>As we’ve outlined previously, relationship coaching is big business. There’s a high investment of time (your and the coaches’), emotion and capital. Hiring a coach is a big step for a triathlete. If you follow some of the tactics I’ve outlined in throughout this series, I’m confident that your coach relationship will be of the utmost quality.
All this said, there are a handful of things that you should avoid doing. If you are ineffective at any of the items listed below, you could derail your relationship with your coach.
Lack of Communication
As evidenced in my post about how to make the coaching relationship work, proper communication between you and your coach is vital. Failure to communicate with your coach would potentially cause her to suspect that everything is A-OK, when in reality, your performance could be suffering. It is vital that you regularly communicate with your coach. You should make certain that you’re feeding information back to your coach on a regular (and agreed upon) basis. Don’t just tell your coach that you “did” the workouts on your plan. Instead, provide your pacing, heart rate information, lap splits, power readings, etc The more information the better. By all means, stick to your prescribed feedback schedule if you have one. As Ben Greenfield said, “Don’t drop off the face of the map.”
Deviating from the Plan
Part of the reason you’ve hired a coach is so that you can have someone write your training plan. Chances are, the plan that you have has been customized for you based upon your race schedule, fitness, and goals. Each workout has a specific intent and desired outcome. Skipping workouts, changing them without prior feedback from your coach, or unilaterally leaving out parts of the workout is a big-time no-no. Likewise, don’t go and add significant volume or extra workouts without consulting your coach. Elizabeth Waterstraat said, “They may not choose their own adventure with coaching. They can’t just do the hard workouts and skip the easy workouts or rearrange things as they wish every week.” Why you may ask? Well, workout plans typically follow a regimen to help you peak at the right time. Changing your workouts significantly and regularly could impact your ability to peak appropriately.
Impinging Upon Intellectual Property
You may not have thought of coaching plans and information as intellectual property. They are. A coach works very hard to write you workout plan and to design workouts. While you think the plan is yours, in reality, it is not. The plan belongs to the coach. They have invested significant time (some more than others) to become prepared to be a coach. By sharing their intellectual property, you undercut their time, talent, and skills. Essentially, this is no different than depriving a recording artist of royalties by illegally downloading a song from the internet. You should not publish specific details about your workouts on your blog, social media or website. You shouldn’t share or redistribute any materials your coach gives you. This is disrespectful, and potentially illegal (especially if your coach has copyrighted any of her work).
By following these general rules, as well as some of the other topics we’ve outlined previously in this series, your coaching relationship should be beneficial to you.
Next week, we’ll wrap up the TriMadness coaching series by reviewing Self-Coaching and Off-The-Shelf coaching plans. We’ll look at potential sources of plans, the benefits and risks associated with going it solo, and the costs (in general) of taking this route.