After a lot of careful consideration and deliberation, I have decided to explore a new learning opportunity as a coach. I will soon be working with the new company, RunnersConnect
, founded and operated by my good friend, Jeff Gaudette. Of the many people who opened their homes and lives to me while I was still competing, I took advantage of Jeff’s hospitality the most. I lived on his couch for weeks at a time. I drove his truck from one state to another and back again. I ate his food and I even slept in his bed when he was out of town. He never asked for a dime and never thought twice about helping me reach my running goals. That’s only one indication of his dedication to helping runners improve and follow their dreams.
Together, Jeff and I hope RunnersConnect can help revolutionize the way in which runners train for races and interact with their training plans and coaches. RunnersConnect provides runners fully customizable training plans tailored specifically to their lifestyle and current fitness level. More importantly, RunnersConnect will give runners near 24/7 access to an expert running coach to answer any questions they might have along the way. We believe that if we create a training schedule that is customized to their exact fitness level, and then provide them with a team of experienced coaches to answer their questions and support their training, our members can accomplish all of their goals. We follow this up by connecting them to a supportive community of fellow runners that help inspire and motivate their running.
For more than two years I have coached for the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project and I have really enjoyed the experience. Run S.M.A.R.T. is a tremendous company, loaded with great people and I learned a lot through my time working with the clients. Through working as a private coach I have learned that coaching, even collegiately, is a customer service industry. As a collegiate coach it is easy (and sometimes necessary) to become a disciplinarian or authoritarian but in the end, this hampers athletic development because it shrinks individual ownership of the process. While coaching private clients who pursue running for mostly intrinsic reasons and are never motivated by membership on a team, I have learned a lot about individual development and progression that has little to do with training theory. I look forward to the lessons that await me at RunnersConnect. It’s truly a company that I believe in and know will provide a quality experience to its clients and customers.