>There are numerous decisions that we athletes face each year as we chart the course for our triathlon success. Some questions relate to gear – should we buy a new bike, new wheels, upgrade our bike components. Some deal with races – should we leave our comfort zone and move up to race an Ironman, should we pour everything in our existence into qualifying for a national championship. As important as each of these questions are to our yearly planning, the decision to hire a triathlon coach is equally important.
Let’s face it – not all of us use a coach. This was pretty clearly laid out in the results of my recent TriMadness coaching survey. Deciding to use one is a big deal. What should we expect from a coach? How much will we have to pay? How can I be assured that my return on investment will be high? Each of these is a factor that we think about when trying to decide if we want to use a coach.
Over the course of the next six weeks, I’ll be presenting a series focused on coaching. Some of the topics that we’ll explore include how to decide if using a coach is the right thing for you, what to expect from a coach, how to make the coaching dynamic work, and some things not to do or expect from a coach. We’ll talk in general about the types of services you can gain from a coach or program. Additionally, we’ll spend a little time looking at the concept of being self-coached. Finally, we’ll conclude the series by reviewing Joe Friel’s new book, Your Best Triathlon. Hopefully, at the end of this series, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not you should use a coach, purchase a program, or choose to be self coached.
This series is generally not going to be a testimonial for a particular coach or service. I’m not going to compare (directly) what services one coach provides versus another. I’m not even going to tout the backgrounds of the folks that I talked to, because I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m endorsing anyone in particular. Hopefully, I’ll lay out options for you to think about – but ultimately if you choose to hire a coach, who you hire is totally up to you. With all of this being said, I’d be negligent if I didn’t tell you that one of my sponsors, Rev3, has a coaching program. Frankly, I haven’t used the service – but I know who is behind & involved with it – and I have utmost confidence in their skills and abilities. So…I’m going to ask that if you’re in the market for a coach that you include Rev3 Coaching as one of the programs and coaches that you consider and evaluate.
So you may be asking what makes me qualified to write a series on coaching. Well, the answer is that I’m probably not qualified to do this on my own. I am not a triathlon coach – nor do I have the ability, inclination, or desire to be one. I’m currently not coached, and one could argue that my attempts at self-coaching have been only marginally successful.
If I’m not an expert, then how did I get the information to write this series? First and foremost, I’ve done a lot of reading. I’ve perused countless posts on Slowtwitch and Beginner Triathlete. I’ve poured over the USAT site and searched myriad articles on some of the better known triathlon magazines. Over the last couple of months, I have corresponded with a handful of coaches from around the country. Keep in mind that prior to asking them questions relating to this series, I’d never interacted with them. I’ve picked their brain. I’ve laid out scenarios and asked for input.
We’ll get down to the real meat & potatoes of this series beginning next week, and continuing for following five weeks. Here’s the lineup:
Feb 16: The Prologue
Feb 22: Why Should I Use A Coach?
Feb 24: How Do I Pick the Right Coach?
Mar 1: How Do I Make the Coach-Athlete Dynamic Work?
Mar 3: What Should I Expect From a Coach?
Mar 8: Finances. How Much Does Coaching Cost?
Mar 10: What Should I NOT Do With a Coach?
Mar 15: Would I Be Better Off Being Self Coached?
Mar 17: What Are My Self-Coaching Options?
Mar 22: Book Review: Your Best Triathlon, Joe Friel
Please check back frequently. I’m interested in your perspectives and feedback as you read the series. Additionally, if you have questions or something you’d like me to expand on, please either leave a comment with your thought or send me a message via my contact me page.
Thanks, and happy reading!