There is rarely a thing triathletes can’t do. From early-bird sessions to racing in brutal conditions, triathletes are tough. In addition, they have to deal with many variables in life. Family, friends, job, swim training, bike training, run training, nutrition, strength training, and sleep. This is a lot and hats off to everyone who doesn’t get thrown trying to fit it all in. Having a good coach will help you to effectively organize your training and to integrate it into your daily life.
Okay you might argue that this is easy, but hear me out on this: Have you ever over-(or under-)estimated what you are able to achieve in a day? A week? A coach will be able to keep a neutral, big-picture look at things without getting caught up in heat of the moment.
Example: “Let me just squeeze in another super-hard interval…” and 2 days later “I really don’t know why my foot (back, knee, etc) hurts”. Sound familiar? That’s where a good coach will help you to stay on track, always looking at your long term goals and adaptation.
Another example: You might have a lazy day and really feel like the couch is your best friend. There is nothing like a message from your coach that keeps you accountable to get off the couch!
What to look for in a triathlon coach?
But to really unlock your potential you need to find a coach that cares and that you connect with. You should feel like you can tell your triathlon coach everything. Trust and communication is the name of the game and the key to success. Do some research to find out if your potential triathlon coach has the qualifications needed to help you reach your goals. Triathlon Federation certified coaches are always good start, but you also want to check for testimonials. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few individuals, have a conversation with them to see if they are a good fit. Remember, the coach-athlete relationship heavily relies on open communication, so make sure you find someone you feel comfortable with from the start.
Once you’ve hired your coach, make sure to communicate as regularly as possible with your them. A lot of coaches only offer once-a-month communication. That should be a big red flag. Weekly phone calls (at least) are essential to really get a grasp on what’s going in your life and to be able to make the necessary improvements. To unlock your full potential you need a triathlon coach. Triathlon is just too much to handle all by yourself. And even if you have all the time in the world to organize everything, it’s essential to have someone in your corner that understands your training and will fight for you.
Something for you to try...
Here’s a bit of homework that will help you to find the right coach for you.
Write down your current availability for training (days & hours) and then your goals for the next months. Next, write down what you expect from a coach, so you have list ready once you talk to a possible coach. Don’t hesitate and contact a coach that you are interested in working with.
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