Training

What to look for in a running coach

Aug 4, 2020

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”

~Tom Landry

Runner training with a coach

Running coaches all have different styles and approaches when it comes to training and when you hire a coach, you need to find one that fits with your personality and goals. However, here are a few things you can look out for to make sure that you hire a qualified and experienced coach.

– The reason why coaching qualifications or certifications help establish credibility is that qualifications are typically linked with expertise. Information is power, and studying empowers coaches and provides them with knowledge and wisdom they can use to help their clients.

–  Other things that indicate one’s expertise are real life achievements in running, their track record, the quality of advice they dispense, testimonials of people who have been coached by him/her, the number of people seeking coaching from him/her, and the results of clients under his/her guidance.

–  The definition of a coach is someone who helps someone else. A coach therefore needs to have a TRUE passion for wanting to help clients become the best runners they can be. They need to be motivated by seeing their clients chase dreams, smash goals, become better humans and to ensure they never lose their love for running.

– Clients are human beings with feelings, families, hopes and insecurities – coaches need to have empathy, they need to exude kindness, have patience always, seek out wins no matter what and they also need to have the ability to unlock the potential in others. This means pushing clients into impossible places mentally, designing training sessions that are uncomfortable and challenging people to try new things.

– Coaching also means helping people remain accountable to their goals and why they sought out professional coaching to start with. Coaches don’t sell commitment and motivation, but a great coach will empower their clients to feel as if they can achieve what they set out to do.

Find a qualified running coach in the Run Life Service Directory.

Christine Prokopiak


Christine is a running coach and nutrition specialist based with Sole Buddies #LiveLife in Cape Town. She is also the co-anchor for the GerhardandChristineLiveLife podcast, and co-founder of For The Long Run, a social upliftment project and registered NPO in Fisantekraal. Read more about Sole Buddies here. 

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