Though I am maintaining a Run for the Rabbit specific blog, I will occasionally cross-post and include the content here.
When I was first approached about coaching Run for the Rabbit, I was both impressed by the concept, and flattered that I was asked to be a part of the project. I love coaching athletes, and the added charity component made it that much more attractive. As I watched the screen tests and learned more about the runners and their respective charities, my excitement grew. The passion and sincerity of each of the six runners chosen were apparent. Then came the on-screen introductions and the press conference at the New York Running Show, and I just kept getting more enthused.
Now that the dust has settled and the cameras are off, it's time for me to do my job, and for each of the runners to get to work and do theirs. Though it may sound like nothing but a nice sound bite, my repeated statement that getting the six of them to the starting line healthy is my biggest challenge is quite true. So my goal - aside from trying to break the World Record for most horse references in a single blog post that's not about horses - is to occasionally pull back on the reins in order to have them healthy, mentally ready, and feeling like a thoroughbred in the starting gate on race day.I love that they're all eager and ready to do what I ask. Nothing is more frustrating than coaching an athlete who is unmotivated. If my runner isn't into it, it's deflating for me, and there's only so much I can do. As the saying goes, "you can't beat a dead horse". Well clearly none of these six is a dead horses. They're excited, passionate and ambitious. But from coaching perspective that presents its own challenge. If they overdo it, they'll be burned out and/or injured before their marathon on September 24. That won't help them, their charities, JackRabbit, or me. Without a doubt even the most disciplined athlete needs his/her coach to go to the whip on occasion, but it's clear that these six are not lacking in motivation. During my initial training meetings with the runners, I have tried to stress the importance of a structured training program that includes periodic recovery weeks, rest days and easy days, in addition to the more exciting stuff like long runs, tempo runs and interval training.
As the runners and I get to know each other, hopefully I will gain their trust and I'll be able to harness their enthusiasm and make sure that everything is focused toward peaking at the race. But ultimately, they're the ones who will have to do all the hard work. After all, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.