How I went from couch to coach

How I went from couch to coach

from couch to coach
As this is my spotlight day for Kristy’s Runaway Bridal Planner Blog Hop I thought I’d write about how I went from someone who never ran to a qualified running coach in the space of less than 3 years. If you want to know a little bit more about me you can read my previous spotlight post here.

How I went from couch to coach in less than 3 years! #running #coaching Click To Tweet

I only started running in order to get a bit fitter. Before that I had no history of running. I wasn’t a runner at school, in fact PE was my least favourite subject. I used to see people running on the streets and think they were mad, especially those crazy enough to go running early morning on a weekend! So when I downloaded the start to run app back in January 2014 I had no idea how the bug was going to get me.

Fast forward to May 2015 and I had taken my first steps into coaching by completing the UK Athletics Leader in Running Fitness qualification. I would never have thought I’d be doing that when I set off on my first walk/run session! But in the 17 months between starting to run and my LiRF I had realised that not only did I enjoy running but I also enjoyed getting other people running and helping to keep them running.

It started with my mum. A few weeks after I started to run I had inspired her to give it a go too. Soon enough we were planning our first 5k, then 10k race together.

After my mum I managed to get friends and work colleagues running and then volunteered as a helper at my club’s Start to Run course. I loved seeing people develop as they went from not running at all to running 5k and more. Develop not only their fitness levels and endurance but also their confidence.  In the Start to Run course I saw people who doubted their ability to run at all in week 1 only to run a 5k 7 weeks later in under 38 minutes.

As a Leader I could help the group as they ran but I soon realised I wanted to do more than that. I wanted to get personal.

cool down stretches
Demonstrating cool down stretches

Being a Coach allows you to work with individuals, creating personal training plans to help them become better runners and get right down to the nitty gritty and mechanics of running. Being able to work with someone on the basic skills you need for running, but which are often overlooked and may seem a world away from running itself, and see them improve little by little.

However, as a Coach you don’t always coach one to one, more often it’s in a group, but the individual is always at the centre. With the UK Athletics Coach in Running Fitness qualification you are taught to be athlete centred: to think of the athlete, how they develop, how they learn. Coaching isn’t about you the coach: you don’t bark orders, believe you are always right, ignore what your athletes are telling you. It’s about the individual, the person you are training, and how to get them to be the best they can.

I think this quote from Reach into Coaching sums it up nicely

Coaching is about helping people of all ages and abilities to get active, stay active and get better while being active.

Having recently qualified I’m just at the start of my coaching career but so far have coached people to their first marathon, half marathon and to become stronger runners. And as a qualified coach I know that my development doesn’t stop here, that I too will be constantly learning and improving as I go, which is also really exciting.

It’s been an unexpected journey but I’m really looking forward to working with more people at different stages of their running and seeing them become the best they can be.

Do you coach or have you ever thought about coaching? Do you have an achievement that has surprised you?

I’m linking up with for Running Coaches’ Corner with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs where running coaches come together and share the best running advice, tips, trends, etc.


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