get a monthly program, 6 days running a week and regularly there are 3 faster sessions spaced out over 5 days and I already know i'm not going to nail them before I even head out, most weeks I do well to nail 2 out of the 3. when I mention this i'm told to maybe extend it out to 3 session over 6 days but surely the whole point of a coach is to take the thinking out of it for me and for the coach to decide what to do when?
    should I be feeling this way or is that normal with a coach, I've always enjoyed running but if i'm being honest it's not enjoyable at the moment and I can't see me achieving the goal I have in mind, should I go with another coach?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭KSU


    A bit to unpack in this post

    The first being communication, I don’t know you or the coach but both are coming from a slightly inflexible position. With you, obviously you are basing your background on you own history which you might not feel that you want to change however you have approached them for the expertise so there needs to be an element of trust in what they are espousing. However they also need to take into account your background to an extent and not try and fit a round peg in a square hole.

    How have you come on since working with the coach as this will play a role in terms of how much you trust the process.

    I won’t comment on the specifics of the training as different strokes for different folks but at the end of the day half the battle is staying motivated and consistent is enjoying what you are doing with that said if you aren’t enjoying it then writing is somewhat on the wall (if it’s more than just a bad patch) and it could just be a bad fit as the personalities in relationship can be as important as the specifics of the training details.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 ✭✭✭ooter


    KSU wrote: »


    How have you come on since working with the coach as this will play a role in terms of how much you trust the process.

    I've definitely got quicker and more consistent over shorter distances and we both agreed that needed to be worked on but I feel that work is having an impact on the longer/slower stuff, I struggle to put a string of miles together on longer runs at the pace I would be aiming for in the race I have targeted and I find myself doubting that i'll ever consistently run that distance/pace. some long runs I struggle to hit a pace a fair bit slower than the pace i'm aiming for in the race which is very disheartening, it feels to me like i'm just not fully recovered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    As KSU said above, a big part of being coached is trusting and understanding the process. But it's a two way thing. It's important the coach listens to feedback and either makes adjustments or reassured the athlete as to the "why" of what you're doing.

    Same as KSU I wouldn't comment on the specifics of the training as I've seen all sorts of approaches work with different people. I just know what works for me. (your training certainly wouldn't work for me!)

    There are a couple of things to consider though.

    It's not unusual for a training program to have you feeling fatigued for your long run so don't be too disheartened.

    Are you being completely honest with yourself in terms of your recovery outside of the running? Is your diet good, are you getting enough sleep, is work stressful etc?

    Beyond that, the single most important factor is if you're not enjoying running you won't keep it up. I find taking a long term view works best. Forget about target race and maybe target long term improvement.

    Just my few thoughts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,208 ✭✭✭shotgunmcos


    What is the point of a coach if the coach doesn't listen?
    You would get as much value in reading this forum, downloading an online program and asking some general questions.

    I understand coaches have tier plans or tier service. Even with basic downloadable plans I'd expect a response to questions. If you ask for X and get Y it's not making sense. I've been in that situation with a mate and same coach when we realised we were getting copy and paste plans.

    Having said that it's a 2 way street. Are you asking for something the coach doesn't provide? Like bespoke plans, open dialogue..


  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭KSU


    ooter wrote: »
    I've definitely got quicker and more consistent over shorter distances and we both agreed that needed to be worked on but I feel that work is having an impact on the longer/slower stuff, I struggle to put a string of miles together on longer runs at the pace I would be aiming for in the race I have targeted and I find myself doubting that i'll ever consistently run that distance/pace. some long runs I struggle to hit a pace a fair bit slower than the pace i'm aiming for in the race which is very disheartening, it feels to me like i'm just not fully recovered.

    Have you discussed these recent feelings? And has the coach addressed these concerns? If not talk to them they might be able to explain where they are coming from and put your mind at ease if they avoid the questions or the answers don’t put your mind at ease then would probably suggest parting ways as it will be very hard for you to fully commit to an approach you don’t have faith in.

