Should I Hire a Triathon Coach?
Thanks to the internet we have an infinite amount of knowledge at the touch of our fingertips. All of our heart’s desires are just a google search away. It is quite easy to find an online training plan for every triathlon distance. Worse, it is easy to follow other athletes on their social media and incorporate their workouts into our own routine. As tempting as it is, it is so much better to find yourself a qualified coach. Why?
A qualified triathlon coach knows how to properly prepare an athlete for race day. They have taken the proper education to know what workouts are best for different phases of the season. They know how to balance training for all three sports without overloading your system. They understand the difference between aerobic and anaerobic training and which is best depending on your specific goals.
A coach will make a training plan that is individually tailored to your specific needs. They will take into account your daily lifestyle, your background, and your goals. They can work with you to come up with a plan that works around your schedule and fitness level. They can see how you are responding physically and mentally to the workouts and make adaptations. Let them do all the math and calculations to figure out what paces you need to hit.
Many triathletes fall into the trap of thinking more is better. It is very easy to overtrain when trying to improve in three very different sports. It is even easier to catch Instagram syndrome - seeing what other athletes are doing and feeling the need to do that as well, regardless of the fitness differences. A coach knows how to prevent overtraining. More is not better. Cramming in as many hours of training as possible during the day will only lead to mental and physical burn out. Let your coach dictate what the appropriate amount of training for YOU is.
A coach should be your biggest motivator. Every athlete will go through a plateau period. Every athlete will have horrible races. Every athlete will have days they don’t want to train. Find a coach you can talk to - actually talk to with no filter. Let them motivate you with a pep talk, give you an ego boost when needed.
As an athlete you need to do your research to find the perfect coach for you. Don’t fall into the trap of following a “coach” who is under qualified but has a shiny social media account with tons of followers. Find someone who is properly educated and genuinely cares about you as an individual - not just an athlete, but as a whole, well rounded individual. Read reviews from their current athlete’s and check out their successes. Find a coach you doesn’t just e-mail you a generic plan but actually has conversations with you. Triathlon may be an individual sport but it requires a team to bring out your best performance.