Quick tips to help you get the best from your online triathlon coach...
A coach/athlete relationship is like any other relationship - it requires effort from both parties in order to flourish and succeed. In this blog we’ll give you 9 tips to help you get the most from your online triathlon coach.
1. Upload Your Training Data.
Keep your coach in the loop by uploading your training data, so that they always have solid information to base their coaching decisions on. Online training calendars such as Training Peaks and Garmin Connect allow you to sync data wirelessly from your GPS watches and cycle computers. So you've got no excuse, unless you’re using old or faulty equipment.
2. Include Your Coach.
Your triathlon coach should contact you regularly to check your progress. Either way, you can initiate contact too - even if it’s a short email or text. Doing this helps keep you at the forefront of your coach’s mind. Include your coach in all your decisions, so that they’re part of your journey.
3. Be Succinct.
A good coach will always welcome your emails, but it helps if you’re precise and succinct. Over-long emails can dilute your key messages. Give precise information - for example if you’re mulling over a potential race, give your coach the proper race-name and race-date, so there is no confusion.
4. Keep Your Coach Informed.
If you’re planning a holiday to Bermuda or you’re working in Latvia for a week, let your coach know at least 4-weeks in advance. This enables them to plan your training around these events, so that you don’t miss out on key training.
5. Chat Via Video.
Meeting in person or chatting via video-phone is particularly valuable. When you can see each other’s faces you form more of a relationship than by email or phone. As coaches, we can see if you’re happy or sad, thin or fat, tired or energised, pale or tanned - and more.
6. Trust Your Coach.
For triathlon coaching to work well, you need to follow your training plan and have faith in your coach. If you deviate from the training schedule occasionally, leave your coach a note to explain why and say “I hope that’s ok”. There’s nothing more demoralising for a coach than an athlete who ignores large chunks of the training schedule and does their own thing.
7. Record Yourself.
Online triathlon coaching works well if you send your coach videos of you swimming, cycling, running and even practising transitions. Smart phones make this a realistic proposition, and you can even get underwater cases for as little as £20 or $30. Your coach will be happy to offer expert feedback and may even focus your training around their findings.
8. Plan in Advance.
If you’re determined to succeed you need to plan in advance so that you can get your training done. Nobody completes 100% of their triathlon schedule, but a 90-95% completion rate is a good aim. For example, if you’re having friends to stay for a weekend, think ahead and come up with a way that you can still do your training. Most coaches have heard every excuse in the book, but the most organised and successful athletes don't tend to make them.
9. Don't Train If You're Ill or Injured.
Text your coach if you pick up an injury or illness. Stop training, until they tell you what to do. This approach normally enables you to bounce back quicker.
Copyright © 2016 Philip Mosley
By Phil Mosley.
Triathlon Plus Coaching Editor & Ironman Certified Coach.
Founder of My Pro Coach.
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Phil Mosley is a triathlon coach and writer.