Disclaimer: I received a free 6-week training program from Ekiden to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
What is Ekiden Coaching? Ekiden is an online coaching program that is meant to help facilitate a relationship between the coach and trainee (you!) with the aim of reaching your next running goal! My goal for this training cycle was to run the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon. I set a goal time between 2 hours and 2 hours 10 minutes.
How does it work? First, you fill out a survey with your needs and preferences. This is used to match you to a Ekiden coach. The match is based on goals, experience levels, and communication needs. Once you are matched with a coach, you get an online training program that you can access via the Ekiden website. Each coach is independent and has their own training style, so your plan will vary based on the coach you are assigned. You also get daily text reminders about the next day's workout. Here's an example:
How much does it cost? The cost of Ekiden coaching varies based on your needs. Here are two coaching options they have listed on their website:
Monthly rates become lower as you pay for more months of training at a time. See the section on "coaching packages" here.
How flexible are the coaches? I found my coach to be pretty flexible. I had a few health problems come up during my training cycle that my coach was able to easily adjust for so that I could still maintain my training without hurting myself. I was pretty open-minded to whatever my coach had planned for me but I am confident that if I had strong preferences about my training, he would be willing to make adjustments as needed.
Is it worth the money? It depends. I think it's definitely at least worth a shot. Personally, being in graduate school, I cannot afford to spend this much money on a monthly basis. Also, my coach had me following the Jack Daniels training plan, which is great. However, my husband worked with Jack's wife for a time and is very familiar with the training program, so I could essentially get the same training plan from my husband for free. One thing I was really looking forward to was the communication with my coach and being able to check in about my training and any running-related questions that came up. Unfortunately, my coach wasn't always responsive. I'm super Type A and also a morning runner, so I like to plan my workouts days in advanced. On multiple occasions, 7pm on a Sunday would roll around and my training plan for the next week wouldn't be posted yet. This means my Monday morning run was completely unknown at that point, which I found to be a challenge. If coaching is something you can make room for in your budget, I would suggest at least giving it a shot. They also have a team of coaches, so if training isn't working out with one of them, I assume it wouldn't be too hard to switch. Also, you can use the code BibRave16 for 1 month of free training when you purchase 3 months!
In terms of reaching my goals, I ended up with a time of 2:13. However, I'm still really happy with this time especially given all of the health challenges that popped up in the 2 weeks before my race. I felt better during this half than I have ever felt and I'm sure that my training had something to do with it!
What questions do you have?