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Coach or not coached?

 
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 630
Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:43 pm    Post subject: Coach or not coached? Reply with quote

I have been coached for the past 9 months, and made some significant improvements in my performance. I am sure that I would not have made the gains I did if I had not been coached, so it may seem odd that I am now questioning whether to continue with a proper coach, and am seriously considering going back to self coaching.

Has anyone else had a positive experience of coaching, and then gone back to self coaching successfully?
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PCP




Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 1938
Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been coached and not made anywhere near the most of it, albiet I did improve my bike & run. This was a cross between my fault for not ticking off the sessions and working as hard as I could, but also the coaches for not setting a plan to fit around my circumstances and overloading me to the point of demotivation.

I now have some experience of structuring sessions to keep them interesting but also a very good idea of how much is too much, what I can manage and what variety I need to keep me motivated.

I used to think I needed to be accountable to someone but I no longer do. I'm quite enjoying 'doing a Sanders' and learning something every day about the process and what I should be doing. I feel like I own the process a bit more.
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snowie




Joined: 06 Nov 2007
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Location: derby

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for me.
if I have a physical coach it works but this online nonsense is just that for me.
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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Location: alles was ich bin, alles was ich war

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PCP wrote:
... the coaches for not setting a plan to fit around my circumstances and overloading me to the point of demotivation.


This has always been my concern about coaches; at least the more affordable ones. I pretty much see myself as 'uncoachable' and would benefit way more from an 'advisor' to provide the benefit of an independent view, the voice of reason. Even then I think they'd be telling me what I already know, but I would listen to that person telling me it's okay to miss that session, or that I probably need to do another CP20!
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PCP




Joined: 13 Oct 2012
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Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
PCP wrote:
... the coaches for not setting a plan to fit around my circumstances and overloading me to the point of demotivation.


This has always been my concern about coaches; at least the more affordable ones. I pretty much see myself as 'uncoachable' and would benefit way more from an 'advisor' to provide the benefit of an independent view, the voice of reason. Even then I think they'd be telling me what I already know, but I would listen to that person telling me it's okay to miss that session, or that I probably need to do another CP20!


He is a sub 9 IM and coaches multiple Kona qualifiers but I am not in that league and I don't really want to be because I see the time and effort these guys & girls are putting in and I don't want to train that much!

No doubt he is very good but there wasn't much personal adaptation to someone with my time, lifestyle and goals.

I'm educating myself, I just got 'Triathlon 2.0 - by Jim Vance' to learn more about building plans based around TSS and and different levels of athlete/goals.
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PCP wrote:
He is a sub 9 IM and coaches multiple Kona qualifiers but I am not in that league and I don't really want to be because I see the time and effort these guys & girls are putting in and I don't want to train that much!

No doubt he is very good but there wasn't much personal adaptation to someone with my time, lifestyle and goals.


I can understand that. No success without sacrifice; just ask the families of Executives and professional sports people, for example. I've read a few interviews with KQers on ST, and their idea of quality family time is interesting! Kind of like "I get home from my busy job at 7, check the wife is getting the kids ready for bed, say hi to the kids, then go and train for 2 hours. Then I get up again at 5am and disappear off to the pool. At weekends, I like to get some big sessions in.". You can substitute triathlon for many different hobbies; in fact even without hobbies, there are still plenty of guys who have trouble pulling their weight in my experience.

I love being back bike commuting again, as along with lunchtime training, it means I need to do very little outside of this to maintain a respectable standard.
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Buzz_




Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 400

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PCP wrote:
Jorgan wrote:
PCP wrote:
... the coaches for not setting a plan to fit around my circumstances and overloading me to the point of demotivation.


This has always been my concern about coaches; at least the more affordable ones. I pretty much see myself as 'uncoachable' and would benefit way more from an 'advisor' to provide the benefit of an independent view, the voice of reason. Even then I think they'd be telling me what I already know, but I would listen to that person telling me it's okay to miss that session, or that I probably need to do another CP20!


He is a sub 9 IM and coaches multiple Kona qualifiers but I am not in that league and I don't really want to be because I see the time and effort these guys & girls are putting in and I don't want to train that much!

