How to train without a Coach
Running, Running Reads

Training without a Coach

I’ve run off and on since 2011.  Throughout that time I’ve run in college with a coach, out of college without a coach, as well as out of college with a coach.

During each time period, I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I do believe personalized coaching is beneficial for many people.  It takes finding the right coach, both someone who works well for your running style, as well as someone who you socially connect with it.

A few weeks ago, a reader asked me to write about self-coaching and how I liked that.  Thinking out loud, all of my PRs have been set from self-coaching.  Good or bad, it’s just a fact.  I haven’t had a negative experience with any of my coaches. However, my schedule changes often, and I have found self-coaching to work well for me.

I’ve Learned a Few Things:

Self Coaching is Free:

First, I have a firm stance coaching should cost money.  You are getting a service, that you don’t already have.  To be honest, I’m less likely to even follow “free coaching” because I could do my own thing either way and not feel guilty.

You Know your Strengths and Weaknesses the Best:

First, running is a learning process. Your strengths and weaknesses change.  When I lived in the Adirondacks, I was much better at running hills.  Now living in a flatter area, hills are no longer my strength.  If you ever are next to me in the last .1 of race, know that finishing kicks are also not my strength.

You are More Internally Motivated:

My goals, and wanting to run are for me.  I don’t have to report to anyone, and I don’t have to “fear”, telling a bad workout, race, or anything else.

So How Do You Determine Workouts and Paces?

This is different for every single person.  

Personally, I use a few different methods.  In college, we used the McMillian calculator and could find appropriate paces for workouts from that.

When building mileage from a break (whether injury or just a break), I usually start with whatever feels good.  My first run back is never more than a mile.  From there, I add minutes to my run (not miles).  It’s important not to stress the pace when increasing mileage but just the time on your feet.

I also think looking back at your history with the sport is essential.  For me, I ran my fastest 5k and half marathon on “traditional training.”  I went to the track and did workouts like 400s as well as tempo runs.  That isn’t the case for everyone!

Many athletes run very low mileage with more core and strength.  If that is how you thrive, that is how you thrive!

Running is different for each and every person.  Many people thrive on a coach.  Many people enjoyed more of a laid-back approach.  As someone who spent years of high-intensity swimming, I no longer thrive on it both mentally and physically.

Related Running Posts:

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
How to Build Back Mental Confidence
Care Free Training
Who Cares Where You Run?

Questions for you:
Are you self-coached?
What are you currently training for?

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Articles

Articles and Life

I don’t have a lot to say this week.  It seems like when my running is going well, life is chaotic.  Lately, I’ve been busy with work.  This weekend is a big race weekend in Philadelphia and New Jersey.  On Saturday is the Philadelphia RnR and Sunday is the Run the Bridge 10k.  While I’m not racing over the Ben Franklin Bridge, my work has packet pickup and helps out a lot with the race.

I’ve also been dealt a slice of humble pie with military life and culture.   To be honest, the last two weeks have been mentally rough!  This month has taught me that everything can change in a blink of an eye.  It’s been hard to schedule anything but I’m okay with that.

Speaking of the military, I’ve also been lucky with a few blogging opportunities.  With Veterans Day coming up, I was contacted to help promote Great Clips.  Believe it or not Great Clipsis giving out free haircuts for all Veterans.  I think this is such a nice gesture.  Both my brother and husband are in the military and my father was as well.  If you know any Veterans who want or need a haircut, let them know.  I’ll be expanding upon this as Veterans Day draws closer!

Dad and I
Dad and I

As seen on twitter, I went for a shopping trip to my local lululemon recently.  They were having a sale and I was lucky enjoy to scoop up a few things.

lululemon

Anyways, here are some articles I’ve found to be interesting and a few of my recent posts…

Running:
You Don’t Have to Run
12 Struggles that Real for Accident Prone People  (After my fall last month I suppose this is appropriate
Why October is the Best Month to Start Running

Humor:
7 Signs You are Becoming An Adult (Hilarious)
Rare photos of What People Look Like Before Coffee

From LOLZ:
Why a Sub 19 minute 5k?
Adding Track Workouts
Staying Safe While Running
Online Running Shoe Reviews are (Mostly) Worthless
Bone Run 3.05 (18:11)
JCC 5k (19:15)

Have a great Friday.  It’s definitely been a long week! 

Questions for you:

What articles are you enjoying this week?
Are you racing this weekend?  Where at and what distance?

 

Articles

National Coffee Day

There are only a few foodie holidays I like to celebrate or even point out.  Every day is a different food day if you google it.

