“Why do I need a running coach? I can join a gym and the trainer will help me and find all these plans on-line that tell me exactly what to do for any race.”  Not entirely true, however….and this is why one does need a running coach:

  1. Scheduling – Coaches will help you get to your goal with plans scripted and made just for you – there is no cookie-cutter plan that is made for any 1 person.  Plus, coaches change plans on the fly when runners need to adjust for sickness, soreness, vacations, kids….i.e. life
  2. Motivation – you can’t get that from a plan you find on-line.  The coach will call, text, IM, Skype, e-mail, tweet, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. to get you to your goal
  3. Nutrition – a good coach will help you exactly with daily eating as well as pre and post run, workout or race day fueling.
  4. Fitness – Every runner needs core, agility, strength, speed and balance training.  Not many people actually do it.  The coach will either give you side workouts or team up with a gym to get you the fitness that you need.
  5. Rest and Recovery – It is very easy to keep on going, starting unnecessary streaks and not getting enough rest.  A coach will build in rest into your individual schedule, allowing you to recover.

There are so many variables that go into coaching a runner.  The runner’s weight, age, work-life balance, kids, injury history and attitude are just pieces of what a coach needs to consider when he works with a client.

Vice versa, a runner who wants a coach needs to think of how he or she fits with the coach.  Do you want to spend a lot of money, do you want a hands-on coach or a hands-off one, etc.  A trainer that works in a gym who is not an experienced runner can’t help you.

Runner’s World also has an article on running coaching:


With the new year coming up, this could be what you need to take you to the next level.

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aaaRunning Coach

Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

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