How To Find A Running Coach

How to Find a Running Coach

Sometimes in life, a coach can make all the difference in the world. I remember my days before I became a certified trainer and how I would enter the weight room every day and do what I believed to be a good workout. Once a seasoned fitness professional finally took me under his wing, I realized I really still had a lot to learn. 

The same is definitely true in the world of competitive running. As the person who is actually doing the running, it can be tough to gauge your form, regulate your breathing, or even judge yourself without bias. It is one of those cases where you are in so deep, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees. This is why having a running coach is needed if you are wanting to take your performance to the next level. But the trick is how do you find the right running coach with the credentials needed that can help you with exceeding your current achievements?

Tips on How to Find the Perfect Running Coach

Rather than just try to call dibs on the nearest runner that seems to know what they are doing, there is a process that you should consider following when figuring out who would make a great coach for you. After all, there are plenty of instances in professional sports where the best athletes of all time would try to become coaches after they retired from active competition and they would fail miserably. They just didn’t have the ability to transfer their athletic greatness to coaching greatness. You must find the right person who is able and willing to share their knowledge and wisdom about running with you. 

Visit Your Local High School or College

There is a very good chance that your nearest high school or college has both a cross country and track team. This is great news for you as they will most assuredly have a qualified coach that is working with the kids day in and day out. Most schools publish their staff’s email somewhere on their website. Do a bit of digging and contact a coach and see if they would like to work with you as well!

Ask the Top Runners Who They Use

Those runners that are always finishing in the top ten percent of the races you are entering may have a coach that they use. There is nothing wrong with asking them to recommend someone who may be able to work with you, too. At the very least, even if they don’t have a coach of their own, they may give you some good advice to use down the road. 

Online Coaching

In the world of education right at this moment, the popularity of online tutoring is at an all-time high. The convenience of it is one aspect, but it also allows the person to find just the right tutor for them regardless of distance. You can do the exact same thing when searching for a running coach. In fact, you can look outside of your state or even your country when trying to locate the best coach for you. This may mean you will have to video yourself running a few races so they can judge what the problems may be, but in the long run (no pun intended), it will be worth it. 

Visit a Library

Of course, there are enough books online nowadays where you don’t have to physically go and visit your local library, but it couldn’t hurt. My father (a track and cross country coach for four decades), would often go to the library and check out books when we had issues around the house with various appliances and such. He always felt he could read about solutions to problems and then apply them accordingly. In fact, I remember we put a new roof on our house by reading a short book about it first. 

In any case, find a few books that you believe will help you as a runner. While it may not exactly be a coach, there are thousands of available books out there that are based solely on running. It may not cost you anything at all and you could walk away with a fountain of new information. 

Search for Online Reviews

There are online reviews available out there for just about everything. Why can’t you read a few dozen and find yourself a running coach? After all, you don’t purchase anything from Amazon without first reading the reviews for the product. Do the exact same thing when searching for a running coach. 

Social Media

Everyone advertises their business on social media nowadays. And they should! It is free advertising and marketing. Log into Facebook or LinkedIn and do a search for running coaches. You are bound to have a few that pop up. Plus, if you would so choose, you could contact any of their “connections” or “friends” from their profile and find out what they have been able to do for other people. 

Use Specific Websites

The sport of running is wide and encompassing. You may not know it, but there is a whole subculture out there online for serious runners that are interested in improving at their craft. For example, the Road Runners Club of America ( will allow you to search for running coaches on their site according to your state. These are certified coaches that are serious about helping athletes achieve their best. And they aren’t the only website that provides this type of service. Do a Google search and you will come away with plenty of resources. 

Don’t Settle For Less

When you do finally have a running coach in mind, make sure they are up to the task at hand. If they just provide you a one-size-fits-all program to follow, you should probably start a new search once again. You want someone who is going to do some custom coaching based on your needs. Don’t settle for anything less! 

Picture of Ryan Crawley

Ryan Crawley

Ryan Crawley is a journalist, educator, and health and fitness fanatic that currently makes his home in Illinois. With a Masters in Reading and Literacy and award-winning personal training results with his fitness clients, he is still reminded daily that he is not a doctor like his wife Katie. Ryan enjoys spending time with his dogs Flair and Smoosh and kitten Charlotte. In his free moments, he likes to write books for children that will hopefully be on shelves in the near future.

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