Getting a coach [Part 1]

Recently I made the financial decision to invest in my running. Comparatively speaking, I do not invest that much outside of shoes for running. I do have a gym membership so that is an added cost, but I would have one even if I did not run.

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A couple weeks ago I listened to a podcast from Endurance Planet. The host, Tawnee Prozak interviewed a professional triathlete Angela Naeth about hormones in the female endurance world. Naeth herself had struggled with maintaining her menstrual cycle irregular cycles and unnatural hormone levels in response to birth control.

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You can listen to the complete podcast here

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Angela has recently done research on her fellow competitors. She sent a survey to a number of female endurance athletes for feedback on their birth control use, menstruation (or lack there of) during and out of season among other things. She found that many female pros lose their period or have irregular cycles inside the season. Some of them never have it and some get it back with not training. This worried her in terms of long term health and performing in triathlon. Naeth herself had worked very hard to get control over her cycle and fix her hormones through nutrition and training.

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My interest was peaked listening and so I reached out to Angela over twitter. She responded with really helpful information as I struggle with my own menstruation. She said that her nutrition and training stress played an important role. Specifically every athlete is different and her coach was very helpful in structuring her workouts and nutrition to restore her health. She suggested that if I am really wanting to perform well and get my hormones under control to get a coach.

She suggested her husband Paul as just the guy.

I thought about this for a long time after Paul reached out to me. We exchanged countless emails of my questions, his philosophy and advice. Weighing the pros and cons were very important.

On the positive side, a coach would help me structure my training for my first marathon. I don’t want to just finish, I want to do well. It would also give me some perspective of training in the right zone. Often times, like most runners, I run too fast on my easy days and too slow on my hard days. I also felt inspired to take better care of myself. I don’t know what that means exactly because it was just a feeling, but I’ll go with it.

Conversely, it is a major financial decision. I bought a HR monitor and other things on top of having to pay a monthly fee. There has been a lot of number crunching in the past couple weeks. I can swing it, but it means I am not going to take anymore classes for the time being. (I’ll post on this later as well).

So where does this leave me?

I now have a running coach. I can only say that everything has been positive so far. I have confidence in him and my ability to be his athlete.

Wish me luck!

Have you ever considered getting a coach?

If not for running, what sport would you ever consider hiring professional help?

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