A common question among triathletes is about upgrades.
Maybe a new frame? Wheelset? Disc Wheel? Or bike components?
As Renato Canova put it so well, “The training plan should follow the athlete, not the other way around.”
Runners do not require a lot of gear, but triathletes can easily spend more on a wheel-set than runners spend on shoes in 3 years.
People are always looking for quick fixes and magic bullets. But as we know, at the end of the day the engine is what moves the $5000 bike frame forward.
One of the best upgrades a triathlete (or any type of athlete) can make is to upgrade their unpersonalized training plan to a coach.
There are a number of benefits to acquiring a coach that make the $50 to $200 dollar monthly investment worth it:
An outside view of your training
Many athletes have a training log, but fail to further use it. Part of a coach’s job is to review your log and plan future training. This is the main failure of full 3-4 month plans off of a website or out of a book. The training should follow the athlete, not the other way around.
Someone to hold you back from doing something stupid
Coaches have no problem giving you a recovery week if you’re feeling tired or might have a little hamstring twinge. They listen to your feedback and give you recommendations based on that.
Someone to push you during those tough workouts
You have someone writing and following your training who is paying very close attention to your workouts. You’ll want to impress them. You are going to do your best during those hard workouts if you know you are going to have a coach look at your splits later on.
Knowledge & Experience
Ideally your coach would be a more knowledgeable and experienced than yourself. Use their training plan and wisdom as a learning tool for yourself. Pay attention to it and know why something is scheduled.
Renato Canova suggests that to improve, it’s best not to look at what an athlete has done, but what an athlete has not done. Coaches can do this and implement unfamiliar training practices and workouts into the regimen of the athlete, ones they may not be familiar with. This new stimulus will lead to more enjoyment and variation.
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