Advantages of having a professional coach

Ben Pulham, who is helming the ST Run's coaching series this year, has been a professional coach for the past 11 years. He has been a professional coach who has worked with thousands of athletes.
Ben Pulham, who is helming the ST Run's coaching series this year, has been a professional coach for the past 11 years. He has been a professional coach who has worked with thousands of athletes.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Many who take up running assume that the activity simply involves putting one foot in front of the other and repeating that motion ad nauseum.

They also believe that training for an event such as the Sept 29 Straits Times Run will only require one to log that requisite distance at some point in time.

Few, even if serious, runners seek the advice and help of a professional coach.

However, this is not the ideal approach, says Ben Pulham, the official coach for the ST Run.

He noted that information is easily available online and often for free.

But the availability of information is not necessarily the key to success, he said, adding: "If information were the issue, we'd all be our ideal body composition, rich, healthy and really fast runners."

And this is where the value of having a coach lies.

"A coach helps you to filter the information, so that you are not overwhelmed or taking the wrong advice," he explained.

  • TRAINING CLINIC

  • What: 5km/8km Training Run with our ST Run pacers (7.30am) + Running Drills by Coached (8.30am)

    When: Saturday, July 27

    Where: OCBC Arena Park (Singapore Sports Hub)

    Register: straitstimesrun.com

    Fees: $5 per person, all proceeds go to the ST Pocket Money Fund.

"He also holds you accountable and helps to establish the processes that allow you to build the habit of consistency.

"When things are not going to plan, a coach is there to make changes to your plan and to support and reassure you.

"A coach can help to correct poor running form too. You don't get any of that from books or the Internet."

Pulham is a former professional triathlete who has represented New Zealand at the World Championships and Olympic trials.

For the past 11 years, he has been a professional coach who has worked with thousands of athletes both in Singapore and around the world.

And, on Saturday, those who have already signed up for the ST Run can tap his experience during a training clinic that follows a 5km/8km training run with the ST Run's pacers.

In this one-hour session, he will discuss the following topics:

• Why developing strength is crucial to runners;

• How strength training helps enhance performance;

• How strength training helps to reduce injury;

• How you can develop your strength endurance;

• Strength exercises for improving functional strength.

Added Pulham: "While running is a simple sport in theory, in practice it's a little more complex. Especially if you wish to run injury-free and improve consistently."

So learn from a leading practictioner and stay safe.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2019, with the headline 'Advantages of having a professional coach'. Print Edition | Subscribe