    There are plenty of coaches and athletes who there is no talking to unfortunately it’s a personality trait and ultimately those sort of one way relationships take from one person more than the value of what they are putting in and both sides suffer as a result

    There have been athletes I have parted ways with because the effort being put in wasn’t worth the effort coming out on the far end.

    Likewise there are people who have felt my approach doesn’t suit them.

    Doesn’t have to be any Ill will behind parting ways but best to do it before the investment from one side hits tipping point


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  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭KSU


    I understand coaches have tier plans or tier service..

    This is something I can never square with the business of coaching and the philosophy.

    Good coaching is not about the specific outcome it’s getting the best out of the athletes potential how you can tier that outside of the effort the athlete is willing to put in is something I will never fully understand


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭IvoryTower


    Are your easy days easy enough, you should feel fresh the next day ideally, maybe pull them back a bit?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 ✭✭✭ooter



    It's not unusual for a training program to have you feeling fatigued for your long run so don't be too disheartened.

    Are you being completely honest with yourself in terms of your recovery outside of the running? Is your diet good, are you getting enough sleep, is work stressful etc?
    if I was just feeling fatigued but was still able to complete the long run (even in a slower time) I wouldn't mind so much but it's more than that. wend out to do a long run this morning with a certain pace in mind and ended up heading home after only a third of the distance, not a hope that I was even going to get 1 mile done at the pace.
    I've always been in to diet and nutrition so would consider my diet to be good, not stressed and not sure if I get enough sleep but I don't have any problems with the sleep I do get.


    IvoryTower wrote: »
    Are your easy days easy enough, you should feel fresh the next day ideally, maybe pull them back a bit?
    most of them are very easy and I struggle to get through them but I realise the importance of them. some days I would feel good and feel like kicking on but I have to reign myself in.
    thanks for the replies lads, maybe my coach is not too bothered about my longer runs at the moment and is focussing on the shorter/faster stuff during the week (which I am more or less consistently getting done) and later in the year we'll focus more on the longer stuff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    I would be surprised if that was the case. For most runners the long run is super important (as important if not more important than most sessions).

    Would consider KSU's advice above and speak to your coach again. No point continuing on demotivated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,537 ✭✭✭Trampas


    Is your runs based on times and/or hr?

    Does hr information go back?

    If using hr is it watch or strap?

    Easy runs you shouldn’t even think about kicking on. Just ticking along watching the world go by or what not.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 ✭✭✭ooter


    runs are just based on time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,537 ✭✭✭Trampas


    ooter wrote: »
    runs are just based on time.

    Might be running to hard. Get a hrm on and see what it is on easy runs


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 ✭✭✭ooter


    Trampas wrote: »
    Might be running to hard. Get a hrm on and see what it is on easy runs

    122 avg this morning, 08:30 ish/mile pace.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,537 ✭✭✭Trampas


    ooter wrote: »
    122 avg this morning, 08:30 ish/mile pace.

    That’s very low. Easy runs for most might be 150 max. Are you using hr in watch or separate chest strap


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 ✭✭✭ooter


    watch, not sure how accurate it is, on a tempo run last week my avg was 150.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,537 ✭✭✭Trampas


    ooter wrote: »
    watch, not sure how accurate it is, on a tempo run last week my avg was 150.

    They wouldn’t be accurate at all. Easy runs should be able to have a conversation without much issues. Can you manage that. You’ll need to talk about loud now


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 ✭✭✭ooter


    Trampas wrote: »
    They wouldn’t be accurate at all. Easy runs should be able to have a conversation without much issues. Can you manage that. You’ll need to talk about loud now

    yeah I suspected as much, it's not something I've ever paid much attention to to be honest.
    I always train alone so have no one to converse with but I don't think it would be a problem talking on an easy run.
    HR at the moment is 58 so not sure if that would tie in with the figures I've given


  • Registered Users Posts: 735 ✭✭✭Treviso


    I think you need to talk to your coach and explain that you can't hit the paces that you're currently being given. They should take that on board, adjust the plan to more suitably slower times and build you back up again.

