Do I Need A Running Coach?

Do I Need A Running Coach?

Do I need a running coach?

The short answer to this is ‘no’, not everyone will need a running coach. But there are lots of ways a coach can help with your running, and you don’t need to be an elite athlete to have one – all levels of ability can gain something from taking on a running coach.

Accountability – Let’s be honest, we’ve all had those times when we’ve skipped a training run. While skipping a run when you don’t feel up to it is fine every so often, it will soon have a negative impact on your training. Having a coach to hold you accountable makes this a lot less likely to happen. Likewise, being accountable will decrease your risk of picking up an injury from over-training.

Goals – A coach will work with you to set achievable goals. They will plan your training around your ability, and will have the knowledge and experience to give you the best chance of achieving those goals. 

Support – Any coach will want to see their runner achieve the goals they set themselves. A good coach will really get to know you, and will offer tons of advice and support. 

So why not use a free online training plan? Some runners can use one of the many free training plans available online and have a degree of success following it. But a running coach will write an individualised plan especially for you, so that when life gets in the way, they can plan around it and help you reach your goal. Online training plans don’t know your ability and won’t be able to tell you if your training is working for you, a coach will.

Some things to look out for – With all the will in the world, as in all life, you won’t get on with everyone, and the same goes for coaches. There will be some coaches that won’t be a good fit for you, and that isn’t a negative thing about either you or the coach. If things aren’t working, don’t be afraid to find another coach, most coaches will understand this, and there will be one out there that does work for you.

There are a lot of people online selling themselves as running coaches, most will have a qualification but a lot won’t. Just because they have been running for a long time, doesn’t mean they have the expertise to help you. Check that any coach you want to work with has a qualification from a relevant governing body, here in England any coach will ideally hold a qualification with either UK Athletics or England Athletics. It’s important that they can prove they know their stuff and won’t give you bad advice.

Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned competitor, the right coach could be just what you need to achieve your goals and take your running to the next level.

Neil is an England Athletics qualified Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF), who specialises in trail and ultra running. If you would like some help achieving your trail running goals check out our coaching page.

reviews

Anna Collins
Anna Collins
12/01/2024
Awesome morning out with Escape trails running 16k through gorgeous Thetford Forest. Well planned route, lots of fun facts given by Neil along the way. Well paced, everyone stuck together. Very friendly group of participants. Lots of chat and laughter made the 16k going by in a blink of an eye. I had been drawn to the event because it was not a race but a social run promising not to leave anyone behind. It delivered on this promise.
Lisa Mason
Lisa Mason
01/12/2023
I did the Intro to Trail Running workshop with Escape trails. It was a really enjoyable day, with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. It was informative and fun and finished with a wonderful run through the forest putting what we'd learnt into practice.
Stuart Smith
Stuart Smith
01/11/2023
This was a great experience. My first 10Km in a very very long time. Everyone made me extremely welcome and calmed my nerves. I will be back on a regular basis to run in great surroundings with this guided group who didn’t leave me behind, thank you.
Vivienne Taylor
Vivienne Taylor
01/11/2023
29th October 10k run with Neil and Lin in Thetford Forest was brilliant. Well organised, relaxed with no time pressure a group of us ran in the autumn sunshine enjoying a varied trail of paths through the forest. A very friendly group with some first time 10k runners along with more experienced trail runners. I’ll be back for another run and will challenge myself to do the 16k next time. A great way to spend a Sunday morning. Thanks Escape Trails.
James Nightingale
James Nightingale
04/09/2023
Saffron H
Saffron H
16/07/2023
Myself and a friend ran the wroxham/Hoveton route. It was our first ever trail run and Neil and the other runners were so supportive and accommodating. We've already decided to book another in the near future.
Chelsea Forwood
Chelsea Forwood
03/04/2023
Really enjoyed taking part in a guided run, was taken on a lovely route with some interesting information given on stops along the route. Run was relaxed and inclusive of pace. Friendly run leaders. Definitely will go again.
Rob Blowers
Rob Blowers
08/01/2023
If you are thinking of booking and not sure it’s simple - just go for it! Neil and his team run excellent events and I’ve never left a single one without a big smile on my face. A great way to clear your mind from the real world, enjoy great company and learn from experienced coaches.
James Wright
James Wright
01/01/2023
Have done a few runs with ESCAPE trails now, the most recent being a fantastic headtorch run through the Norfolk countryside. Events are always fun, inclusive and great value.
Ros Blackmore
Ros Blackmore
29/12/2022
We did a 10k guided run in Thetford Forest on Christmas Eve, lovely friendly and well organised run, nice easy pace, no one got left behind. Loved it, and highly recommend 👌