I think one of the most important items you should have in “tool set” for endurance training/racing is a coach. I am not an expert in how to train to achieve my goals, so I have been working with a coach for the last three years to help me. It has taken so much pressure off of me to figure out how to structure my training to successfully train for all my races. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to using a coach.
- You get what you pay for. I highly doubt you will get a fully customized weekly training plan from a coach if you expect to pay $100 or less a month. That would mean they are only getting $25 /week to craft your plan. That doesn’t even take into consideration if you need time for consultation or changes to your plan.
- Listen to your coach. If you are not willing to do this, don’t hire one.
- Plan ahead. Expecting results in a short time is unrealistic. I truly think you should be willing to work with a coach for 3-6 months before a half marathon or half Ironman and even longer for longer races. That give your body a chance to adapt to the training style. It takes time!
- Get referrals. There are lots of coaches out there, some are better than others. Make sure you ask for references.
- Get ready to get uncomfortable. If all your training feels easy then you aren’t going to have any growth. Train hard and race easy.
There are a lot of coaches out there. Do your research. If they sound too good to be true, they probably are. I do highly recommend my coach Jen. I have had three very successful years with her including a Boston Qualifying marathon and a sub 11 Ironman. If you have goals for 2017, now is the time to start planning; not 8-12 weeks before your A race.