“You have to be willing to allow someone else to peel back the layers” -Bree Lambert
Achieving personal milestones of accomplishment and ascending to the next level is a thrill, and we have all felt it. Someone who understands this feeling as much as anyone I have ever spoke with is Bree Lambert, during our conversation she offers me her professional insight into the world of fitness, her passion for running, and the importance of quality coaching.
Bree is the definition of a jack of all trades. Bree is a personal trainer, running coach, nutritionist, and ultra runner on top of being a wife, mother and competitive athlete. With a collection of impressive wins under her belt that she achieved throughout the years, the prestigious title of 2016 USA Track and Field Female Masters Mountain Ultrarunner of the Year (Pacific Division), and earning the USATF Female Masters National 50km Trail Championship in the same year, it is safe to say Bree is a force to be reckoned with.
What made you decide to pursue coaching?
Bree: I have this desire to help people who are on a journey to achieve higher fitness goals, and better overall health. Because of my understanding of nutrition and wellness in general I just really want to be able to share that with other people.
What areas of coaching do you cover and what exactly do certain ones do?
Bree: There are a few areas in specific that I like to cover. One of which is run specific coaching and the other is fitness or even lifestyle. For Instance, I have people who are business professionals in this valley (northern California) who are so stressed and they are on and off planes and just can have a hard time finding that life balance. I become not just somebody who can give them physical exercise but also help them gain a better perspective on how to live their lives out daily in a more balanced way. Giving them insight on not just nutrition but also the fact that their wellness truly depends on how they live each and every day. When you take on stress and continue to add more of that to your plate daily without taking care of your body it really can hinder you from living a fulfilling life.
Is there a specific place to start with coaching?
Bree: You know, it really is interesting because a lot of people have a different view on where to start, and it typically is always a little different than my view. I don’t think people in general are willing to peel back the layers to the degree that I have them look at. I love when people are ambitious and come to me with goals but I also like to be realistic to get them started on the road to a successful journey. I like to start a little smaller and progress through the stages, I think often times we tend to think we know what is best but a benefit of having a coach is to be able to take a step back and look at your history and all of these other areas that you might not be willing to look into at first, and then use a more realistic perspective of what your ultimate goal is.
What are some other benefits to having a coach?
Bree: To answer this question it helps to understand that different people have different views on coaching. And it is something that can be oversimplified by people who don’t necessarily understand the process behind it. In many aspects of life the most successful people have mentors, and when you can find a coach with experience and expertise in the field that you want to progress in, that’s invaluable. I think for a runner no matter what level you are at, you ultimately need somebody who truly understands how you can get the most out of your body. And more than that knows how to change your body, you may know what is best for your body but you may not know how to improve it, I really believe as a coach that truly is my job. If what you are doing isn’t working you need to be willing to change it and when you do that, you are going to see improvement.
Does coaching an advance level runner vs an entry level runner change the way you do your job?
Bree: It absolutely does, when you are training an entry level person the fitness bump that happens is going to be much more apparent, even medium to intermediate levels you’re going to see a fitness bump that is very noticeable. For an advance level runner, seeing that fitness bump takes more work, it takes greater understanding, more tweaking to really deliver the result. People who are at an advanced level in anything involving fitness are performing at a much higher caliber and it takes longer to get those gains. But it still is a matter of discipline, and dedication and consistency and I think when you are dealing with advanced level clients the coaching relationship becomes more critical.
What keeps you motivated to coach others on their fitness or running journey?
Bree: Me and my husband like to stay in sometimes and watch videos from the old days, the coaches from the 60’s and 70’s. I like to see how these amazing runners were being coached in the early days so to speak and compare that to what has changed and how much is the same. During one of these videos we saw a place in Iten, Kenya called the home of champions where world class runners go to be coached the Kenyan way, in its raw and purest form. I absolutely love watching these runners who everyday are absorbing their training and eating properly and everything just comes together and their commitment to the sport is so obvious. I want to be able to keep that type of passion and commitment alive with my clients over here where there can be so many distractions and other things that can get in the way. You know, these people over there are Olympians and the best of the best in the world that are still being coached at the pinnacle of their career.
If there was one thing you wanted people without a coach to know about coaching what would that be?
Bree: I think that you have to be willing to allow somebody else to peel back the layers of what you think is best and expose the areas that you may be the weakest in. If you can trust that process, you can see the desired results. A coach is here to help you make the proper changes and turn you into the best athlete you can be.
Bree Lambert sounded so passionate and excited when discussing her career as a coach. In a previous blog I listed some beginner tips for entry level runners and after this conversation I would add coaching to that list indefinitely. The benefits of having a coach from the most entry level to the highest caliber of fitness are uncountable. Have you had a coach? What has made your experience with coaches enjoyable? Comment and we can discuss.