Home Uncategorized To coach or be coached: That is the question.

To coach or be coached: That is the question.


It is no secret that I have started coaching runners.

Also, I don’t try to hide the fact that I myself have a coach, Beth Shutt from Your26.2.


Many people wonder why a coach would need her own coach. Can’t I make my own training plans? Yup! Don’t I already know what my heart rate ranges are and how to run within each zone? Yes, mam! And haven’t I successfully completed three marathons and over eight half marathons? Don’t you know it!

So why on Earth would I pay for a coach?!? 

I have repeatedly gotten this question from my mom, husband and friends. While I knew why I originally wanted a coach, after working with Beth for the past six months I can now tell you why I have seriously benefited from having her in my back pocket!


Coach Beth and I at Timbeman 70.3 Aug 2015





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The benefits of being coached:

  • Two heads are better than one. Sometimes you are just too close to your life stress to be able to clearly see what you could be doing differently to improve. My day typically focuses on getting Lillian ready for school, working, coaching my athletes, writing and making dinner. Putting someone else in charge of my training plan take one thing off of my plate and makes sure that my running doesn’t fall through the cracks! 🙂 
  • Holds you accountable. There is never an “I didn’t feel like running today” or a “I decided to go hard on my easy day for fun” type of run. Hiring a coach to pay extra close attention to you inherently holds you accountable! I have NEVER missed a workout since I have started with Beth, now THAT is saying something!
  • Takes the guessing out of the run game: pace, fueling, heart rate zones!  Hiring a coach allows me to take a mental break from organizing my training and entrusts it to someone else! All I need to do is follow the plan and POOF success- I like it! She tells me what to eat prerace, during race and post race to ensure best performance and quality recovery!
  • Minimizes overtraining/burnout/injury. I cannot emphasize this one enough- when I coached myself for NYC, Chicago and Boston I got sick before EVERY half marathon and right before EVERY marathon. Go back to the race recaps, it’s all there plain as day. Guess who was overtraining? ME! Guess who didn’t get sick, not even a sniffle, when she hired her own coach? MEEEEEEE!! Why? Because my coach knew exactly how hard to bend me without breaking me into two. That’s why!
  • A friend, a confident and a coach all in one. Coach Beth has taught me that life stress is real stress that can absolutely impact your sleep, nutrition and even your run-game. Life has been a little bit bonkers lately and Beth helps put that into perspective. Not only does she listen to me vent like the great friend she is, but she also knows how to adapt my training regime to account for my personal stressors and maximize my ability (without getting me injured!)


In my opinion I am a better coach to my athletes because I have been (and will continue to be) coached!  In fact, I would encourage all coaches to be coached.

I have gained invaluable experiences and learned countless lessons in coaching from working with Beth over the past 6 months. I understand how to manage an athlete’s expectations of improvement and reframe them to the big picture, just as Beth has done with me in the past. I understand the emotional process of working towards a goal that seems just out of reach. I realize the time and patience it takes for a coach to work with an athlete who is newer to the run-game (like myself); much of what Beth has done is simply teach me the ins and outs of running (heart rate zones, tempo work, how to do speed work drills, etc). I greatly value the lessons I have learned from working with Miss Beth!!

The only logical next step for me is to continue down this incredible path that I am on and retain Beth’s services as I officially begin training for the 2016 Boston Marathon on December 1!! Wahoo!!


Never Stop Running,




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