I frequently receive enquiries for individual running coaching on a regular basis. However, from time to time I have to deal with questions that are not related to the coaching service I provide. The following list represents the most common questions received and the standard answer I provide.

I have been ill (e.g. cold / flu) for the last couple of days. Do you think I should run?

Unfortunately, I cannot answer this question for you.

I am a running coach, I write training programmes and provide training advice. I am not a GP. I do not give medical advice, nor do I provide medical or diagnostic services.

As a runner myself, if I am not feeling well and experience temperature, sore throat symptoms, chest cough or a mild headache, then I take a rest day. I resume training once I have fully recovered. Taking a few extra rest days will not impact your performance. Most likely, the sooner you are recovered the sooner you can resume training and continue to build your endurance.

If you are in doubt about your health, please speak to your GP.

I am currently injured and was advised to look for a running coach?

If you are currently injured and you are still dealing with the symptoms of your injury, then you should rather see a qualified physiotherapist, who can help you to determine the cause of your injury.

When injured and attending a coached session, I cannot make you less injured or injury free. I am not a qualified physiotherapist. I recommend you see a physiotherapist and treat your injury first before you resume training or come to a coached session.

When it comes to muscular pains, sports massage and rehabilitation I have been working with Robertofitness for a couple of years. I recommend Roberto Ciurleo. As a very experienced physiotherapist, Roberto knows how to treat running related injuries and has been working with many runners at all levels of ability. In the first instance, my advice would be to get in touch with Roberto.

Do you provide individual running coaching in the mornings?

Unfortunately, I do not provide individual running coaching sessions in the mornings.

I am a volunteer endurance running coach and coach runners outside my core working hours. My working hours are from 9am to 6pm, 5 days a week from Monday to Friday.

I provide individual running coaching sessions in the evenings from Monday to Friday. The earliest appointment I can offer is from 6:30pm.

I do not offer individual coaching sessions during the weekend.

Do you provide any coaching in Hyde Park?

I am afraid not. I do not coach at Hyde Park.

I coach at Battersea Park. In most cases, I make use of the track (aka Battersea Park Millennium Arena), though from time to time in case the athletics track is booked I use Battersea Park.

“I am 15 years old and I like running …” / “My two sons 12 and 14 like running …”

My specialism is in coaching senior athletes in the endurance running event group. All of my athletes have a busy work/family life and want to maximise their time with focussed individual running coaching.

Coaching young and junior athletes requires a very different coaching approach and athlete/parent support. In my view, young athletes need to train once or twice a week in a group with the same ability level and age. It is advised not to let young and junior athletes train with senior athletes. Training intensities and volumes differ according to chronological and training age.
In addition young athletes need support during the weekend when competing. I am not in a position to provide the level of support young athletes required. For that reason, I will not be coaching young and junior athletes.

For enquiring parents, I would advise to get in touch with an athletics / running club with a strong young athlete section. Please ensure the club coach has a coaching qualification and has experience coaching young athletes, holds a valid coaching license with UK/England Athletics and has a CRB check.

Do you hold group training sessions?

I coach athletes individually on a 1:1 basis only.

I am afraid not. I don’t hold group training sessions.

(I am a coach) Can some of my athletes join your training session from time to time? / (I am a runner) I am coached by athletics/running coach X, can I join your training session,

I am a volunteer coach and provide a coaching service to athletes only. I offer time and expertise to athletes in return for a donation towards the Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya.

When it comes to running coaching, the coach needs to be accountable for the coaching they provide to their own athletes. It cannot be ‘outsourced’ from one coach to another.

Some athletes have a strength & conditioning coach or a specialist (event) coach. The role and remit between the specialist coach and athlete are well defined. However, when it comes to running coaching, athletes need to be committed to their running coach and clearly state their lead coach. Failing to do can lead to conflict. For example, the athlete works with two coaches and receives conflicting advice the athlete is in a dilemma and has to make a decision on which advice to follow through.

Please be aware and respect, that I do not provide coaching to another coach’s athletes or coach athletes which are already have a running coach.

Do you provide online coaching for people outside the UK?

No, I do not provide online coaching.

I enjoy working with individual runners. Part of that is to develop a rich and holistic picture of the athlete. For example, to see the athlete running on the track or competing in a race. Important for me as the running coach is to understand what makes the athlete tick.

Coaching by e-mail or via Skype/video conferencing does not provide me with the information required for designing an individually tailored training schedule.

Do you use a standard template, which all your athletes follow?

I do use a template for designing the training schedule, which will help to to allocate training volume, intensities and session details. However, the is no standard 5k/10k blueprint athletes share.

Every training schedule is tailored to the athlete’s need. There are simply too many permutations and variables to consider, which would allow the athlete to generate a training schedule.

I have seen generated training schedules before, the first time 2002. Those schedules are very simple and create a plan based on a small number of variables, e.g. days running per week and target weekly mileage. Once generated, planned and actual sessions are quickly out of sync, the athlete will have to spend more time re-planning. In addition, factors like location, training terrain, athlete’s strength & weaknesses are not considered.