In my desire to do the best I can in the 2015 Tokyo Marathon, I have obtained the services of a running coach. I found him through Training Peaks, which has this feature called Find A Coach. You answer a questionnaire and indicate your preferred price range (for the thrifty, the lowest price range is $100-$199). Within a few days you will get an email with the names three candidates for you to choose.
I am not THAT serious to opt for a costly coach. I am no elite athlete. I just want to make sure I am training right and I need someone who can answer questions about training and running. After answering the questions (since I am tech-savvy with all of these sports gadgets, I indicated that I wanted a data-driven coach), I was paired with 3 coaches. I read through their materials and was drawn to David Hall (he has a website here), probably because he had experience coaching athletes outside the US. Moreover, while other coaches would give the training plan in two-week batches, David would map out and present to me an entire 16-week plan. I don't like seeing the plan in snippets. I prefer seeing the entire plan. If I see the entire plan, I can plan events around the training schedule. I can, for example, plan out-of-town trips when the weekend long runs are below 15 km (it's tough doing two hour runs when in unfamiliar territory). I can also sign up for races when I am scheduled for 21k runs.
So far I am having excellent communication with David through emails. He has already crafted a 16-week plan for me, incorporating the races that I had already signed up for (i.e., Pinoyfitness' 21k, Takbo.ph's 20-miler, and the Condura Skyway event). I start the plan next week and am excited!