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What does remote coaching look like?

If you’ve never worked with a coach before, either remote or in person, you may be wondering how the relationship and logistics work. Read on to find out how coaching works at Southwood!


The first step is for us to have a short introductory call. This gives us an opportunity to get to know one another, and for me to hear about your goals, any challenges you may be facing, and what you’d like to get out of coaching. If everything sounds good to you at this point, I’ll have you fill out an intake form to get some more details that will inform the first month’s training plan. I’ll set you up in the billing system and on Final Surge, then send you the first month’s plan. 


From there, I will provide either biweekly or weekly feedback, depending on your plan. If you have a running watch or phone app that tracks your runs, it is easy to set up Final Surge to have those runs automatically synced. If not, you can manually enter any notes and times. You can also leave feedback on how hard or easy the run was, how enjoyable you found it, and any challenges you faced. This type of feedback is helpful to me so that I can best adjust your training to meet your needs. At the end of the month, you may have a check-in call, depending on your plan. From there, I’ll send you the next month of training designed specifically for you!


The type of runs included in your plan will vary based on your experience and your goals. If you are a new runner with a goal of completing a 5k, you may have more conversation pace runs and work on building your endurance. If you are an experienced runner looking to PR (set a personal record) in the half marathon, you may have more specific workouts that could include tempo runs and race pace runs. Below is a short overview of the types of runs you may see on your schedule!


Runs used both during base building and throughout a training program.

  • Easy runs are done at conversation pace - you should be able to talk while running at this pace. These runs are done almost exclusively during base building, and make up a large percentage of your running time in other periods of your training as well. 

  • Long runs are often done at conversation pace, but these typically occur only once a week (as opposed to several easy runs). This will be your longest run of the week.

  • Strides are short bursts of faster running that you often add into an easy run. 


Runs used for specific purposes after base building and often while preparing for a specific race.

  • Tempo runs are done at a swift pace, often the pace you could maintain for an hour. You might also hear these referred to as lactate threshold runs. These are often broken into intervals or done for 15-30 minutes within an easy run. 

  • “Fartlek” means speed play in Swedish and is a run that alternates between faster and slower running. Its structure is looser than that of an interval workout (described below). 

  • Hills can be used in a variety of ways, including hill repetitions or charting a hilly loop for your run. 

  • Intervals prescribe specific amounts of faster running and specific amounts of run. For instance, you may do 3 minutes at 5k pace followed by 1.5 minutes of rest, repeated 5 times. The length of both the faster running and the recovery, as well as the number of repetitions, will vary based on your goals.


Please don't hesitate to reach out to jen@southwoodrunning.com if you have any questions or are interested in coaching!

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