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What I Have Learned from Working with a Triathlon Coach

The very first triathlon I did was in 2007. It happened by chance really. I had been trying to overcome some running injuries in my feet and in my hamstring so I decided to buy a road bike. I started riding around the Marine Corps base on Parris Island, SC on Sunday afternoons after church. I didn't know much about cycling at all but since I couldn't run I had to do something that got me outside and working hard.

While out on one of these rides one day, I happened to meet a Category II rider and his wife who happened to be my kids pediatrician! We made it a regular Sunday thing to ride together. When they suggested I do the upcoming base triathlon my initial response was that there is no way I can start swimming again. That quickly went out the window and on Monday morning at the YMCA I was at the pool re-learning how to swim like back in Middle school.

They gave me a training plan and Kevin was my coach for the race. We started 12 weeks out from race day and I put my workout calendar on the refrigerator and followed Kevin's plan to a T. Sometimes it was hard to get everything in because my husband was running a training Battalion on the base and my kids were little then. I would hire babysitters to come over whenever I could to get my workouts in. I slowly became a more efficient swimmer, and I watched every video I could get my hands on to learn how to improve my stroke. Kevin had me doing time trial efforts on the bike followed by an all out run to prepare me for the real thing on race day.

I ended up winning the Novice category of the Parris Island Triathlon that year by a landslide and then I became hooked. I don't think I would have had that level of success without the help of a triathlon coach who knew exactly what he was doing. So I want to share with you why you need to work with a coach on your next race. It is game changing for sure!

1. Chances are your coach has probably done a lot of racing himself and knows what to expect on race day. He knows how much volume you need for your race distance and is skilled at creating workouts to meet that. When choosing a coach, find someone who has experience and knows the ins and outs of the sport of triathlon.

2. Your coach is going to analyze your results of each and every workout. He is going to check your heart rate zones and power output on the bike, etc. He will know when you are working too hard or not hard enough for that stage in your training.

3. Your coach is going to hold you accountable for staying on track with your training program. He is going to post to Training Peaks or Addaero week by week for you based on your available time, fitness level, and race distance. You must check off when the workouts are done and talk about how you were feeling. When someone is coaching you then you must show up every day and do the work!

4. Your coach is going to tell you like it is. I thought I had a lot going on and I was super tired by Friday so I skipped my Saturday ride one time. My coach pretty much told me that I had not even begun to train yet and that I better get my act together! This was definitely a wake up call for me! No whining!

5. Your coach wants you to succeed in a big way! It is in his best interest to train his athletes safely and properly with good results! Your coach will stick behind you and be your number one advocate.

Thinking about hiring a coach for your next race?? Then click HERE and I can help you take your race to the next level!!

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