Why You Should Hire a Coach for Your Iron Distance Race
I often see a lot of athletes who have a dream of finishing an Ironman but they often times have not thought through the process. They go out and buy a nice triathlon bike, brand new gear, shoes, etc and lots of times these are the athletes who end up losing momentum so they drop out or even DNF on race day. They have not had a clear and concise plan for their Ironman journey. When you are taking on that kind of commitment, the best way to track progress, be accountable, and stay motivated is with a concrete training plan and an experienced coach. The plan must be easy to follow, athlete-centered, and most of all written down.
I've been working as an Ironman University Coach for the past 2 years now. It is a unique certification in my opinion because everything is broken down into the different stages of iron distance training. Ironman makes certain that coaches know exactly what to do and when to do it, and they take the guesswork out of creating a safe and effective program. Their main goal is to take the athlete through a proven protocol by building their volume and intensity SAFELY. It is then up to the coach to customize the plan to the athlete's specific needs.
Ironman does a great job of breaking down the process into different stages of training. I give my athletes 2 weeks of workouts at a time (microcycles) with specific goals in mind. I gradually increase the volume and intensity as they get stronger and faster. It is truly amazing to watch. I am very careful to help my athletes prevent injury at all cost. I tell them to come to me if something is hurting or if they feel they need to address a musculoskeletal issue. I have a huge list of resources in our area- Physical Therapists, Athletic trainers, Chiropracters, Cryotherapy, etc. Good communication is key, and I make it easy for athletes to reach me if they need to discuss something.
I don't recommend winging it with an Iron distance race. I don't recommend finding a plan on google either. First, it probably has been written for someone else, and second, a general plan isn't going to match your personal needs. A training plan from google doesn't know you like a coach does. There is so much strategy building up to race week. Not following a coach led program increases your risk for injury and not finishing the race in my opinion.
When people tell me they can't afford to hire a coach, I tell them they can't afford not to. As a first time Ironman you want to prepare for your race safely. You want to have all the information you need to be successful with a customized plan to fit your schedule and needs. My goal is to bring my well trained athletes to the swim start feeling strong and confident to complete their A race. This happens by working with me for several months and developing a relationship of trust and mutual respect.
If you are thinking about hiring a coach for your upcoming Ironman or 70.3, we need to talk. Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 15 minute phone call!