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Sometimes, it can be hard to find the motivation to run. You know you should work out but you feel too tired…or hungry…or lazy… That’s why it can be really great to have a trainer, someone who will encourage you to get your butt in gear. But trainers can be expensive, which is why I turn to my kid when I need that extra push. Here’s why my little guy is the best trainer money can’t buy:
1. He’s big on endurance.
A key part of successful running is having enough endurance. My coach likes to develop this quality by refusing to nap all day and then passing out in the stroller. His technique is two-fold: He pushes me to the brink of exhaustion from entertaining him and then forces me to jog for at least 45 minutes to ensure he gets a long enough nap. Genius.
2. He believes in doing speed work.
This is my least favorite part of running but luckily my coach knows just how to push my buttons. He starts by choosing a day we have several places to be, then oversleeps, refuses to eat breakfast until I’ve offered him a dozen options, and then plans a diaper blowout just as we’re about to leave. Never have I moved so quickly trying to get out the door. With training like that I’m practically guaranteed to secure a new personal best in my next race.
3. He makes sure I strength train.
A good coach will put you through your paces on the track, but a great coach makes sure you strength train, since regular sessions are part of a good running foundation. For tight glutes, he encourages deep squats by insisting he be picked up and then immediately put back down at least 25 times a day. To tone my quads and calves we go up and down the stairs all day for diaper changes. And for an all-over strength session, a stroller run through our hilly neighborhood leaves me more sore than any circuit at the gym ever could.
4. He keeps me on my toes.
While some trainers might put you through tire runs at the gym or suggest signing up for an obstacle run, mine puts me through an agility course every time we go out for a run in the jogging stroller. He periodically throws sippy cups, toys, and stuffed animals out in front of me so that I can practice jumping over them or bending down to pick them up. I’ll be ready for that tough mudder in no time.
5. He’s all about the recovery day.
Any coach worth his salt will encourage you to take regular days off from your workouts to recharge your batteries. My guy positively insists on rest, even when I feel like I could manage a couple miles. Some of his preferred methods include taking a two-hour nap in my lap or throwing a major tantrum for anyone who might watch him while I work out. His approach may be controversial but it is incredibly effective.