When I took up running seriously in my mid 20s, it was a running coach who spotted me at a fun run, got in touch, took me for a run, and gradually passed on his joy for the sport.
And the passing on of this same joy is what motivates me now as I open up shop for running coaching in Auckland, beyond just the group of friends (and friends of friends) and family that I already coach.
A wise high school coach once said, “If my runners are still running 10 years after graduating, then I’ve done my job.” Coaching is about harnessing and fostering joy in the sport and in the life lessons that it brings.
So how do you foster that joy in running? And should “joy” and “running” even be in the same sentence?
Well, joy and running can happily coexist so long as you get the balance right. And the key running coaching principles that I use to find that balance are as follows:
- Gradually building aerobic capacity | The main thing holding back those who aren’t at the front of the pack is basic aerobic capacity: how efficient your body is at pumping oxygen to your muscles. This is built by gradually increasing mileage (including using cross training, particularly in the early stages), fun speed sessions that extend your aerobic range (by running at what’s called your lactic threshold), and by challenging yourself through races and group workouts.
- Running form | We’re taught to swim and to drive and to write, but very rarely are we taught to run. We assume that you’re just born with good running form. But the truth is that running is a skill that everyone can learn. And learning that skill is vital. Running form contributes massively to your efficiency (a.k.a. race times) and your susceptibility to injury—all ultimately reducing the joy you garner from running. I do full video analysis of your running form and will teach you drills and mental imaging to gradually tweak things in the right direction.
- Injury prevention | In order to achieve the two principles above, you’ve got to pay attention to this one—injury is the ultimate killjoy. And the worst thing is that injuries sideline so many runners unnecessarily. There are several golden rules (some of which I have discovered the hard way in my own training) that are vital to keep. I’d love to incorporate them into your training.
So Aucklanders, whether you’re training for your first 5k or your assault on your first sub-3 marathon, give me a bell and we can chat about coaching options that suit your lifestyle and running goals.
Hayden Shearman (flick me an email!)
P: 027 4835942