Happy Global Running Day! Join us for Running Coaches Corner and let’s celebrate!
Fortunately, Global Running Day coincides with Running Coaches Corner, the weekly informational running link up with myself, Rachel, Debbie, and Lora. We’d love for you to link up with us at the end of the post!
On a past Global Running Day, I rehashed why I run and told my story of becoming a runner. Last year, as (just about all of) you know, I took my relationship with running to the next level and became a running coach (hence the Running Coaches Corner linkup!). Now, many of us are runners, many of us love running, many of us love to talk running and help teach others about running… so why did I feel the need to become a running coach?
Global Running Day: Qualities of an Good Running Coach
1) Passion for Running
This is obvious, but you can’t just love running, you have to LOVE running. Running coaches are not just talking about running; they are exploring running on multiple levels. We all might specialize in a particular arena, but it is necessary for us to have a broad knowledge base so that we can understand the principles upon which our sport is built (thus why I think that everyone can benefit from knowing about marathon training terms and marathon training plans, regardless of their goals!). Just like doctors need to go through rotations beyond their future specialization, running coaches need to have enough passion for running and the development of runners to learn about aspects of the sport that might not interest them as much as others.
2) Continued Education in Running
This goes along with passion for the sport of running, but running coaches must be dedicated to continuing their running education. That means reading running books and checking out the newest articles, both scholarly and editorial, so that they can know what science is saying as well as what the general public is discussing. On another level, running coaches cannot be isolated in their learning–running coaches should engage with other running coaches to discuss not only the dirty business of being coaches (how to get new clients, how to structure their business, etc) but also the business of coaching, from advice on clients with particular needs to questions about techniques and other situations. I am a member of a coaching mastermind group with Laura, Denny, and Nora where we meet online weekly to discuss how to be the best coaches we possibly can.
3) Passion for Mentoring and Coaching
Being a coach is a lot more than just telling someone what to do: you become personally involved in you clients successes and hard times, and you get sick to your stomach when things don’t go well for them. We all know that running touches a very personal place in each of us, and many of us are perfectionist control freaks (not me, obviously). When you give up that control to someone else, especially in the realm of something you are passionate about, it involves both a great degree of trust as well as the development of a connection. Being a coach, whether running or otherwise, means that you need to know how to listen and sometimes, to read between the lines.
4) The Qualities of a Marathoner, Whether You Run Marathons or Not
What do I mean by “qualities of a marathoner”? Dedication, commitment, persistence, passion (see above), detail-oriented and analytic personality, enthusiasm, and a deep-seated belief in the impossible but a rationality that comes from experience.
5) The Ability to Admit When You Need Help (and the Presence of Mind to Do Something About It!)
One of the most admirable qualities of any person is the ability to admit when you need help. We don’t know everything, though we would like you to think so! When Rae told me on Sunday that the marathon had gotten canceled midrace, I honestly didn’t know what to say to her. So I checked in with some of my fellow coaches to see what advice they might have. We all need a little help from our friends!The qualities of the best #running coaches go beyond just know-how! #globalrunningday Click To Tweet
What would you add to the list?
What do you look for (beyond knowledge) in a coach (running or otherwise)?