do i need a running coach?

Coach JasminI am THRILLED to have Coach Jasmin Niemiec from Mommy’s Marathon guest posting today.  Jasmin is a super talented and successful running and fitness coach, as well as a mom and blogger.  I am currently in her Carb Cycling for Runners group and am LOVING the accountability of having a coach help me with my nutrition goals (more on that later).

One of the things I have been debating lately as I try to get my times down in the half marathon and 5K is whether or not I should invest in a running coach.  Maybe you are one of those who are thinking the same thing.  Jasmin is here to give you a more in depth explanation as to who can benefit from having a running coach.


Running is arguably the most widely participated sport in the world! People are able to participate in this sport with very little cost and have options to run races most any weekend of the year, often with multiple choices in their local area.

But often runners find themselves training HARDER, not smarter. Often I hear from runners who are struggling with injury, weight gain, or lack of success in achieving the personal records they have been working so hard for.

So at what point does a runner need some guidance? Is it really necessary to hire a running coach to help you reach your goals?

To answer your question – YES! Every runner who wants to commit to the sport of running and do it in a way that brings enjoyment as well as success in achieving personal records should consider some form of coaching. You will see huge benefits if you choose to invest in yourself and allow someone else’s expertise in the sport to guide your training. Your running coach will give you the proper training paces, strength workouts, and nutrition plan to meet your specific lifestyle, running background, and future goals. This allows you to shut off your brain and simply enjoy your training.

However, coaching can take many forms and styles, and I am here to help you find the coaching that fits your needs, goals, and price point. I have listed a few scenarios of the most common runners who inquire about my VIP Coaching, and the coaching I feel is appropriate to their specific goals and communication needs. Read the options below and see which scenario matches your current situation and see  how you can take action for affordable, helpful coaching!

Do I need a Running Coach 1

First Time 5k’er

I am THRILLED if this is you! I love people who pick up running for the first time and start at the 5k distance. When picking up running for the first time, simply enjoy your training and race prep. You can get a very affordable Couch to 5k plan online or my Walk2Run plan that will prepare you for your first race. Consider having an accountability partner (friend, spouse, co-worker) who will check in with you  and do at least one workout a week with you!

I Run to Dress Up and Get Colors Splattered on Me

This crowd always has the most fun pictures on Instagram! I love seeing people who make the sport a full-on experience! Even runners who go into a race with an “enjoy it” attitude should have some guidance in their training so they can actually enjoy the race! I hate to see runners who plan to run Disney, but are unable to because of an overtraining injury or because they were not trained properly to truly enjoy the race and celebrate their journey. A plan that incorporates simple workouts, strength training, and a good weekly structure will help this runner enjoy their training journey and prepare the runner to truly enjoy her race!  

Second-time Racer

These are some of my favorite types of athletes to work with! You have done one or a few races before, likely a 5k, 10k, or half marathon, and are looking to beat your previous time. This is truly the best time to hire a running coach. You are clearly motivated to train and commit to doing well, but you simply need someone who is going to give you the best training plan possible to hit your goals and run a PR. Your coach will be able to help you fit your training into your busy schedule and prepare you to hit your customized goals.

Coming Back After Time Off

You could benefit from a custom training plan or personalized coaching. You are likely sick of your current workout routine and are ready to rekindle your love for running and racing! If your new fire for running again is enough to motivate you the next three months, consider a 5k/10k Plan that will get you back in the racing game. If you need the extra accountability and tools to keep you on track and develop those habits you used to have, I would consider a running coach who will interact with you on a daily or weekly basis to help you reach your goals.

Running for Weight Loss

If your main fitness goal is to simply lose weight, I recommend you pursue strength training and a tight focus on nutrition instead of running. However, if you are a runner who wants to get healthy, run a PR, and also lose weight, a  running coach is definitely in your cards. It is very common for runners to gain weight (even 20 pounds!) when they are training for a half marathon or marathon, mainly because they are training too intensely and are eating the wrong types of foods to fuel their training. Your running coach will help you train smart, incorporate rest, and help you fuel your body so you can become a leaner, faster runner.

Busy Working Professional

I get so much joy from helps you create a training plan that fits your busy life! I love working with people like this because they are highly motivated and still excited to train for a race on a tight time schedule. You can get quality, time-crunched workouts in 4-5 days per week and still see great progress in your running; you simply need someone who is experienced in working with busy people like you and who is willing to create a schedule that fits your life. As busy working professional, you will  likely have income to invest in you health and can use this training as a great form of self-care to help balance your busy lifestyle.

Boston Hopeful

Most every runner dreams about crossing off  the Boston Marathon on their bucket list! The accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from training for, qualifying, and competing in such a prestigious event is a sweet gift after all the sweaty miles completed over the long summer. You need a running coach to help you achieve this accomplishment and to arrive race ready come April. It is so common that marathoners gain 10-20 pounds while training. It is also common that they “bonk,” or run out of the energy they need to continue racing. Hiring a running coach who can help you learn an effective fueling strategy for race day will help you run Heartbreak Hill with confidence, and finish your race feeling strong. I teach my athletes how to use fasted tempo and longs runs as a means to avoid bonking in their training and give them an effective fueling strategy to stay lean, strong, and hit a Boston Benchmark.

Do I need a Running Coach 2I hope you found these tips helpful on your quest to become a stronger, healthier, faster runner! Feel free to email me at with any questions. I would love to chat with you about your specific goals and give you the coaching you need to reach your potential as a distance runner. I look forward to chatting and working with you!  

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Be sure to follow Jasmin on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, and Pinterest for other awesome running advice + tips!  And head on over to Jasmin’s blog to check out my tips on how to fit in running as a busy mom!