Coached Run Sessions is a new feature of Coached, an online-based boutique fitness company – founded by former New Zealand professional triathlete, Ben Pulham.
With Coached Run Sessions, Coached members will be able to have access to not only two in-person training sessions per week, but also to the revolutionary Coached online training programme whereby they can build a training plan leading up to their key races and track their progress at the same time.
Ben hopes to make people better in a healthy and holistic manner
Why choose to set up physical training sessions? Said Ben, 35, “Every time I give a talk or running clinic, I get asked when our training sessions are. When I tell people that it is an online programme, they are disappointed because they like the community aspect of in-person training. The reason why I have not done this in the past, though, is that group sessions come with a lot of ego – people will push each other too hard and with my coach’s hat on, that is not the best thing.”
He added, “I am sincere when I say that I want to make people better but in a way that is healthy and not just a quick fix. So I started to think about how I could start a group like this and what I then decided to do, was to leverage on our online technology platform. With Coached Run Sessions, I am able to know what heart rate everyone is running at and what they should be running at, what races they have coming and what training they are doing. This helps me to customise their sessions a little and lets me know whether they are working as hard as they need to. We are able to personalise the programme for a large number of people based on what we have built.”
Dynamics are similar to the Coached online sessions
The goals for the Coached Run Sessions are the same as the dynamics for the online training plan as the two are supposed to co-exist together. Says Ben, “The goals are the same as the online plan. Though the sessions specifics might be different, the outcome is similar.”
He added, “In a way the online programme provides a structure of how long to run, how hard to run and any additional notes that you need to be aware of, but I can’t see how you run. Unless we have the capacity to video tape the runs for me to analyse, I don’t know whether for example, you are dropping your chin or sitting back on your hips; I can only get a sense of the heart rate and how you are recovering. Only at a physical session can I get to see whether you are suffering and need to back off, or if you can push harder and so on.”
First Coached Run Session last Tuesday
The first Coached Run Session took place last Tuesday at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and this had been a Strength Run, which is typically described by Coached as helping to build power and strength endurance.
Added Ben, “The Tuesday runs are strength focused and depending on the time of the year, we will be doing variations of hill runs, hill reps and stability exercises to strengthen the core and glutes, and things like that.”
At the Strength Run, we first completed a simple warm-up of about two laps of the lake and targeting our zone two heart rate.
We then did between four to five reps of the “large hill reps” at zone three heart rate. This took place around the Singapore Botanic Gardens Museum and The Halia @ Singapore Botanic Gardens areas.
For these reps, Ben had instructed runners present, to not start out too fast; instead we were to keep the heart rate controlled and slowly work up to the target zones rather than rushing too quickly into it.
Then we moved on to the “small hill reps”, also targeting zone three heart rate, around the Singapore Botanic Gardens Museum.
Ben was constantly checking on our heart rates as we were running, to ensure that we were working within our targeted zones. He would then instruct runners to speed up or slow down based on how hard they were working.
The session finally ended with an easy cool down jog at the lake.
By the end of the run, I admitted that I had been feeling pretty winded, though. I didn’t check my heart rate at the end, but Ben had casually mentioned to me that it had sounded like a zone four heart rate!
I would say that it was more fun and engaging to be running with other Coached members. Along the way we were motivating each other to keep on going and not to give up. This had been pretty encouraging – and definitely what many runners tend to like, about having in-person training sessions.
Thursday Speed Runs at the Kallang Practice Track
Besides the Tuesday run, there are also Thursday runs at the Kallang Practice Track.
Said Ben, “The Thursday runs are a speed session; we focus on drills and technical stuff early in the running season and then closer to the races we will do strength based stuff, as well as intervals and tempo running.”
May consider adding more sessions in the future
While other Coached sessions, such as the Long Run and the Speed Endurance run may not be offered in physical sessions at this stage, Ben may consider adding these in the future.
He says, “I would rather start small and if there is demand, I will look at increasing the frequency or adding more sessions. But the Speed Run and the Strength Run are the two most important sessions where I can give the most valuable feedback – because I can control more dynamics. As you saw, the course was closed and tight and so this let me see a lot of the session and to provide feedback.”
Continued Ben, “Say for the long run, we would need to run a hamster wheel or an even smaller loop or you will not have much feedback from me. I could run with members, but I can only follow a small group and not everyone; we look at how we can offer the best returns for your time as well as our time invested, and we feel that the Speed and Strength runs are the most valuable sessions.”
Open to Coached members for $89 per month
These sessions are only open to Coached Sessions members for $89 per month. Says Ben, “It is good value; you get access to the online programme as well as two sessions a week.”
Coached members will need to upgrade their existing training programme to have access to these.
But for those who are not Coached Sessions members, you may drop Ben an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in a trial session.
If you are interested to join Coached, you can get a discount with prischew.com.
Just key in the discount code pris and you will get 20 per cent off your membership fees for the first three months.
To find out more about Coached, check out their website at http://www.coached.fitness