Why have a coach?
As athletes living and breathing the sport we tend to make emotional decisions on a day to day basis normally without looking at the logic. An athlete can change their mind in minutes from saying “I’m tired I can’t do anymore training” to “actually coach, I don’t think I’m doing enough!”
A good coach will make these decisions for you and won’t not over analyse any particular day and will be able to look at your training plan as a whole. The triathlete will nearly always struggle to see the warning signs and often not make the right decisions when they are overdoing it. However, a coach knows that a performance is not decided on one day and will take control, advise you accordingly, and provide you with confidence that you are doing the right thing.
Periodisation in training
When a coach sets out a training plan you should notice many different components, and phases in training and you should be doing different types of session at different times for maximum benefit, as you obviously can’t and shouldn’t be doing everything full tilt the whole year. It’s called periodisation and most people would struggle to design a properly periodised programme let alone stick to it throughout the whole year. A good coach can keep an eye on this for you and make sure you’re always on plan.
Coaches will vary in approach
Each coach you meet will have different training philosophies and not many will agree 100 per cent on everything. However each will be able to offer insight into areas you perhaps had never thought about and normally areas you’ve been neglecting up till now, because of this a simple change will often give your body a new stimulus and that on its own can often bring on your performance. In addition, focusing on a different aspect and making a change can also provide you with a boost to your motivation.
Keeping you on track
Target setting is also an important aspect in coaching. What is it that we want to achieve and how are we going to get you there?
If you’re looking after your own programme, it’s easy to eventually get lost in all the training and the weeks all blend into one. It’s helpful to have someone overseeing the whole programme, looking over your shoulder, checking out your data and making sure it’s moving in the right direction and if it isn’t, why isn’t it?
Most athletes also like having someone to answer to and being able to send over some training data at the end of a day and a message saying, “I had a great session coach” is enough to get someone out the door to do a good job in training.