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Personal Training Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve never been a runner but would like to become one. Can you assist me?

Yes! Over the years, I’ve worked with dozens of people (spanning a wide range of fitness levels and athletic backgrounds) who were able to successfully transition from a walking program to 30 minutes and more of continuous running. The major keys to their success were a desire to succeed, consistency, and patience.

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Do you coach those interested in training for other events besides the marathon?

Yes! While many of the clients I work with are training for marathons, others have set their sites on completing shorter events from the 5K to the half-marathon. Some of the goals of other clients I coach include: beginning a running program, improving their speed at short race distances, becoming more consistent with their running and look to me for accountability, among others.

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Describe your clientele.

Currently, about 55% of my clients are women while 45% are men with their ages ranging from 24 to 63. Over the years, I’ve coached runners as young as 14 through 71 years of age. The backgrounds and careers of my clients are quite varied: homemakers, students, medical professionals, corporate executives, sales representatives, first responders, military personnel, service industry workers, educators, technical/manufacturing management/staff, among others. Also diverse are their experience/ability levels along with their race goals. Some are thrilled to complete their events no matter the finish time while others compete at the elite level. For example: a qualifier/participant in the 2004 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials (with 2:44 personal best at the Chicago Marathon) and the recipient of the 2004 USA Track and Field Female Long Distance Runner of the Year for South Carolina..

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Do you coach those living outside the United States?

Yes! Over the years, in addition to working with clients residing in just about every state in the U.S., I’ve enjoyed coaching runners from countries abroad: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Columbia, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore thus far. We’ve stayed well connected though weekly telephone consults and email. Many international clients have remarked that telephoning is easy and quite affordable thanks to cell phone service and/or calling cards.

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What’s your coaching philosophy?

In short, minimizing your chances of incurring injury during your training period takes precedent above all other considerations. While no personal trainer can guarantee that the athletes they coach won’t incur injury, the training program I create specifically for you is developed to help you meet your goals while minimizing the occurrence of muscular stiffness, soreness, and/or breakdown. Thus, workouts are based on your current level of fitness/ability level and take into consideration your personal and professional commitments.

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What do we discuss during an initial consultation?

Through an initial telephone consult, we learn about one another. You have the opportunity to share with me: the specifics about your running/athletic background, your race and/or fitness goals, any personal and professional commitments that may impact the time you have to train, and relate any other information you believe would be relevant and helpful. I encourage you to ask any questions you wish about your running program, my personal training services, etc. Also during the consult, I will provide feedback regarding your current workout routine, the feasibility of the goal(s) you’d like to achieve, and highlight how I can be of assistance to you. If you are interested in signing up to become a client at the conclusion of the initial consult, great! We will then arrange a mutually convenient time for you to telephone me on a weekly basis. I encourage those who have any reservations whatsoever about receiving personal training services to take the time they need to decide. I want you to be completely comfortable with your decision.

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Is there any cost to the initial telephone consultation?

No! This is a complimentary consult and there’s absolutely no pressure or obligation to sign up for anything. After arranging a mutually convenient time for us to speak, your only cost will be the telephone call.

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Upon becoming a client, what is discussed during our weekly telephone consults?

We review the results of your training from the previous week and discuss the overall plan along with the respective workouts for the upcoming week. I answer your questions, address any concerns, and provide guidance, feedback, support, and encouragement. Adjustments to your training schedule can be made, if necessary, should you experience any muscular stiffness, soreness, fatigue, or injury. If unexpected personal or professional commitments arise that conflict with your training plan, adjustments can also be made. While 30 minutes is allotted for our weekly telephone consultations, they can be shorter if you have no further questions. Of course, you are certainly welcome to use the entire block of time if you’d like!

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I’d like you to coach me but I prefer to communicate only by email rather than telephone. Is that okay?

I’ve found that weekly telephone consultations are a much more effective and efficient means to communicate as compared to email. Through conversation in real-time, there’s much less chance for the information we share to be misinterpreted. The answers to questions and follow-ups are instantaneous. For these reasons, I insist that telephone contact be our primary means of communication.

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What happens if I have an important question or concern prior to the next telephone consultation?

No problem! Just email me and I will reply promptly, usually within 24 hours or less.

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What if I am unable to call at my normal consult time? Can I reschedule my call with you later that week?

I realize that from time to time, clients have professional and personal obligations that conflict with our usual consult time. And unexpected circumstances out of one’s control do arise. In these situations, I will do my best to reschedule our consult for later in the week. If we are unable to arrange an alternative time to speak, no problem! Just email me the results of your training since our last consult and I will promptly reply, providing workouts for the upcoming week.

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Can I try your services for a month?

Yes! Please be aware that the $100.00 monthly option relates to four telephone coaching consults at a set/mutually agreed upon time, once a week over the course of four consecutive weeks (for example, January 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th). If you’d like to continue receiving coaching services after the month, you can continue to pay $100.00 month-to-month or save money by signing up for one of the long-term options.

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I only need a training schedule. Do I still need to complete the background information form and have an initial consult?

Yes. Doing so provides me with important information so that a customized training schedule can be developed that addresses your specific goals and needs. This schedule will reflect your present mileage/fitness level and be based on the available time you have during the week to train. I can help you decide what days would be advantageous for rest along with days for longer/shorter runs. The training schedule can include other races you wish to enter and also take into consideration time periods where it will be difficult to do longer runs (such as out of town trips, family commitments, etc.).

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I realize that I’m really behind in my current training but want to run an upcoming marathon. Can you help me?

That depends! I’d be happy to assist you if, based on your current long run and weekly mileage levels, there is adequate time for you to prepare appropriately/successfully for the event. I make this determination based on tried and true training principles such as the 10% rule for building mileage. Training safely will always take precedent above one’s strong desire, enthusiasm, or former athletic background. Placing oneself at a high risk of injury by training for and/or participating in an event with an unrealistic time frame and with inadequate preparation makes no rational sense whatsoever! As an alternative, I suggest targeting an event further down the road so that you will have time to build mileage at a safe and consistent rate. Doing so will also enhance the enjoyment of your race experience immensely!

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How are the personal training services you provide different from others?

I can only comment on the type of coaching experience I can offer you! I pledge to always provide the highest level of personal attention to every client I coach. I realize each person I serve has their own: running and fitness goals, levels of experience/ability, unique life circumstances, etc. Thus, no two training programs I design are alike. Prior to our weekly telephone consultations, I carefully prepare by reviewing your progress and planning upcoming workouts. And during the consult, I attentively listen to what you say and make note of important information discussed (for example, any muscular fatigue/pain, motivational issues, nutritional considerations, personal or professional responsibilities that may influence your training schedule, etc.). You can always be assured that in a sincere and respectful way, I will provide you with honest and objective feedback.

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