Do I Need A Coach?!
A coach is something much more than someone to write a training plan for you. There are hundreds of plans to found on the internet. And almost every book on triathlon includes some sort of canned training plan. A coach is someone who takes the time to know what your goals are, what your schedule is, where you’re at in your fitness journey and puts a plan together specifically for you.
But more than that, a coach is a person who cares about you and your journey. They want you to succeed as much as you want to succeed. They share in your triumphs as well as your losses. For my first foray into Ironman training and racing, I went sans a coach. And it was an utter failure. I rarely did what I was supposed to in my training plan I got from my book. Sometimes I didn’t understand the jargon/lingo of the training plan. Sometimes I couldn’t complete the workout as laid out. But I was on my own. I didn’t have anyone to ask for clarification. So I after I completed the swim – without a wetsuit – and one loop of the bike – of which I had to walk my bike up a huge hill – my hotel popped up to the right of me and I got off my bike, wheeled it into my room and called it a day!
My second attempt at an Ironman went much better and largely it was due to the fact that I had an amazing coach; a coach who inspired me to become a coach myself. My goal went from just wanting to finish an Ironman in under 17 hours to wanting to finish in just over 14 hours. I went from not being able to finish to having the confidence to finish well under the time limit. After completing my Ironman I went on to qualify for Nationals and Worlds in triathlon and duathlon. All thanks to an amazing coach. And yes, I had to put in the work, no one could do it for me, but I had a coach in my corner every step of the way.
Even now as a coach I still work with someone on a weekly basis who helps me stay on track with my goals and training. Who checks in with me to make sure that I’m meeting my goals and completing the tasks laid out before me.
A coach is someone who knows when to push and when to back off. When to give it to you straight and when to let you know everything is okay. A coach knows when the BS is getting thick and when you’re doing as much as you possibly can and you can’t do one more thing. A coach knows when you’re on track to meet your goals and when you need that extra little nudge.
Even athletes at the top of their game have coaches. There isn’t one professional sports team out there that doesn’t have a coach. Many athletes have multiple coaches for different areas of the sport; technical, nutrition, psychology. Many business professionals use coaches to help them advance through the business field. All kid’s sports use coaches to teach kids the fundamentals and rules of their sport. The higher kids progress in the sport the more time is spent with their coach improving and developing their skills.
So as you continue on your fitness journey, whether it’s in triathlon, fitness in general, and or in nutrition; think about what it would mean to you to have a coach in your corner every step of the way. It’s time you broke the tape on your fitness goals!