I find coaching very rewarding, particularly when it results in great success.
Since I set up Running it Softly LLC 3 years ago, I have taken on as many clients as I feel I can help with the limited time I have available outside my full-time job and other commitments (which include being the president of the best running club in NJ – RVRR and a race director for the Highland Park 5k as well as the family commitments).
One of the most rewarding experiences has been the progress of someone who came to me because their job had introduced a fitness assessment. She was going to have to run 1.5 miles within a defined time. When we first met, we worked through a run/walk to see where things were and covered 1.5 miles in about 20 minutes, and she wanted to get the time comfortably below the requirement, to about 13:30. This was last summer, and not knowing when she would have to take the test it was difficult to know whether we’d be able to make it work. There was also some concern about shin splints that we needed to consider.
The approach we took focused on reducing walking time and increasing running, as well as some runs that included short bursts at the speed she would need to achieve.
We seemed to be making progress. Within a couple of months she ran it in 17 minutes during a practice test, but still we didn’t know how long we had to close the gap. By the time November rolled around things were definitely looking promising, but a bad day at the track knocked her confidence and it felt like we were still not close enough. However, a practice just a short while after showed that she could do it and she regained some confidence.
We focused the remaining weeks on speed, and when the test finally happened last week, her time was comfortably under the target time although not at the goal of 13:30. I’m proud of the hard work she put in, and proud to have played a part in her success.
For the client perspective on this, see the post here.