Here’s some race results that show that coaching people could all be very straightforward, if only the ‘people’ bit could eliminate the human behaviour side of things.
Here’s how the Dorking 10 mile panned out for me as a coach. It’s a notoriously tough course over the Surrey hills and was made extra difficult this year by a very warm morning. So my first text was from SLT, 2nd women in 63 mins, 9 months after giving birth. All good stuff. Then later that morning a text from another woman, 68 minutes. She’s had a deep rooted biomechanical injury for some while so this was way off her best level – she’s a 2.51 marathoner - but way ahead of her last race outing in May, so good progress. Then I read of another woman I coach who has a somewhat prominent running blog via a centre-leftish broadsheet newspaper. She ran 69 minutes, somewhat off her best, with what she describes to the national running blogeratti as ‘gin based nutrition’ on the previous day. Then, finally, the full Dorking results are posted on the race website, and I see that the race winner is another one I coach, who has somehow misinterpreted a 14 mile steady run at home in Hertfordshire as a winning 10 mile in Surrey, though I guess for him high 54 mins is just within his ‘steady’ category.
In their defence, and, I guess, mine too, none of them was targeting this particular race.