Is a personal trainer only good for elite athletes?

Are personal trainers only good for elite athletes? Or can they benefit those who enjoy doing 10km or 20km runs as well? And what about someone who wants to run, rather than walk, the 5km fun run or Parkrun? Maybe you are asking, “Why should I pay somebody to tell me how to run when I can do it for free?” Or maybe you are on the fence about it, unsure what you’ll get out of the experience, and whether it’s worth the money.

Here are 5 instances when hiring a personal trainer can be a good choice to get the most out of the sport:

1. You are new to running
If you are a beginner and don’t know where to start, a personal trainer will tailor a workout specific to your needs, goals, fitness level and physical condition. You will be taught proper form and techniques to maximise your strength, flexibility and fitness.


2. You need motivation and accountability
If you are like me, you will run until you feel uncomfortable and then stop altogether. Motivation is often difficult to maintain when you run on your own and it is all too easy to skip training or fall off the wagon completely. There is nothing like regular sessions with a personal trainer to create accountability.

3. You are training for an event
A personal trainer can show you new training techniques specific to an event you’re aiming for (such as, a marathon). Training skills, when incorporated into your program, can improve not only your strength and endurance, but your agility and mental focus as well. A trainer can also help you create a schedule that allows you to get the most out of your body while allowing it to heal and recover. When my knee began to act up, my trainer had me cut back on running intervals and ride an exercise bike on some days.

4. You want to break through training plateaus
If you are in pretty decent shape but stuck in the same routine, a trainer can advise ways to change or tweak your workouts to make them more efficient and effective. A good trainer will make adjustments as your fitness level improves to ensure continued progress. This will push your fitness level forward much more quickly than working out on your own.

5. You want to avoid injury
A personal trainer will provide feedback about your limits and strengths. I tend to ignore the signals my body provides and either push through pain or give up too soon. A trainer will know how to push you beyond your comfort zone, and when to stop before pain and injury sets in.

So there you have it! Whatever your fitness level or running goals, there are sound reasons and huge benefits to using a personal trainer. This may be just what you need to raise the bar, get that medal, or run that marathon and, with discipline and determination, even get that gold and be elite!

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