February 6th marked my 2 year anniversary coaching (coachiversary if you will) with Anthrophysique.
It has been a crazy journey from college coach trying to figure out his options to online running coach with a clear plan for the future. I have learned a lot, from my first series of blogs to my first full time athletes, I’ve worked hard and didn’t necessarily see the results right away but you have to stick with it and keep grinding – Running and life often require the same principles.
The main principle being hard work, and what it means to actually work hard – it’s a subjective idea! Your ideas of hard work may seem like a breeze to someone else and vice versa. When I started my coaching I thought I was working hard but there is such thing as being busy for the sake of being busy, it’s the same idea in running – at a certain point you have to take that jump in effort to see more results.
In running there’s this concept of your “standard” – that is 3 miles was a hard run when you first started training but it becomes easy when you’ve been training for a while. After that, 5 miles is your new training barrier, then 5 miles seems easy and 8 miles becomes the new frontier. Things sound easy to us because we perceive the task as doable or routine, the more we complete a task the less we think about it and the more automatic we perceive the run. In other words the work may seem hard now, but in a few weeks you won’t even think about it!
So what does it take to reach those new heights? Well you need some accountability and you have to embrace the hustle.
Accountability is what coaching is all about, the best runners in the world still need some help being held accountable in their training – this is the reason there are teammates and coaches. Even I needed coaches; running coaches, business coaches, life coaches not necessarily because I don’t know what I’m doing but more because I needed someone to call me on my BS and push me when I was making mistakes. For more on accountability check out Chad’s post from awhile back on taking the first steps.
Embracing The Hustle
I did not have all of the tools for success right away. Sure I was a dedicated runner and I’ve had coaching success on my own but working for yourself and starting a coaching program requires some business savvy as well as coaching acumen. There isn’t someone in your ear all day telling you when to work. There isn’t a key structure that you have to stick to, but that’s what makes it rewarding when you finally figure it out. A blog post shouldn’t take 4 hours of your day and procrastinating all night doesn’t count as work either. You need a bit of structure to make sure you are actually being productive and not just being busy.
I still don’t have everything figured out but we’re getting there and that is 100% the product of hustle!
When I started this journey, I thought I could sit back, enjoy my running, haphazardly promote my running coach endeavors and just watch people stop by and ask for the secret… it’s not that easy, it shouldn’t be that easy! (there is no secret)
The first problem:
I experienced burnout pretty bad once I stopped competing in college, I learned a valuable lesson in the process: you can only work so hard without taking a mental and physical break before your body makes that decision for you.
The second problem:
The world doesn’t work like that. Runners aren’t going to miraculously find me if I’m not putting myself out there and making sure that my message is clear. If I’m not throwing myself into the trenches and giving advice and encouragement to my fellow runners then I’m not doing what I need to do.
Hard work pays off:
Here’s what a typical day looked like for me at the start (still a college coach) vs what it looks like for me these days (with a full time job) – you can see the progression from doing things haphazardly to legitimately planning things out and setting up the routine to be successful.
6:00 Wake Up
6:30 Practice with the team
8:30 Sit at breakfast
10:30 College coaching/recruiting work
11:30 lunch break
12:30 – 3:00 Bounce between the office and the gym, observing the team lift
4:00 Try to get other work done
5:00 Home and relaxing the rest of the evening
When you don’t have a lot of work that you need to finish, i.e. deadlines, it makes it hard to ever accomplish anything! That’s why I try to make my days as streamlined as possible because I know I’ll be more efficient. I didn’t realize that I had to devote hours to my building my coaching image, just being a running coach is not enough to gain the traction I needed. I realized that something had to give and made the decision to change and embrace the grind.
5:30 Wake up
6:30 Run with the BRR crew (8-14 miles typically)
8:30 Eat + Coffee
9:30 Work at the shoe store w/social media work on breaks
7:00 Answer Emails
7:30 1 hr of Social Media
8:30 Blog/Video Work
Check out a typical day for me on my YouTube Channel.
So that’s running 60-80 miles a week, working at the store 30-40 hours a week, working on coaching 20-30 hours a week and still making time for family, friends and life. It’s a routine I want to be set in but it took a while to get to this point. It took 2 years in fact!
We all have room for improvement, you just have to be willing to hold yourself accountable – or find someone else who can. Besides, if I can figure it out, I guarantee that you can too.