My favorite part of coaching is helping people achieve goals they previously thought impossible. Through Personalized Training Plans and Individual Coaching, I work with athletes to develop short-term and long-term goals. Each plan considers your personal lifestyle, and your running history including prior injuries.
Individual coaching is designed to help runners reach their performance peak, while taking the stress and guess work out of training. Following is a Q&A with Kathryn, a CoachAmyPT client. Her motivational journey outlines the logistics of how individual coaching works, as well as the benefits.
Read on, dream on, and reach out to Coach Amy to personalize YOUR plan.
How long have you been a distance runner?
I have been a distance runner since I was in 3rd grade. I remember winning the mile run in gym class and was hooked. My parents were marathon runners so I watched them growing up. We used to run together as a family. I went on to run track and cross country in high school. When I graduated from college, I started running marathons.
When you ran your first marathon what type of training schedule/program did you follow?
When I was 25 my mom asked my sisters and I to run a marathon with her to celebrate her being 20 years cancer free (our FIRST marathon, her 15th marathon). I did not do any training or follow any sort of plan. I only did long runs on the weekends with my sisters. We were too busy having “fun” to train. In hindsight, that was a bad idea. We ran the Chicago Marathon in 85 degree weather. It was awful. I thought I was dying. We all thought we were dying. Except my mom—she was literally running circles around us while simultaneously telling us how much harder a 5 hour marathon was than a 3 hour marathon. We finished in over 5:30, near the end. It was the most horrible 5+ hours of my life!
What motivated you to seek a personal run coach?
I went on to run a few more marathons—not nearly as bad as Chicago, but not great either. I started lifting weights and saw immediate improvement in my running. As I started getting faster, I set a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. But I knew I needed help. At the same time, I was seeing Amy for an Achilles injury. She mentioned she was a running coach. I was hooked immediately and asked her to train me.
How does Coach Amy's training schedule differ from what you were doing before? What benefit does the coaching offer?
Where do I begin? Everything is different from what I was doing before. When I trained in the past, I would just go for a run. My main goal was to get in the miles. With Amy’s plan, I have a purpose for each run (as outlined in Training Peaks). The purpose can be anything from speed and hills, to a slow easy run on tired legs. Each run means something. There are so many benefits of having a coach, but the biggest benefit is that I do not stress about what I should be doing. Amy has the plan done for me, and my only job is to complete it. It makes training fun and not stressful. If I miss something because I am sick or traveling, she adjusts the training schedule. Amy also gives me feedback on almost every workout—she tells me to slow down, and she also tells me when I need to pick it up. She truly takes the guesswork out of it, which makes training so enjoyable.
What was the first race you competed in with the guidance of a personal coach, and what were the results?
The first race I ran after training with Amy was the KC Marathon in October 2018. Probably one of the best days of my life (outside of my wedding and children being born of course :)) I ran a 3:36 marathon on a tough course. The day was perfect and I have never felt so strong in any other race, than I did that day. I truly give Amy all of the credit—her training had me 100% prepared for the run. I literally felt like I was flying through the air. It was so much fun. And I qualified for the Boston Marathon!
Are there benefits to being a long-term (continual) client for personal coaching, vs. just learning the disciplines and then implementing on your own?
There is so much to learn in the training world and different obstacles to overcome. Sure, I could just have self-implemented Amy’s training for my next marathon but I would NOT have any of the benefits of having a continual coach. Amy is currently helping me train for Grandma’s Marathon in June 2019. I’ve had some knee issues, so she has completely changed my training plan and adjusted all of my workouts. This is something I could not have done on my own. I think the accountability and the feedback she gives is bar none. For people who want to continue to improve, she adjusts the training accordingly with specific speed goals. I could not put a price on how beneficial continual personal coaching can be. I plan on using Amy to train me for every major race I want to run whether she likes it or not. :)