If you’ve signed up for a triathlon, you probably have a training plan. If not, there are many online resources for a 12- or 16-week plan. But if you need a bit more instruction on the swim, bike, or run, you may want to consider getting a coach.
A coach can help provide the structure for mastering the three disciplines and even a little accountability to keep you motivated. But, because it’s an investment, here are a few tips to consider:
1. What Do You Want to Achieve? Whether it’s focusing on a single discipline or achieving a new PR, knowing what you want to get out of the coaching relationship is important. Create a list of outcomes that you feel a coach can help you with. This will narrow your focus on what type of coach is best for you.
2. Do You Want Personalization or Do You Do Better With a Group? Do you just want to just feel comfortable in open water or know how to change a flat tire? For you, a group triathlon clinic may be just enough. However, if you’ve done a few Sprints and want to move up to a longer event, a triathlon coach can help you enhance your strengths and build on your weaknesses with a personalized plan. Also, a coach can help you organize your training so that it’s making the best use of your available time for triathlon training.
3. What’s Your Budget? Figure out how much you want to spend monthly for coaching. If it’s only one discipline you need help with, a weekly instructional class may be best. Fees for a personalized coach will vary, based on their experience and training. Knowing what you are willing to invest is helpful for your search. The USAT website can help you find a certified coach near you.
4. Be Ready to Invest in the Relationship. It’s one thing to have a plan sent to your email box each week, but it’s no good if you can’t work it. Finding the right balance between training and your personal life is the key.
A few words of wisdom from my coach, “As a coach, I work to help my athletes find a balance between achieving their race goals while being able to continue meeting the demands of their everyday life.” Finding the right balance, just may be worth the investment!