Have you thought about getting a triathlon coach? Some triathletes prefer to design their own training programs and stay in a routine, while other triathletes are looking for someone they can trust, someone who can guide them, and someone who can serve as a sounding board while keeping them accountable and on course.

Information from Ironman indicates that 40% of triathletes have a coach.  Throughout my athletic and professional career, one of my top priorities has been to have a coach/mentor and network of professionals who can provide me with invaluable insights on how to improve myself as a person and as an athlete.

Is it a good investment?  Imagine having a confidant that uses an athlete-centered approach to keep you moving toward your goal or “A” race. Imagine having someone who will be there when the wheels come off in a training session or life situation.  Imagine developing a relationship with a coach who can make a positive difference relative to your training and racing, and most importantly, a coach who can empower you to build your decision-making capacity and skill-set.  Additionally, imagine how a coach can be that person who shares their knowledge, expertise, and wisdom to help you train in an efficient manner and start your race knowing you are “fit and fresh.”

When considering selecting a coach, many times it is about the right fit. Do your research before committing, and remember that what works for one athlete might not work for you.  A good coach should demonstrate the importance of incorporating consistency, endurance, balance, recovery, and adaptability into training methodologies and race preparation.

Other factors to consider when looking for a coach are as follows:  

  • Someone who has a coaching philosophy that is a good match for you
  • Someone who has a solid foundation and experience as a coach and has completed coaching programs, such as Ironman University or USA Triathlon
  • Someone who has excellent interpersonal skills that will meet your needs
  • Someone who wants to build a long-term relationship with you to ensure continued enjoyment and success in the sport
  • Someone who has a passion for triathlons and can connect with his/her athletes
  • Someone who is an excellent communicator and will stay in touch with you on a regular basis
  • Someone who has a fee structure that you will be able to afford
  • Someone who has credibility in the triathlon community, has race experience, and has references from people he/she has coached.

The sport of triathlon can be a major investment.  Finding and developing a relationship with the right coach can make a positive contribution relative to your training program and race preparation. The right coach can give you a boost of confidence and prepare you mentally to follow your race plan or deal with challenging situations that might develop during a race.  Furthermore, the right coach can be an invaluable resource when selecting gear, dealing with an injury, modifying your dietary or race nutritional needs, and demonstrating compassion and understanding when dealing with a lifestyle situation that might have a negative effect on your training and racing.

In closing, let me share a reminder from a close friend: “No matter how good you think you are, everyone can benefit from the right coach.”

Contributing Author: Jason McFaul

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