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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Andrews

Keeping the training flame lit with Ekiden Coaching

Disclaimer: I received a 6 week online coaching session with Ekiden to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!"

For the past 5 weeks I have using Ekiden online coaching to complete my training for the New York City Marathon. The timing couldn't have been more perfect since I was starting to feel a little burned out from training. Like most runners, I like running the race and receiving my medals and all the swag. However, when it comes to training sometime it can feel very rigid, lengthy, and tiring. I know that training works, but it is nice to try new training techniques to keep the flame lit.

Initially I started off using a web training plan for NYC, but I discontinued it once I was paired with my online running coach. So, how does Ekiden work?

Signing up

The first step in the Ekiden coaching process is signing up on the website and answering questions about your upcoming race, running habits, and goals. You can sign up using an email account (my method) or with your Strava account. When I signed up I indicated that I wanted to run a sub 5 hour race, identified the days on which I normally run, and that I wanted to work on gaining my confidence back after last year's injury. After the magic of reviewing my application, I was paired with Coach Jenny Maier. I spoke to her on the phone and the training plan was created. A few weeks into the training, I opened a Strava account so it was not linked to my profile.

The Training Plan

My plan was tailored to the race. Each day I received a text message with the training plan for next day. I was also able to weave my scheduled races into the training program. I have written post about each week. Click on the links to check them out.

I could also login the website to view and print out the entire training program. A sample training program from Week 15 is below. The great thing about the program is that there was an issue about any of the workouts, I would message Coach Jenny though the Ekiden website. She was very responsive and adjusted my schedule as needed.

The Runs

Along with normal runs, the training program introduced me to progression runs. Typically, I run reverse progression runs (start fast, end slow). Having guidance on how to run a proper progression run was great and it is something I plan to use for my training programs moving forward. I also like that each training day was more than running a set mileage, which made training more interesting and kept the flame lit.

Any issues or improvements?

The only issue I would say of using the coaching is that you don't have a physical coach, but that was fine. I want to perform well at the race so even if I couldn't do the workout I would do something during that time or shift the workout to another day. One improvement I would incorporate would be more information on the integrate the Strava and Ekiden accounts.

What's next?

I am going to miss Coach Jenny after the NYC Marathon, but I think we may reunite for Big Sur Marathon Training. This was my first experience with a running coach and I enjoyed having someone help me on my journey to NYC. Knowing that my coach was rooting for me helped me to get over my feelings of being burned out.

Want to try?

Use code BibRave16 for a free month of training when you purchase 3 months of training

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