How a running coach has helped me
Most people think running is pretty easy. You just put on some shoes and go. Yeah, it may start that way, but you’ll quickly learn there’s a lot more to it. That’s why I’m glad I now have an amazing coach to guide me.
I’ve never been a runner. My entire life I was one of those people who joked that the only time I would run would be if I was being chased. But that changed two years ago when I started running regularly and decided do my first marathon. That first training cycle was filled with a whole host of new learning experiences, good, bad, inspiring and chafe-inducing.
After surviving that, I decided I wanted to keep running, get better and be more focused. That’s why I asked Henry Howard to coach me. I knew he had become more of a runner later in life, had run so many different types of races and knew far more about the sport than I did. That was one of the best running decisions I’ve ever made.
My running journey has continued to teach me more than I ever thought possible — from what I can learn from bad runs to the importance of good shoes to the importance of doing other workouts to enhance my core and make me a better runner. A lot of this I learned from Henry. He gives me a different perspectives on issues I hadn’t thought about; guidance when I’m having a problem or need to step up my game; and the best support when I’m frustrated or anxious about a race.
I have a lot of running friends, but having a coach — and one as knowledgeable and helpful as Henry— to guide me has made all the difference when it comes to my running. I’m smarter, stronger and more comfortable and confident in my overall fitness. He also keeps me accountable when I slack off, as all runners do, and on track when it comes to training.
In the past year and a half, I’ve run three marathons and 16 half marathons as well as several other 10Ks, 5Ks and equally important training runs. Like most runners, I love a good race, but Henry has helped keep me healthy and in check when I’ve asked about signing up for more races than I should before the big race. Running is addictive, but Henry has reminded me that overdoing it can lead to injuries when I should be focused on training.
During my last marathon training cycle, I started having issues with my feet and I wasn’t sure if it was the start of an injury, bad shoes or poor running form. Because of Henry’s experience, he’s able to ask me questions and help me diagnose the problem to fix it before it got worse. It turned out to be a combination of things that I’m still managing, but without his help, I’d be struggling and possibly making the problem worse.
We all start running for different reasons, but if you want to push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of and want help along the way, Henry is the best coach to have.