Where's the Finish Panda

DNF & Coaching

Today I had a DNF (Did Not Finish).  Granted, it was during a training run, so it wasn’t particularly heartbreaking, but in other ways it was even more disappointing because it means my knee pain is back with a vengeance   I pulled the plug 0.3 miles into a scheduled 6-miler, and while I probably could have pushed it out like I did last time, I just wasn’t in the mood.


For the past month I’ve been working with a running coach for the first time ever.  He provides me with a training plan every two weeks and I’ve been diligently following it.  It’s been a great motivator, because when I’m my own coach it’s extremely easy to skip a workout… or two… or even three in a single week, but when I’m being held accountable by someone else, I have to follow the plan or suffer the embarrassment of admitting that I skipped a workout for no good reason other than laziness.


The first few weeks were great, but recently I’ve started feeling tired and nervous that I’m hurting my knee, and questioning the schedule my coach gives me.  I’ve had brief email exchanges with him about it, but I only pay $40/month for his coaching, and I’m not sure what else he could really say anyway.  It’s not his fault my motivation is lagging.  And ultimately it’s not going to be him who has to run my upcoming marathons.


So today, I listened to my own body and my own mind.  Tomorrow, I’m going to go out and try again.  Also, I’m going to push up my schedule by one day to accommodate my weekend plans.  I used to shift around my training runs all the time, and that was okay because it was my own plan, but now I feel guilty.  It’s a balancing act I’m still getting used to, but hopefully it will all pay off the next time I toe the starting line.


Do you work with a coach?  How do you balance what you feel and what your training plan or coach tells you to do?  Share your experiences in the comments!

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