Some runners run for health reasons, some runners run for time to themselves and other runners are running to get fast. If you’re in the third category, chances are you’ve considered whether joining a team or hiring a coach would be beneficial for you.

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Runners who would benefit from a personal coach

Lauren Roberts is a Toronto-based physio therapist and owner of The Running Physio who says that from an injury standpoint, a personal coach can be great for a runner’s development. “The people who benefit the most from a personal coach are brand new runners [those who have only been running for under 6 months], runners who’ve been injured and off for more than two to three months or the chronically injured runner. Those kinds of people can do really well with a coach for some guidance. Also, if you’re looking into ultra distances it can be useful to have another brain look at volume and recovery time.”

Another kind of runner who can benefit from personal coaching is the very busy runner. If you work irregular hours and aren’t able to make most team practices, then hiring a personal coach could be a good solution for you. A coach can also help you navigate your schedule and come up with a plan that works for the circumstances you’re in.

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Runners who could benefit from a team environment

If you don’t have a chronic history of injury and aren’t brand new to running, a team environment could be a great idea for you. There are many run clubs across the country to choose from, and while you won’t necessarily get an individualized plan, you will get a solid workout written for you and a group of people to execute that plan with.

Accountability is another huge element of running success and Roberts says that a team or coach is a great place to foster that. “The biggest reason people like a coach is the accountability aspect. If you’re looking to refresh your program, a coach can be a great way to do that and also keep track of your progress.”

Runners who are just fine riding solo

For runners who love the quiet of the early morning or late evening and haven’t struggled with injury, chances are you’re fine to keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re getting what you want to out of the sport by running solo, don’t fix what isn’t broken.

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