Monday, February 13, 2012

Finding a Triathlon Coach

That last post wasn't my best, mostly because I wrote half of it on Friday while watching the second hand tick VERY slowly to an acceptable leaving time at work and the other half this morning, realizing it was half written and my coffee was kicking in.

So, quick update. I got my first training schedule from my coach last night. I am so excited to have a coach, you guys. She's amazing. I'm really glad I met with her in person before signing (this is a must do, do not sign with a coach unless you've talked in person.)

If you are looking for a triathlon coach (or a running coach, whatever), here are my quick tips for finding a triathlon coach.

1) Do your research. Check around on local tri blogs and forums. You'll see names named of people who don't live up to their hype. Anyone can make a website and get good recommendations, so don't fall prey to self-promotion. You can do what I did and reach out to local bloggers who you identify with and see who they use.

2) Determine what YOU are looking for. Don't mold yourself into a potential coach's style. There are great coaches out there who would not be a great fit for me just as mine may not be a good fit for you. Before you start contacting coaches, know what you need.
- Do you need someone to hold you accountable?
- Do you need daily/weekly checkins?
- How often do you want to see your coach in person?
- Do you want someone who has experience with nutrition and injuries as well?
- Do you want someone who is warm and fuzzy? Or do you prefer more of a drill sergeant?
- Write 2-3 sentences about what your ideal coach would provide
- Make a strict budget.

When you know what you want and need, you're a lot more likely to wind up with a coach who you won't regret a few weeks in.

3) Let potential coaches speak first. When you send them an inquiry email, ask them generic questions (How often do you communicate with your trainees? What is your theory for training someone for X race? How many people do you take on at a time?) after giving them a brief profile of yourself (just what you are training for and what your goal is). Let them give you their standard plan, instead of tailoring it to your email. It's important that a coach knows how THEY best work. A match is a lot more genuine this way.

4) Meet in person. If you feel after a few emails that this is a good fit, schedule a time to meet in person. Just like with online dating, it's easy to fall in love via email, but just as easy to fall out when you meet in person.

5) Go with your gut. Do you have a bad feeling about a coach, but they said everything you wanted to hear? Pass. Want to hug your coach after talking with them for 10 minutes (this was my experience)? Sign the paperwork.

I signed the paperwork last Friday after meeting with my coach on Thursday night. I told her yes a thousand times yes in person and emailed her my paperwork on Friday morning. I was giddy with excitement. I was even more excited when my should-have-been-14-but-was-10 mile run went badly. That's what you get for not working out for a week. I'm hiding behind the stomach flu excuse and running with it.

I got my schedule yesterday and am excited to start the week. Three rest days! Who knew!
- Tuesday: Swimming
- Wednesday: Track workout
- Thursday: Spinning
- Friday: Off
- Saturday: 10 miles, 1 hour in the pool
- Sunday: Off

I have to add teaching spin on Tuesday night and a morning run with Liz on Wednesday, but so far, this is easy!

I'll let you know how I feel after I'm crying in a corner on Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, the biggest adjustment I had to working with Coach T were the enforced rest days.