Disclaimer: I received a session with Ekiden Coaching to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
I’ve said numerous times that I tend to have knee jerk reactions to training plans. I turn into a 5 year old and say ” I don’t wanna”. Or a rebellious teenager- “you can’t make me!’. I’ve posted pictures of my training plans before and they are usually full of color and corrections and look like a 5 year old used them as a coloring book.
That said I’ve always wondered how I would respond to a coach. Would reporting to an actual person hold me accountable? Would I get out of my own way and actually commit to a program that could make me a better runner? I was curious but I figured the odds of me finding out were slim to none as most options I saw could break the bank. And my bank is pretty broken as it is. 😛
Enter Ekiden Coaching.
When I was given the opportunity to try their coaching services, I jumped at it. What better chance to see how I would do? Ekiden is fairly new to the scene and founded by Peter Duyan with Head Coach Mario Fraioli. I checked out the website, looked at their backgrounds and read some articles in Competitor by Mario. I was excited to get started.
The process started with a very in depth questionnaire that asked about your running habits, preferences and quirks. It also asked about your nutrition level and if you had any injuries. Once it was submitted, I waited to be matched with my coach. Once I learned that I had Coach Jenny, we set up a time for a phone conversation to go more in depth about my running level and upcoming race plans. This was also when I had the realization that I had a lot of races in the coming weeks. Oops. Jenny also let me know I may have bit off a bigger bite than I should have. Yes, Coach. This was also proved true when I had to bail on the Run The Runways 5K. 😢
From there the coaching plan is uploaded to the Ekiden site on a weekly basis. The site links to Strava and for every completed workout, you get a blue dot. Missed workouts show a red dot. You are sent a weekly text on Sundays with a link to the week’s workouts. A daily text at 5PM told you the next days workout. You can communicate with your coach via text message or on the Ekiden site. Text messages are my jam, sweet!
So how did training go? I really liked it! Every workout was something that I could or should be able to physically do and it was very easy to understand. I didn’t have to do any math or fancy equations to know what I was supposed to do. I’ve had a good mix of easy running and speed work. The speed work was great (remember Float?). It pushed me out of my comfort zone just enough. I never would have planned a long run with a fast finish end of 6 miles but I came close to pulling it off! My left leg has been giving me fits but being honest, it hasn’t been happy since halfway through marathon training. That said, Coach Jenny has been a great resource with that- I can text her when it hurts and we can adjust the plan. It helps to talk it out with someone so I don’t just panic on my own. The accountability portion of having a coach is kind of awesome. I call myself Slacker for a reason so having someone check in with you is a great way to stay on track. Even a day when I was feeling super crappy and knew I couldn’t handle a run, I went home and did a few miles on the bike. I can say without a doubt that I would not have done that had I not had a coach and a training plan.
So would I do it all over again? I actually have a week or 2 left on my plan right now but I think I would do it again. Personal plans can be as low $49 a month and I think a 3 month plan would be a great fit for me next year- I may finally buckle down to train for a sub 2 half… or maybe a second marathon. 😛
I also have a discount for you- use code BibRave16 and get 1 month of free training when you purchase 3 months. Dang it, I could use that next year!
Looking for more information? Check out the Ekiden website or read these Pro’s reviews-
Have you ever worked with a coach?
Do you like training plans?