No doubt he is very good but there wasn't much personal adaptation to someone with my time, lifestyle and goals.

I'm educating myself, I just got 'Triathlon 2.0 - by Jim Vance' to learn more about building plans based around TSS and and different levels of athlete/goals.

He sounds like a lousy coach. If there is no personal adaptation then what are you paying for? It is not for the coach to say "this is how you must train if you want to be coached by me". Fair enough if he says this is what it will take to achieve x goal, but if you must be able to set your own parameters / expectations at the outset.

I enjoy the planning side almost as much as the training side, so I'm not sure I would want to hand over control to someone else, even if I suspect I could improve. I have a coaching qualification (in high jump) but drifted away from coaching others so planning my own training is the only 'coaching' I do these days.

I am wondering if paying for a 1 off session at the Boardman Centre or at Matt Bottrill might be interesting and throw a few new ideas into my training. But I'm also concerned it would just be a method of generating a long/expensive shopping list for new kit!
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Buzz_




Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 400

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
PCP wrote:
He is a sub 9 IM and coaches multiple Kona qualifiers but I am not in that league and I don't really want to be because I see the time and effort these guys & girls are putting in and I don't want to train that much!

No doubt he is very good but there wasn't much personal adaptation to someone with my time, lifestyle and goals.


I can understand that. No success without sacrifice; just ask the families of Executives and professional sports people, for example. I've read a few interviews with KQers on ST, and their idea of quality family time is interesting! Kind of like "I get home from my busy job at 7, check the wife is getting the kids ready for bed, say hi to the kids, then go and train for 2 hours. Then I get up again at 5am and disappear off to the pool. At weekends, I like to get some big sessions in.". You can substitute triathlon for many different hobbies; in fact even without hobbies, there are still plenty of guys who have trouble pulling their weight in my experience.

I love being back bike commuting again, as along with lunchtime training, it means I need to do very little outside of this to maintain a respectable standard.

It's the main reason I don't care to 'go long'. I have an hour bike commute each way a couple of times a week and can get a 40min run in at lunchtime (when meetings allow). A couple of morning swims and I can compete at a reasonable standard over Olympic distance without any weekend training. When I do go out at the weekend, I can finish a 1.5hr run or 2.5hr bike before the rest of the family have finished breakfast.
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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
Posts: 1858

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
PCP wrote:
... the coaches for not setting a plan to fit around my circumstances and overloading me to the point of demotivation.


This has always been my concern about coaches; at least the more affordable ones. I pretty much see myself as 'uncoachable' and would benefit way more from an 'advisor' to provide the benefit of an independent view, the voice of reason. Even then I think they'd be telling me what I already know, but I would listen to that person telling me it's okay to miss that session, or that I probably need to do another CP20!

These were my biggest factors in choosing someone. In the end, I went with the coach used by quite a lot of our club members who has demonstrated quite a bit of "adaptability". Dan is really good at factoring in what I say I'm doing in my life, and building things around it. I get reasonable contact with weekly more detailed emails, and semi-regular more in-depth chats and/or face-to-face get togethers. But he's fairly hands off in terms of session to session. For big training sessions, I'll maybe get a well done text or something similar, but that's about it.

If something crops up and I need to switch days around, I just do it myself. And I think I mentioned in one of my other blog posts that he's really open to incorporating my suggestions and ideas. It feels collaborative.

Other people I know who are coached by others get emails pretty much the second they've finished a session and uploaded it, breaking down execution and positives and negatives. Sessions are more prescriptive. I can see some attraction in the additional contact and detailed analysis, but I kinda like doing some of that stuff myself and just letting Dan take care of the big picture plan. Plus, the other options are way more expensive. Dan is less than my gym membership per month. It's definitely worked for me this year, and I'll be sticking with it through VLM19.
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hammerer
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Joined: 19 Nov 2007
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Location: Right Next Door To Hell

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PCP wrote:
Jorgan wrote:
PCP wrote:
... the coaches for not setting a plan to fit around my circumstances and overloading me to the point of demotivation.


This has always been my concern about coaches; at least the more affordable ones. I pretty much see myself as 'uncoachable' and would benefit way more from an 'advisor' to provide the benefit of an independent view, the voice of reason. