How Does Online Run Coaching Work?

I get this a lot and I’m not super surprised. Online coaching has been around for a while, but it hasn’t taken as big of a hold as say, online dating. However, it’s a growing service that many runners are using to take their training to the next level. I myself have an online coach. My coach lives in Flagstaff, Arizona while I live in Yelm, Washington, but that doesn’t hinder our relationship or the effectiveness of the training prescribed to me on a weekly basis. With many innovative online coaching software platforms and services like Skype and Google Hangout, hiring a personal coach is easier and more affordable than it’s ever been before. Here’s how it works here at Upper Left Distance Training.

I start by sending you our New Athlete Information Sheet. With this information, I can get an idea of your running history and goals. Every runner has a different story, so I don’t offer generic training plans in any capacity. In my opinion, generic plans lack the effectiveness of a personalized strategy and are a disservice to athletes. So even if you’re buying a training plan from us instead of personal coaching services, this is where I will start.

After I’ve reviewed your information we set up a time to talk on the phone or do a Google Hangout. Voice calling or using video chat services aren’t required, but I do believe they help to strengthen the coach/athlete relationship. While chatting, we can get to know each other a bit and make sure we are on the same page going forward.

I then start building your plan from the ground up with workouts based off of your training history, current fitness,  short term goals and your career goals as a runner. I deliver your plan in two week blocks through Final Surge. If you get a chance, click on the image below to check out their website. It’s an amazing platform.


During the training process we are in constant contact. I adjust your plan based on how you’re responding to training, what you’re enjoying and what you’re not enjoying, as well as adjusting things around any last minute wrenches that get thrown in the spokes (i.e. the kiddo got the flu or soccer practice runs late).

I’m not a drill sergeant, I’m a coach. I’m here to guide you, and yes, I do hold you accountable and encourage you to stay on top of your training, but I’ve got a family too and I know that sometimes we have to get creative to reach our running goals. I design the most effective plans to increase your athletic abilities based off of you as an individual and I pride myself in providing truly personalized and attentive service.

This is just how we do things here at Upper Left Distance Training. I do think it’s important to do your research, which is why I don’t mind linking other coaching services in posts like A Week With The Best. All the information you need for choosing the best coach for YOU is readily available online and you should be armed with as much information as possible when making your decision. Personality, experience, knowledge and price are all valid points to weigh. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s most important to you.

One thing to keep in mind is something one of my favorite writers and Ekiden Coach Mario Fraioli said, which is “Coaches: You’ve gotta know your shit. But first you’ve gotta give a shit. Degrees and fancy ‘certs’ mean nothing if you can’t relate to athletes.

If I had to give one piece of advice to an athlete looking for a coach, it’s to find someone you can relate to who actually cares about your success, not just in athletics, but in life as well.

I hope this gives you a little insight into how online run coaching works!

If you have any other questions feel free to contact me here.