I am the new coach of the Club, Olivier Roy-Baillargeon.
I just want to take 2 minutes of your time to tell you what type of coach and athlete I am by presenting the three pillars of my philosophy.
1. Trust your feelings
As athletes, the best skill we can acquire is the wisdom and responsiveness to train by listening to our body, rather than our watch or our training program. Nothing and no one knows better than you whether it is a good idea for your body to go out for a long run or a track workout. Some days, when you feel good, your easy jog pace will be 6:00/km. Some other days, after a bad night's sleep or a stressful day at work, the same effort will give 6:30/km. On those days, not only would it be useless, but it would even be ill-advised to force yourself to speed up and try to match your "usual" pace. You only run a greater risk of despair, exhaustion, even injury. So trust your feelings to adjust how you train daily. Your body will thank you.
2. Balance quality and quantity
Of all the training determinants, the one that correlates the strongest with performance is total TIME spent running. And the only safe and effective way to spend as much time training as possible is to go out for a run as OFTEN as possible. Every minute counts, as long as you dedicate yourself fully, when you get out the door. Ideally every day. To balance quality and quantity, you will spend most of your time jogging at a pace that feels easy enough for you to hold a full conversation without having to catch your breath. And the remainder of your time, on the contrary, you will push yourself hard, so much so that the last thing you will want to do is try to speak. If you jog too fast on easy days, you will be too tired to run fast on hard days. It is not a paradox: to run fast, you need to learn to jog slowly.
3. Progress on the long run, by having fun
Research in exercise physiology boils down to two conclusions. The bad news is, progression in running requires a lot of patience and determination, as we reap what we sow on the LONG run. So if you are rushed, maybe you should try hockey. However, the good news is, Eliud Kipchoge is right: no human is limited, and we can keep progressing almost indefinitely, even as we get old, as long as we take the time, and we focus on having fun. The key is to trust the process, and to find YOUR source of intrinsic motivation – relieving excess stress, running your first 5K without walking, qualifying for the Boston marathon; whatever drives you and makes you enjoy it! After all, runners just wanna have fun, don't we?
Thanks a lot for your attention, and I look forward to meeting you, and accompanying you in your workouts!