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Online Coaching
A New Option for Runners that Technology Has Made Possible

As long as runners have been competitive and striving to run farther and/or faster than they have before, coaches have been an indispensable part of the formula for success.

One of the great aspects of online coaching is that it breaks down geographic boundaries, as well as time boundaries. Many people do not live near an area where a running club meets for workouts. Other people work jobs or have personal lives that do not permit them to meet with a club or a coach in person. Still others could meet with a running club (or even if they already do) but realize that they want more personalized attention. If any of these apply to you, and you want to get the most out of your running, then it is worth your while to give online coaching a try.

Until recently, runners had to join a running club and get group interaction, or hire a personal coach that they could meet with during a set time each week. Both had advantages and disadvantages, but online coaching has come along and combined many of the strengths of both and made it an increasingly popular option for runners seeking guidance with their training.

Most runners have never heard of online coaching. Online coaching allows a real-life coach to interact with the athletes via the web and email. Online coaching will use phone calls as a way to add a more personalized aspect to the coach-athlete relationship. It also allows the coach to work with each of the athletes in a one-on-one environment. And unlike a private coach that meets personally with an athlete, an online coach can interact with each athlete more often and at a time that is more flexible. Email allows coaches to respond to the changing needs of each athlete much more rapidly and easily than meeting personally. The cost is much lower as well, because it is more efficient for an online coach to read an email from home and respond to it than try to reach them on the phone or wait until their regularly scheduled meeting.

The biggest apprehension that most runners have about using an online coach is that they feel that it is not personal enough. Athletes can interact with an online coach every day if wished. By using a combination of phone calls and emails, you can create a constant dialog that permits you to spend more time with your coach.

Success stories are numerous and varied. For many runners, the goal is to run a race faster than they have previously. From five minute personal bests in a 5K to shaving over an hour off a previous marathon, most people who use an online coach see results - often dramatic. However, success is not always measured in minutes or hours, but sometimes in making it to the finish line. There are dozens of people who have never run more than a few miles but were able to train and complete a marathon in their first event thanks to the guidance, motivation, and general support of an online coach. Finally, there are many people who have experimented with an online coach with the goal of personal weight loss. Helping people drop weight and decrease body fat has been widely successful for online coaches. The best stories are when someone manages to accomplish multiple successes at the same time thanks to their personal online coach.