High Mileage or Low Mileage Coaching

Eleanor Fulton  (right) takes her turn pacing a workout with HPW ELITE teammate,  Ryan Gousse  (left).

Eleanor Fulton (right) takes her turn pacing a workout with HPW ELITE teammate, Ryan Gousse (left).

Typically, one of the first recruiting questions I field from an athlete is whether I classify myself as a "high mileage" or "low mileage" coach.

I've heard it thousands of times. And I've learned to be careful with my reply, as what I say may create a label which can pigeonhole me and my coaching philosophy. 

Nowadays, my reply is to immediately return with the following questions: 

What do you define as high mileage?
And low mileage? 

I've found it is best to let the athlete anchor the definition. You learn something about their perspective and perception regarding volumes of training, how much they like (or don't like) to run, and possibly any fears or concerns they have regarding each philosophy. For some, I am a high mileage guy and for others very low — again context and background matter a great deal here.

Typically, once the recruit throws out a weekly mileage number as being either high or low, I can then more accurately answer their initial question. And the resulting dialogue had is more fruitful for both recruit and coach. 

It may seem unnecessary or frivolous, but I've found the clarity brought by going the extra step is always worth it, both in conversation and in training. 


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus