The person with the most skewed perspective on where your triathlon fitness level is at, and which direction it's headed will always be you. How many times have you questioned whether you are doing too much, or too little? How many times have you wished you had someone with real experience that you trust to tell you what you need to do to accomplish your dreams?
The person with the least objective view on how much progress you are actually making is always you. How many times have you felt like you needed to do more training, when in reality what you needed was someone to be there to tell you when to go home and sleep? How many times have you changed the course of your schedule because someone else was doing something different? A coach would have been able to give you the confidence to stay the wiser course that was going to give you the results you were after!
I was the wavering athlete the first six years of my career. I had absolutely no perspective about my training. If an article said speedwork was the key to a better Ironman, then Id load it on. If Scott Molina was racing well off of 500 miles a week cycling, then I rode 500 miles a week. But it was these early years that taught me the most important lessons I would need later as a coach.
It begins by assessing the amount of training that is realistic for you then building a training program around that to match the matrix of your life, your commitments, your goal races and your fitness. It's a tall order, but it's also something that is easy to accomplish with the guidance of someone who has been in the trenches and learned what can never be taught in a book! A great coach will push you when you need to be pushed.
A great coach will make sure that you are ready when the "all out" training day arrives. A great coach will make sure you back off in your training when backing off is essential. A great coach will have the bigger perspective of your season in mind when your training plans are created. A great coach will set you on a course that has the highest chance of giving you a great experience both day-to-day in your training, as well as when it really counts on race day.
Without a coach to guide me, I was just guessing at what to do. I only saw my progress with impatience. Without a coach it took a long time to figure out how totrain for more that just a great workout today, but for my bigger goals at the end of each season.I needed that voice to help me see the right times to have a workout be longer, when to add in a faster session. Who's the one guiding you through these hours of training in a way that will help you achieve your lifetime goals?
A good coach should have some experience racing, training and coaching. The higher the level they competed in, the more experience they've gained. Once you've found them, they become a kind of human lie detector test. First of all, whatever you're experience, you may look in the mirror at 5am and you may be seeing the situation through our all too familiar "rose colored glasses" and tell yourself you feel great and ready to roll. We can give you the mental tools to realistically energy. Is it a day to tough it out, or a day to grab the remote? Having someone in your corner who has done everything there is to do in triathlon to ask, rather than guess, is probably the one stone I left unturned in my own training. Of course back in the "old days" there were no coaches, if there were you can be sure I would have had one.