But seriously: Here is a list of “National Foodie Days” incase you ever wondered.

Anyways National Coffee Day is a “Holiday” I will celebrate proudly.  Most people know I drink a lot of coffee but what they don’t realize is a lot of it is decaf.  I truly enjoy the taste of coffee but honestly don’t need or want that much caffeine every day.

Personally I love the taste of coffee.  Whether it’s decaf, flavored, with lots of cream or minimal…I enjoy coffee a lot! I don’t discriminate. 

The coffee life
The coffee life

My current favorite coffee is obviously the seasonal pumpkin spice with whipped cream.

Why the whipped cream?  As you drink the coffee, it gets more creamy (since the whipped cream melts).  It’s more bitter at first and then creamy towards the end.  It’s the perfect combination in my opinion.

Blue Swan Coffee

Here is a list of deals you can score today.  **Plus my favorite gas station Wawa is giving out free coffee all day too!  

Articles about Coffee: 
Why You Should Be Drinking Coffee Right Now
Buzzfeed: 22 Facts About Coffee
The Oatmeal: Infographic About Coffee

In summary by writing this post I learned the following:

  • Coffee was first discovered by research in Goats
  • Coffee was originally eaten in the form of berries.  Hashtag coffeeberries

And of course no National Holiday would be complete without the memes.

coffee meme 1

coffee meme 2

drink coffee 1

drink coffee meme

Do you drink coffee?  What is your favorite kind?

Articles

Articles:

This week has actually gone by quickly.  My brother came into town on Thursday so we got to hang out on my day off.  It’s hard to believe I hadn’t seen him in a month and a half (last time was my wedding!).  It was great to see him though.

Matt and I

Other then that this week has been filled with work and staying busy.  We are preparing for T to leave again so lots of thing to do with that too.

I did find a few really interesting articles this week though.

Articles:

What the Dad Bod Tells Us about How We Label Both Men and Woman 

Mental:

10 Questions You Should be Asking about Your Health (And a lot of these aren’t questions you would think!)

Running:

Half Marathon With Qualifying Standards? (I actually think this is a great idea.  Almost every other distance has this from 1 mile (track meets) to the Boston Marathon.  To my knowledge, the half marathon does not.  For a lot of people (like myself) this is their favorite distance!)

How runners can protect their skin with food (It’s so important to protect your skin while running in the sun.  For some people, that is 3 hours outdoors unprotected!)

How to Respond if Attacked while Running (I think every person should know and be aware of what to do!)

LOLZ Blog: 

Running Gear and Shoes I’m loving (Spring Edition)

Weekend 5k Recap (20:15) 

Meet Gretchen

It’s All About the Network

Questions for you:

Do you have any plans for the Holiday weekend?

Which articles are you enjoying reading? 

 

Reads

It’s All About the Network.

One of the easiest ways to grow your blog is to network..

And by networking, I mean spending more time on the internet.  

blogging meme

By reading more blogs (1-2 hours).

By commenting on more blogs (1 hour).

By logging in more to Facebook, twitter, instagram, Pinterest, Google plus…(3+ hours)

Oh and don’t forget neglect to actually blog!

Do you know what?  

All of that shit is overwhelming and tiresome. Somewhere in all of the social media fits living in the real world.

Of course blogging is only as overwhelming as you make it.  No one is holding a knife to your neck telling you to blog.  For most people blogging is not a full time job and main source of income. I did write a post a while back about “how to grow your following“…lolz

Lately I’ve been thinking more about how much time I spend online and if the time spent is justified.

The common question I receive is: how much time do you spend online?  

Honestly this was a hard question for me to answer. It caused me to look in depth at my social media usage.

Blogging: (writing, editing, comment on posts) 1 hour

Social Media (throughout the day): Collectively and recently about an hour

If you would have asked me last year the answer would have been very different.  I used to spend a lot more time blogging and on social media.  I used to spend at least 2-3 hours daily writing and commenting on posts. As well as blogging time, I found myself online doing “excess stuff”.  Excess stuff that is best described as wasting time and being unproductive.

Don’t get me wrong, blogging is great, but I enjoy my life outside of blogging.  I enjoy my life outside of the Internet.

It’s important for people to have hobbies that make them happy.  Maybe that is running, swimming, biking, painting or blogging…maybe it’s all of those things! Whatever your hobby or hobbies are, you should seek balance in your life. When you are too focused on one aspect of life, it causes you to lose sight of other things.

Question for you: How much time do you spend online?