How did you get into running and what led you to become a running coach?
I first got into running when a group of my college friends decided to train for a marathon. We struggled through our first marathon together but this would serve as our way for us to stay connected over the years. As my love for running grew, it started to spill into my career as a personal trainer. More and more of my training clients were getting into running, and I didn’t have the formal knowledge or training background to truly help them. This sparked my interest in becoming a running coach and in the end has made me a better trainer.
What aspects of being a running coach do you find translate into your work as a personal trainer?
Being a running coach has changed the way I approach working with all of my clients. I have started doing running and/or movement assessments and video analysis with each client. By doing so, I am able to better address muscle imbalances and weaknesses and provide a better more individualized program. The video analysis also provides clients with visual feedback to see how they are progressing with a particular movement pattern. In the end, this has helped my clients maximize their exercise potential and reduce their risk of injury.
As both a personal trainer and running coach, what are some tips you have for motivating clients?
Setting realistic achievable goals is what I’ve found best motivates my clients. We set small short term goals to build on successes helping them feel more confident in reaching their overall goal. I have them put their goals on the top of their program or someplace they will see regularly so it serves as a constant reminder.
What are some of your favorite exercises for runner clients?
Single leg squats and single leg RDLs are 2 of my favorite lower body exercises. The single leg exercises strengthen the glutes, quads and hamstrings unilaterally while building joint stability at the hip, knee, and ankle. The atomic push-ups with a stability ball or TRX and lunges with a dumbbell row are 2 of my favorite upper body exercises. They are dynamic exercises that demand a lot from the individual much like running.
There is a lot of noise out there in the fitness/endurance sports fields – how do you separate fact from fiction when it comes to training information?
I use the knowledge I’ve gained over the years and analyze the research with the following questions: What is the source of the information, who is funding the research, what is the sample size, and how will the data help? Even the best data doesn’t apply to everyone.
As someone whose job and hobby (i.e., running) are so closely intertwined, how do you avoid burnout and stay motivated?
I try to keep a good life balance between work, play, and rest. I do this by setting goals for myself, putting in rest cycles, engaging in a variety of fun activities like mountain biking or kayaking, participating in educational workshop, and working with a variety of clients to keep myself challenged.
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