Do you need a running coach?

Author: Kate Sellers

Read Time:   |  March 10, 2022

We talk to Allie Kieffer, running coach and ambassador for NURVV, to find out how a running coach can help with your training

If you’re anything like me, you may have never considered getting a running coach before. Athletes might need a running coach, for sure, but someone who only runs races a few times a year? Surely not.

Recently, we spoke to Allie Kieffer, an American running athlete and running coach. She told us why a running coach could be helpful for more casual runners – especially if your race diary is looking busier thanks to rescheduled events from last year – and gave us some tips on how to get training feedback if you’re not quite ready to get a coach. Read on for her advice…

Want to hear more from Allie? Try What you should do when your race training doesn’t go to plan

“Most people think a running coach is all about pushing you harder,” says Allie. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. “Of course, as a running coach, I do geek out on all the data and the training blocks, but what I really bring to the table is an emotional sounding block.”

For Allie, this is more important than ever when it comes to post-lockdown races. “You might have signed up to these races years ago, and suddenly, they’re all just a few days or weeks part, instead of months. Obviously, we still want to d them all, but we need to adjust our expectations for each race.”

That’s where a running coach comes in. “They’re someone removed from the situation,” says Allie. “They can assess to see where you’re at and how much recovery time you have between races and then decide the best way to move forward for you. You might need to change your time goals, or adjust your training in-between races, and that can be hard when you’re emotionally involved!”

Even if you haven’t got races coming up, a running coach can be really useful if you’d like to find out how to improve your speed or form, or reduce injuries. “Running coaches assess your weaknesses and strengths – and make you do the things you’re not good at. Yes, that often includes stretching!” says Allie. “By giving you a specific and personalised plan, you are more likely to achieve your goals, and experience less injuries.”

There are also different levels of coaching you can get from a running coach. “I offer online training plans as well as individual coaching. They’re less personalised, but you can still benefit from your coach’s knowledge.”

Looking for training plans? Here are our training plans for all distances!

If you’re looking for a middle ground, Allie recommends NURVV. NURVV offer in-soles that fit inside your running shoes, and they give you feedback from your runs. “My favourite thing about NURVV is that it tracks how your feet land, and then gives you strengthening exercises to suit you,” says Allie. “I’ve really noticed an improvement in my balance and my footstrike as I’ve done the exercises regularly, and I love that it’s specific to me. No one wants to spend time doing exercises that aren’t necessary!”

Allie says that NURVV can also be great if you’ve got those back-to-back races. “My in-soles tell me my training load as a percentage each week. Depending on where you’re at in your training, you might be looking for that number to go up, down or stay the time, to support your goals. Knowing that number can be a huge help in avoiding over-training and injury.”

You can find more about Allie’s running coaching on her website. Visit NURVV.com to learn more about their in-soles.

Written by

Kate Sellers

Kate Sellers

Kate is our Senior Digital Executive and a keen runner. She's also a qualified Personal Trainer and yoga teacher, so she knows her stuff about workouts, cross-training and stretching. She loves to combine running and exploring, so you'll often find her testing out the latest kit in exciting locations across the UK and beyond. Kate champions exercising for enjoyment. "Most of the year, you'll find me running for fun and wellbeing," she says. "That being said, I do still love the thrill of training for a race from time to time!"

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