In 2009, I ran my first race. In 2011, I finally declared myself a runner. Now, in 2016, I am now lacing up for the first time with guidance from a coach.
WHAT IS EKIDEN COACHING?
Ekiden is a relatively new coaching company with a great concept: it allows runners of all levels to receive personalized coaching for as little as $49 per month. Runners can link their Strava accounts to Ekiden to ensure coaches are getting all the data they need to cater coaching accordingly.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
After filling out a thorough survey, they match you up with a coach based on your needs and wants, and provide workouts, coaching tips and check-ins accordingly. Their online model plus flexible pricing makes coaching very accessible to those who may not normally think it something they could attain.
I was very straightforward when I filled out the survey. I am a busy working mom, and if I don’t get my run in as runch (as I am very fortunate that being sweaty at work, or taking a break to run are both acceptable,) I end up running with a stroller — or not at all. I told Ekiden that I am still figuring out my pace and race distance, that I was hoping to best my half marathon time in the spring and that I like short, fast workouts, long runs and cross-training all fine. While you may want to make yourself sound good on paper, so to speak, being honest with your coach is the only way you’ll get the best, most beneficial coaching. Hence, I made sure to be straight-up about the running I really had been doing, what I would truly be able to manage during my six weeks of coaching and what I wanted to achieve.
WEEK ONE: HOW’D IT GO?
My coach Jenny and I chatted via text (which is also logged in ‘messages’ on the Ekiden site.) She wanted to give me a base week to get a read, and then go from there.
My given workouts were:
- Monday: short intervals. 20:00 easy. Repeat the following 5 times: 1:00 at estimated goal half marathon pace followed by 1:00 easy. 10:00 easy.
- Tuesday: 30 minutes easy.
- Wednesday: Rest.
- Thursday: 30 minutes easy.
- Friday: 50 minutes easy.
- Saturday: Rest.
- Sunday: Rest.
How it actually went:
- Monday: I was excited to run and maybe too excited to run without a stroller — or maybe all that stroller running has made it such that I don’t know what my “easy” or “goal” paces should be, which is very possible. I found the intervals fun, but definitely thought I went out too fast such that I felt a gassed by the fifth one, but still felt determined to hold onto the crazy pace I had been keeping.
0.1mi, 7:45mi pace – 0.1mi, 9:50mi pace
0.1mi, 7:39mi pace – 0.1mi, 10:02mi pace
0.1mi, 7:20mi pace – 0.1mi, 9:56mi pace
0.1mi, 7:42mi pace – 0.1mi, 9:36mi pace
0.1mi, 7:37mi pace – 0.1mi, 10:05mi pace
- Tuesday: solo run. 3.1mi, 30:01 minutes.
- Wednesday: rested. That was easy!
- Thursday: social run with a coworker. 2.7mi, 30:02min.
- Friday: workday was packed, and I had to get some work done (proofing copy,) so I jogged on the treadmill while proofing, which I don’t recommend for either running or proofing endeavors. Data claims 3.8mi in 50:22min.
- Saturday: ended up doing a shakeout run/walk with fellow members of the Represent Running ambassador team. Pushed the stroller. 4.5mi, 1:25 (I forgot to stop my Garmin after we got back and were working packet pick-up.)
- Sunday: I already had a race slated, the final Represent Running race of the season. I’d been hoping to PR, but I wasn’t well trained and my legs weren’t super fresh (my own fault,) so I went into it just trying to run by feel. I ended up with a small PR and I had enough gas at the end to surprise myself. I went to kick in the last 100 yards or so and it turned into a foot race! I am proud to report I won, and he was a great sport. We even took a picture together after.
I logged more miles in my first week of being coached than I have in the last two months, so I would definitely say it’s off to a good start.
Have you ever been coached? What would your goal race distance or goal event be?