What is the Role of a Running Coach?
Let’s start with the basics of what a coach does. Put simply, a coach’s role is to support and guide their athletes. The training plan created and implemented by the coach is just a piece of the puzzle. There is a lot more to coaching than writing training plans. This goes for long distance running, short distance running, and everything in between.
According to the RRCA’s “Coach’s Code of Ethics”, coaches must also remain competent, act with integrity, and uphold professional standards of conduct. The way a coach executes their role can vary but having respect for the athlete is a non-negotiable attribute.
We believe the best coaches are active listeners too. Giving honest feedback in a caring way is a skill. Anyone can learn the science of training, but the best athlete outcomes need a healthy dose of both the science and art of coaching.
Running in the St. Louis Area: In-person & Virtual
We live in a day and age where, due to technology, coaching is super accessible to our runner community. Some of our athletes do well being coached virtually in locations other than St. Louis,
Missouri. Others are local to us and thrive training with a distance running coach local to them.
What to Look for in a Running Coach
We encourage athletes to talk to any/all coaches they’re considering working with. The goal is to find the best fit for the individual.
Here are 4 questions we advise asking along the way:
1. Qualifications, education, and experience
What organization(s) are they certified to coach through? Any formal education in exercise science or other related fields? How long have they been running? How long have they been coaching runners?
2. People and leadership skills
How do they motivate their athletes? Are they going to give honest feedback? Who are their coaching
3. Coaching philosophy
What’s their coaching philosophy and style?
How many athletes do they coach? How often will you discuss your training via email, phone, or text?
What are their coaching hours? How long have they been coaching runners?
What are the Advantages of a Running Coach?
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be an elite or even serious runner to benefit from a coach. A solid coach can help athletes balance training volume with work/life, address and break through performance plateaus, or simply help athletes train without getting injured.
Qualified coaches have an understanding of physiology that allows them to apply what will work best for the individual. Everyone is a bit different.
There is also an art to the coaching conversations themselves. Coaches can provide a sounding board,
honest feedback in a compassionate way, and motivation when needed.
How to Choose a Customized Training Program
We have a tiered plan structure in hopes of providing anyone interested in working with us as much or as little support as they need. All levels and abilities benefit from each package.
This is the most comprehensive plan. The gold package allows our coaches to deliver weekly custom training schedules via VDOT, add a tangible amount of runner-specific strength training each week, and meet regularly via Zoom for productive coaching conversations. Communication is encouraged and unlimited.
This is the right plan for anyone who is looking for coaching support in running only. Athletes receive unlimited communication with their coach and week-by-week custom training via the VDOT app. Zoom meetings are included as well!
Plan only athletes receive a full individualized training plan without the additional coaching support. This is a good option for experienced athletes who do not want an in-depth coaching experience.
This is our monthly strength plan for athletes who are not running, running on their own, or working through another plan. Athletes receive unlimited email communication.
Athlete Success Stories with Filla
FAQ on Running Coaching
2. How does online running coaching work?
Crossing the Finish Line with a Coach
Interested in working with us? Email email@example.com to set up a free consultation.