After 15 years as a self-coached runner I have learned this truth: To be coach/ manager/runner on your own one-person running team is to invite disaster. Sadly I suspect that most of us runners have no option but to go it aloneto perpetuate an annual cycle of disaster and to repeat the same idiotic training and coaching errors each new running year.
Our problem is that running is not a sport for coaches. Sanity prevents even the most community-minded enthusiast from monitoring our training schedules during the strange hours and in the distant places we perfect our ritual.
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And those potential coaches whose outlooks are less philanthropic provide even less cause for enthusiasm. For it takes neither a trained eye nor even a glance at last year’s racing form to know that from among my friends and especially in me, no coach will ever uncover a potential world champion.
So we runners are left to our own devices. But we soon discover that those very characteristics that attract us to this unsophisticated, uncomplicated, intellectual sport are the very factors that hamper our success as complete, one-person running teams.
For those distracted runners who, like me, suffer perpetually from chronic indecision and malignant forgetfulness, each day’s training poses mental challenges far beyond their limited cerebral resources. So we can seldom reach final decisions on exactly how we should train each day, what we should wear, when and where we should run, what we should eat, and how often we should race each year.