Hire a Coach or Internet Poach?

Hire a Coach or Internet Poach?

This post originally appeared in the April, 2016 Toronto Triathlon Festival Newsletter.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of inexpensive ways to follow a triathlon training plan.  While working with a coach may not be an option for some, for others it’s the only way to go.  I could ramble on for days about all the benefits (I still hire one myself), but fortunately for the editor of this newsletter I’m limited on space!

  Below are a few key thoughts on being a coached athlete vs. the go-at-it-alone approach.

I’M JUST A BEGINNER.  A lot of newbies think, “I’m not good enough to warrant working with a coach.”  I would counter with: “How do you propose to get better?”  Early fixes in form, technique and routine will ensure you’re not perpetuating the same mistakes years from now.

ACCOUNTABILITY.  A true test of willpower is what you do when you are alone.  With a coach there’s always that little voice over your shoulder waiting to hear how your workouts went or, better yet, watching you in the flesh!

MOTIVATION.  There are “ups” and there are “downs” and that’s completely normal.  Coaches can take an emotional step back and help you navigate through barriers and pump you back up when it’s needed most.

COMMUNICATION.  A healthy coach / athlete relationship is just that—an open exchange that works both ways.  If you are honest and trust what your coach is doing, they can accurately navigate you through unexpected twists and turns.

PRESCRIPTION.  Are you training at the appropriate intensity for your goal race?  Time of year?  Your body?  To me this is the most important aspect—coaches assign the right workout for the right person at the right time.  Following the wrong plan may set you up for injury or overtraining. 

CONFIDENCE.  Now you can just “get out there”, do the workouts and focus on yourself.  Walk with pride knowing that somebody’s got your back!

-Coach Jas

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