How to maximise the value a coach can bring to your season
When completing my lessons learned or kick off sessions with retained/outgoing/incoming squad members respectively – I try to highlight what tends to be the difference between a breakthrough season versus an average one for an athlete.
For me it is a simple equation – it is the 3 Cs.
C number 1 stands for communication between the Coach and Athlete. This starts from the outset when kicking things off – openly reviewing and agreeing on the strengths, weaknesses and the goals of the athlete in the upcoming season. This clear communication has to continue throughout the season journey with high quality information captured via through Training Peaks or an agreed communication channel – this allows the Coach to course correct as throughout the athletes journey with them
- Be bold in the goal settings but also open to open dialogue on what is achievable and timeframes
- Be disciplined in terms of uploading data to TP
- Do leave comments that will help your Coach zero in on a problem and fix/adjust e.g. Legs heavy after S&C for this tempo run – maybe too close to get best out of me?
C number 2 stands for cadence. I know this term is more often associated with cycling and running but in this context it is all about finding and maintaining the right training rhythm. This starts with the mapping out of a typical skeleton week that will work for the athlete and observing/adjusting to ensure it is working. There is nothing more frustrating for an athlete/coach when the plan/program is built on unreasonable assumptions resulting in lots of reds and/or unnecessary chopping changing.
You can see where the communication and cadence link in already!
- Be realistic about the time you have to train at the start
- Expect a certain amount of teething problems/tweaking in the first few blocks until you and your coach find the optimal routine
- Add in ad hoc training constraints onto TP as soon as you know them so Coach can adjust block accordingly (I get my squad to use the Other icon noting what constraint is and whether they can swim/bike/run or not)
C number 3 stands for consistency. Once you and your Coach have found that sweet spot training cadence – the athletes who achieve or surpass their goals are the ones who religiously follow the plan, tick the boxes and follow each session directions to the letter. This combined with good communication of how they are finding the sessions/planned progression allows the coach push/pull back and modify the plan to get the most out of the athletes ability.
Worth noting that consistency is not only for training completion but also applies to goal focus – an athlete that is zoned in the goal that was agreed at the start of the season e.g. a 70.3 PB is much more likely to achieve this than one who suddenly adds in aquathons as he wants to “beat Johnny as he is doing really well at this distance and I think I am better than him”
- Agree with your coach what are key sessions during any week so if work/life gets in the way – you can prioritise these sessions – consistency does not always a 100% completion rate but sometimes it is nailing the key sessions
- Write down your goals somewhere prominent and always use these to re-focus you
As you can see all of the Cs are clearly intertwined and someway sequential in nature.
So if you want to maximise what you and your coach can achieve this season – it is as simple as 1,2,3
Steven Moody has starred in the corporate rat race but found his greatest source of satisfaction came from his 15 years of endurance racing including numerous IRONMAN finishes and world championship qualifications
Realising this fact, Steven abandoned his cubicle and moved into full time coaching. Steven is now Ironman University, Triathlon Ireland and Training Peaks level 2 certified and in 2017, was awarded Triathlon Ireland Coach of the year.
Browse his pre-built training plans for Strength, 70.3 and IRONMAN or if you have queries on personal coaching/training plans you can contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org