Charles “Geezer” Collins will be coaching the Tuesday evening Anderson High group during the Austin Marathon Training program. If you’re after a coach who believes in his athletes, believes in keeping it fun and also drives a zamboni…this is your guy! Read on…
Charles “Geezer” Collins
What do you coach?
Austin Marathon in North Austin, all Levels
What is your coaching philosophy?
I have a core belief that anyone can run a marathon. That only a small percentage of the population will even attempt it speaks to the intimidation of running 26.2 miles at one time. By the time I meet an athlete; they have set a goal and made a plan (signing up for my group). I am there to assist the athlete in executing that plan.
What do you think is the most important thing about learning how to run/train?
Keeping it fun. It’s only running after all. Any athlete planning on winning their next marathon is probably not going to be signing up for Geezer’s Austin Marathon Training group. So, let’s enjoy our time together, establish some great relationships and run the best marathon we are capable of and have a great time doing it.
How long have you been coaching? Running?
I began coaching for Rogue in 2007. I ran cross country in high school then took a 22 year break. I began running again in 2004 and joined the first Rogue Fall Marathon group that year.
What other skills do you have? Interests?
I may be the only marathon coach in Texas that also drives a Zamboni. I love to bicycle and am planning a coast to coast solo bike trip when I have enough money from coaching to retire. I enjoy horseback riding, swimming and mountain biking as well.
How long have you been working with Rogue?
I was in the first Fall Marathon group of Rogue in 2004 training for my first marathon.
What would you tell a newcomer if they asked you about yourself as a coach?
I see my job as leveraging the effort that the athlete puts into his or her training. I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that you only get out what you put in. I think you should get out 2 or 3 times what you put into your marathon training and I see my job as helping you see that return on investment. Sometimes that requires me, the coach, to temper expectations while sometimes I need to encourage athletes to reach beyond what they believe is possible. I take the fact that an athlete has put their trust in me very seriously and will do everything within my power to see that their goals are met or exceeded.
Are you competitive? Do you expect your athletes to be?
I am personally very competitive and set extremely high goals for myself. I do expect every athlete to have a goal established when they join a training program. That goal may be as simple as wanting to finish their first marathon or as high as shaving 20 minutes off a previous PR and qualifying for Boston. Both are equally important to ME since it is the athletes’ goals that matter when I am coaching. The only goals that I set as a coach are 1-To see each member of my training group reach the starting line healthy and trained and 2-To insure that the training experience was physically, mentally and spiritually meaningful to every participant.
Why do you run?
I think I have always known that I would someday run a marathon. Kind of a check it off my list someday thing. Honestly, I was not expecting the profound changes to my core self that I experienced after finishing my first marathon. After 5 years of marathon running, I still find a 10 or 20 mile solitary run to be the most grounding and rewarding activity on earth for me. Setting a new PR every now and again is great too!