How do I get a running coach?

Back from hols and need to get back to my running as I'm planning on a few half marathons in the future. I train regularly but find it hard to do different types of training (speedwork,fartlek etc) Do I have to join a running club to get 1 to 1 with a coach or can I get one independently? I don't know where to start looking.Any ideas please?


  • Most coaches are affiliated to clubs - I guess that the internet is the place to look as you may find independent coaches on there - I think Frank Horwill used to provide coaching by phone/post as I remember an old training partner of mine paying him to write schedules

    I think the best way is really to join a club as running with other people does help and provide motivation particularly if you are competitive.
  • I started having personal training sessions with one of the trainers at my gym last September and altho' he's now left the gym he still does PT sessions. I'm lucky because he's a very good county-class athlete and so is particularly keen to have a client who is interested in running altho he is a very tough task master! He's recently started writing a monthly/6-weekly training schedule for me which I pay him a bit extra for.

    As Grendel says tho joining your local club could be the way to go without having to go to the expense of paying out for 1-1 sessions which can be quite costly and you should end up with a group of fellow runners to call on for a run on non-club nights.
  • Or you could ask at a local specialist running shop. They are bound to know who's about on the local scene and would be willing to coach privately.
  • Depending on your level, you could do a lot worse than start with the "Hard Training with Mike Gratton" thread on the FLM section of the Forums. At worst, almost any of the regular posters there can answer your question, and more than a couple of them are coaches themselves.

    This question has been posed before on different boards and there has been some pretty mixed response to one-on-one coaching. The jist of it has been that the better, and more committed you are, the more you will get out of it.

    Running coaches are not, generally, like personal trainers. Personal trainers tend to take on all-comers for a sum of money and that's their job. Running coaches, on the other hand, are often part-time and tend to like to work with people for whom running ranks pretty high on life's priority list and are really less interested in the back-markers. There are obviously exceptions that prove the rule, but that has been the majority conclusion from what I have read to date.
  • Be careful about paying for a personal trainer as a running coach. If they have some specialist running background then it's maybe not a bad option, but don't pay for someone less knowledgeable than your local athletic club/running club coach who is doing it voluntarily.

    Many coaches may just be doing group sessions but if you ask about how to structure a schedule, they should be helpful as that is what they are there for - to help people improve.
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