One of the best parts about working with a group of running clients is that each person is at a different spot in their running career working on a different goal. There are members of the My Running Concierge team that want to run their first half-marathon, others who want to hit a specific 5K goal, and others who aren't planning for a race, but rather just want to lead a more active, healthy lifestyle.
Not only does a coach need to find the right training plan (the X's and O's!) but in order to lead a runner to a successful experience, a coach often needs to aid and assist runners who at one point or another are challenged with low motivation. Almost every runner (including professional runners!) fight against low motivation. I was reading a book recently by Jeff Galloway who spoke about the causes of low motivation.
Some that I'd like to highlight include:
- Running too hard most running days - implementing different pacing for different runs is key to a successful training plan. A long run should be run at a different pace than an easy run which should be run at a different pace than a tempo run. This not only helps runners hit distance goals in training (especially long runs), but also helps prevent injuries by avoiding running too fast all of the time.
- No consistent plan - this is where a running coach can help immensely! It is very, very challenging to come up with your own plan and to think you will follow the plan. Most runners benefit from a coach to help with accountability, consistency and structure.
- Goals are unrealistic at present - before I start any runner on a training plan, we discuss goals. While as a coach I want to be supportive of goals of my runners, our pre-training meeting is where we sometimes modify and adjust goals. Also, it may become necessary to adjust goals during the training, and there's nothing wrong with that! Part of having a SMART goal is that it should be achievable.
Motivation is a tricky subject because everyone has a different reason for running, but if you are aware of some of the causes of low motivation, runners often are able to turn things around before it's too late!