Training without a Coach

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?


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.


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

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

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?


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?

Friday Five

Five Thoughts I’ve Had This Week:

I’ve begun creating my racing schedule for the fall.  I can find a 5k, 10k or half marathon every weekend but I still lack an ultimate goal race.
Do I want to race more 5ks?
Train for a half marathon?
Train for a late Fall or Winter Marathon?  A Marathon next week?

Your guess is as good as mine because I truly don’t know what I want to train for.  

I’ve been all over the place with life.  Recently I’ve gone through a lot of changes that leaves my schedule about as predictable as playing Russian Roulette. I don’t foresee my schedule changing until at least October and honestly that is fine by me.  I would rather spend time in the outside world versus glued behind my computer screen, iPhone or other technology device.  It’s not you social media, it’s me…

The heat and humidity this week has been awful.  This weather has also been unpredictable.  If we dealt with 90+ degrees every day, running would be fine. Sadly we have dealt with temperatures between 70-95 this summer.  Oh well, I can’t decide if I prefer the summer heat or the winter snow.  When in doubt, treadmill it out…

I bought this dress last month from lululemon.  I hope the color plum comes into style because I’m obsessed.   On a foodie note, I’m also obsessed with local plums from the Farmers Market.

me plum kayano lululemon dress

Is it already the end of August?  We blinked and the summer flew by.  I hope we have a fall season since we never had a Spring.  (Here in NJ we went from Winter to Summer in about 1 day).

From my neighborhood last Fall. Bring on the foliage.

From my neighborhood last Fall. Bring on the foliage.

Five Posts that I loved:

Esther Erb on Coffee 
Being Late is Unacceptable
How the Sir Walter Mile Provides Glimpse of Growth for Track
Choosing the Right Running Shoe (This is so important.  Running shoes aren’t designed to hurt you but it’s important to find the correct ones for you)
A letter from Shante Little (This is one of the most eye opening posts I’ve read in a while.)

Five Posts from LOLZ:
Favorite Summer Products
Five Lessons I’ve Learned from Running
How to Save Money on Road Races
Racing my Way to Fitness
Some Runs are Just Awful


I don’t have five videos but I thought this was really interesting and cool.

Questions for you:
How was your week?
What is your favorite color?

I think mine be plum right now.


Catching Up

It’s hard to believe it’s already the last day of the month.  After Monday, this week flew by!

The first half of the week I spent working and cleaning up.  I’ve slowly started to get rid of items I am not using.  I’ve used the idea “if I haven’t used the item in the last year, I probably won’t”.  While I’m not excited about moving, I am excited to clean and declutter my house.

The second half was spent relaxing and enjoying life.


Yesterday, we decided to try the famous Ritz Seafood in Vorhees, NJ.  The Ritz was on the “Best Thing I’ve Ever Ate” for their Coconut Cream Pie.  I will say it was one of the best pies I’ve eaten and I’m a dense cake girl at heart.

The pie has toasted coconut and Lindt chocolate shavings on top.  I would have to agree it’s one of the best desserts I’ve had!

Ritz Seafood Coconut Creme Pie

Anyways here are some things and new discoveries I’ve enjoyed this week:

New Blog I have Discovered: Inverted Sneakers A super fast runner in PA

Favorite TV Shows:

  • Beyond Scared Straight A&E (Teenagers who are in need of an intervention go to prison and are forced to interact with prisoners).
  • Love, Lust or Run TLC (Fashion Makeover Show by Stacy London)
  • Mystery Diners Food Network (Restaurants that are having issues are wired and problem employees are taken care of)


Apply the 1% Rule with GPS 

21 Habits of Organized People (I’ve started to use the 15 minute rule and I absolutely love it)

An Injury Free Approach to Cross training

For the LOLZ: Best Running Tweets (Hilarious collection of running related tweets.  My favorite was Mebs!)

Wedding Posts: 
Brief Wedding Photos
In Depth Wedding

Questions for you:
How was your week?
What are some blogs you’ve been enjoying lately? 



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