As I struggle with my own identity crisis these days, I was not struggling with role as coach this weekend. I get to work with some amazing people. They are all have one thing in common of course; they love running. There are hundreds of people who love to run though, so why are my runners different? Each have their own unique quality like every person you meet, but each of my runners has a strong desire to improve without the extra large egos.
A runners ego is so important to whether they will improve or not. A healthy ego gives a runner the ability to put into perspective the highs, the lows and everything in between. Most important they never forget that running and racing is a hobby, not a full time job. Life will happen and together we work around the obstacles. Without this large ego, my runners are able to communicate with me, not only sharing their stats, but they actually share even more with me.
My runners are patient and listen carefully. They know when to take it easy and when to hammer a workout. I share my experience and knowledge with them freely so they can better understand the purpose of why they are doing what I’ve asked them to do. Not every workout goes to plan and not even every long run gets done, but again we adjust. Obstacles are a big part of life and with all my runners working on their 5km race to the ultra distance, I can tell you I have seen all of life’s obstacles. The good, the bad and the really ugly ones. Again this all becomes part of our communication line that is open all the time.
This past weekend, rather than race or pace an athlete I rested for my coming competition. The bonus was as I rested, I got flooded with text messages about my athletes workouts and races. There were so many PB’s and so many great training runs. To see your athletes not only work so hard all training season, but to execute the workouts and race day plan perfectly is every coaches dream.
These runners I get to work to with are so special to me and I love hearing all about their races from beginning to end. I don’t use just the numbers to set a program for my runners, I use all our conversations we have before and after workouts or races. When they struggle, when they feel unstoppable and most of all when they have nothing to say. The races are not always about the PB’s and I remind my runners of this all the time. However, when they wait for it and do the work, the PB comes so much easier. So a huge congrats to all my runners who raced and those who had really tough workouts this weekend. You all impress me every single day.