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Athlete or Coach

Athlete or Coach

Glen Mills is the head coach and director of Racers Track Club in Kingston, Jamaica. For more than 10 years, Mills has been working in track and field and has produced 71 medals at the International Association of Athletics (IAAF) World Championships and 33 at Olympic competitions. In 2004, he met a young up-and-coming Jamaican sprinter. Mills and the young sprinter agreed they would work together to advance his running career. In 2009, the Jamaican sprinter broke the world record in the 100 meters at the Berlin World Championships with a time of 9:58 seconds. The sprinter’s name is Usain “Lightning” Bolt. He is known as the fastest man in the world. Looking back on Bolt’s historic moment, the question comes to mind: Is it the athlete or the coach that determines one’s success?

Before I had the privilege of working with Josh, I watched YouTube videos on training. Although I had prior experience running in the military, I don’t think running like a horse counts as quality training. If I want to succeed, I have to run smart, not stupid. Let me be honest, I took a chance. I didn’t do any research on my coach’s background. I jumped out of an airplane without a parachute.

At the time, I needed a pair of “watchful eyes” on my training. By hiring a coach, I spent less time with excuses of why I can’t run and switched it to someone-is-watching-me-maybe-I-should-get-off-my ass. It’s amazing how coaches can make you perform without opening their mouths. When you pay money for a service, you’re more likely to ensure you are doing the work. During the first year, we took our relationship week by week. I slowly did my research on his coaching skills and after a few months we made it official.

The demand for running coaches has risen. Runners in the United States spend thousands of dollars a year on a coach to help them fulfill their running goals. Coaching has become a multibillion dollar business. The average cost of a coach can range from $100 to $300 per month. Prior to hiring my running coach, I had no prior knowledge that anyone would train novice runners, who I call the “Something in Betweens.” I always thought that running coaches were for famous athletes or elite runners.

In the past few months, I have learned so much about myself as a runner. I initially started running to become healthy and to get my life back on track. My weight and diet were out of control. Somewhere along the line, I made the decision to see how far I could push myself and decided to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Coaches fall into the same category as the runners when faced with other life tasks; coaching is not their primary source of income. Majority of coaches have a full-time career in another field. Unless they are financially supported by a larger entity, they have no other choice but to make ends meet with a second job. 

The mission of BQ or Bust is going to take a lot of patience. It's work. Hard work. Coaches and athletes can make impossible missions happen when there is balance between the two. An open line of communication helps both parties to perform at high standards and builds athletic performance. How an athlete performs falls on both parties.

Balance and communication are key. Take a look at Bolt and Mills relationship, there was balance. Bolt didn’t have all the answers neither did Mills. They worked together and used each other’s strengths to get to the finish line. It’s clear that Mills had the knowledge that Bolt needed to make him a successful athlete. 

Clearly, I have put Josh in a position where he will be judged by my readers. Will Josh be able to get Tina there? Is she running too many miles a week? Can this complete stranger make her a Boston qualifier? These are the questions that you are asking yourself. At the end of the day, both Josh and I will be on the chopping block. So, let’s see what happens. We have nothing to lose, and after all, I love a good challenge.


Monday- Maintenance Run

Tuesday- Fartlek Day

Wednesday- Maintenance Run

Thursday- Hill Day

Friday- Rest Day

Saturday- Maintenance Run

Sunday-Church of the Long Run

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2018 Race Schedule 

Next week's Blog: Where are the African American elite female marathoners? 

Shit Happens

Shit Happens

I have an Addiction

I have an Addiction