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Identifying what motivates an athlete and then helping him or her with goal setting. “It could be pretty straightforward, wanting to see how fast they can run, or maybe someone thrives on pushing limits,” says Coster.
Running coaches design training plans to systematically build your performance towards achieving your goal. This includes strength training, injury prevention routines, and form running drills “It’s the systematic part that a lot of athletes miss out on,” says Hamilton.
Maybe they read a great article on how to run your best 5K ever, but the information is more suitable for an athlete at a different point in training. “Race preparation and strategy will always be something an athlete can rely on from their coach,” adds Coster.
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Not all coaches are created equal. When searching for one, look for a certified running coach (via the Road Runners Club of America or USA Track & Field), and consider your needs as an athlete as well as the coach’s area of expertise.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” Hamilton says.