    Sessions are meant to be tough, but they should be achievable. How long have you been running 6 days a week? Maybe change the easy days pace to very easy/recovery pace. Whatever feels easy to you and not what calculators or your coach says is easy


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,137 ✭✭✭rom


    If his first name is Gary then yes you need another coach.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭IvoryTower


    rom wrote: »
    If his first name is Gary then yes you need another coach.

    Thought had crossed my mind :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,547 ✭✭✭Ceepo


    KSU wrote: »
    This is something I can never square with the business of coaching and the philosophy.

    Good coaching is not about the specific outcome it’s getting the best out of the athletes potential how you can tier that outside of the effort the athlete is willing to put in is something I will never fully understand

    As someone who coaches a few athletes I agree 100% with you.

    I know some coaches base their tier on the amount of interaction that they are willing to have with the athlete.
    So a lower tier might get a monthly plan reviewed weekly with some text or emails. Someone on a higher plan might get a biweekly plan reviewed weekly with more text emails. And some on a higher plan getting a weekly plan with and maybe daily reviews/feedback.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,547 ✭✭✭Ceepo


    rom wrote: »
    If his first name is Gary then yes you need another coach.

    Certainly not the first time I heard this !


  • Registered Users Posts: 985 ✭✭✭Miklos


    Ceepo wrote: »
    Certainly not the first time I heard this !

    I’ve currently got a coach named Gary and have been getting on great with his plan, coming on well gradually. Was intimidated by some of the paces at the start but managing well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,547 ✭✭✭Ceepo


    Miklos wrote: »
    I’ve currently got a coach named Gary and have been getting on great with his plan, coming on well gradually. Was intimidated by some of the paces at the start but managing well.

    That's great to hear. Long may your progress continue.
    As another poster point out, not all coaching programs workout for some athletes,
    Every coach will have their own way of working, some are super driven and expect the same for the athletes they coach, others will factor in a bit of leeway.
    One particular coach I know (not named Gary) places high demands on their athletes and some of the athletes have improved enormously, these are the more relsiant ones, others unfortunately have got injured or just burned out..
    Each to there own, and all that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 979 ✭✭✭Seannew1


    rom wrote: »
    If his first name is Gary then yes you need another coach.

    Haha why??


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    Seannew1 wrote: »
    Haha why??

    There is a rather good runner called Gary who also coaches runners.

    His plan are demanding. Some runners improve dramatically under his training. Some others will crack and/or get injured.


  • Registered Users Posts: 979 ✭✭✭Seannew1


    There is a rather good runner called Gary who also coaches runners.

    His plan are demanding. Some runners improve dramatically under his training. Some others will crack and/or get injured.

    Now I follow. I've also heard above. Some people love it; others don't. I've considered giving him a go myself but not sure that I would be able for it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,547 ✭✭✭Ceepo


    Seannew1 wrote: »
    Now I follow. I've also heard above. Some people love it; others don't. I've considered giving him a go myself but not sure that I would be able for it.

    A case of risk v's reward, and sometimes it worth a risk. As long as you're going into eye's wide open then it might be a good thing. Depends on your mind set.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭IvoryTower


    Mad to think the money people pay for coaching when most decent clubs have coaches that dont charge you


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  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭KSU


    IvoryTower wrote: »
    Mad to think the money people pay for coaching when most decent clubs have coaches that dont charge you

    The other side of that coin is it's mad to think that athletes value coaches so little they get little to no reward for all the time and hard work they put in.

    (this is not an endorsement of paid coaching by the way more just the under valuation of good coaching in clubs, and it is a bit rarer than you think to find truly good coaches simply because so many club coaches stretched well beyond the point that allows effective coaching)


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