9 Tips A Coach Gives His Runners

As a virtual or online running coach, you won’t find me with a stopwatch in hand overseeing my runners during their workouts.  It’s not possible, even if I wanted it to be.  I have runners in all corners of the country, and so, as you can imagine, a lot has to be said and then implied when we do interact.  An online coach is there in spirit and, if I’m doing my job correctly, the athletes I coach become, in effect, my assistant coaches.  They ultimately make the call on whether they do that last repetition, or how fast they run their recovery runs…  

9 tips from coach marc for runners

9 tips from coach marc for runners

Within the coach/athlete relationship, a lot of communication happens.  Some of it is explicit within the daily training (run this pace, with this much recovery) and some of it is general advice (hydrate, stretch, be flexible and be open minded).  Regardless of what type of information I’m passing on, my goal is to make the runners I coach smarter runners who race faster.

That being said, here are some of the key pieces of information I’ve shared with them throughout the summer as we’ve built, tinkered, and fine-tuned our approaches to their peak races.  (These are in no particular order).


Taking Care of Yourself

  1. Don’t neglect foam rolling, massage, icing, and stretching. All of these will make marathon training possible.

    Massaging on a foam roller

    Massaging on a foam roller

  2. Let’s not be running at the hottest part of the day…
  3. Be careful of the heat. Hydrate often and run when the sun is not as strong – early in the morning or late at night.

Training (and Racing) Philosophy

  1. “Comfortably hard” is a range of effort that is roughly 10k to half marathon pace. Roughly a 6 out of 10 in terms of effort.

    Tempo running explained

    Tempo running explained

  2. Run days – or days that you run the day after a workout should feel hard only because of fatigue. Don’t make them harder by running them too fast.
  3. Cross training can be done as swimming, biking, or on the elliptical.  Anything that gets your heart rate up, but doesn’t bother your injured area are all GREAT forms of XT.

    Carly and Marc biking

    Carly and Marc biking

  4. Most runs should start slower than they finish. When you finish a run, you should feel “fast” and not slogging through the run.  And, the pace on an easy run should be comfortable and finishing like you could go out and run for another 2 miles if asked.

    Carly and Marc running

    Carly and Marc running

  5. Remember that “easy” pace varies based on weather, course/loop, current fatigue, etc
  6. Always adjust your pace to reflect the conditions (heat, sun, lack of sleep, hills, etc).

Having an online running coach is great for runners who don’t need their hand holding and can get their training done because they want to get it done.  The coach/athlete relationship works well when both communicate, ask questions, and are flexible.  If runners, whether coached or not, take the 9 tips above and put them to good use, they will ultimately be a better runner and athlete.

Contact Marc to get coached.

Find Marc on social media:

Twitter: @marcpelerin

Facebook: @fb.com/TrainwithMarc

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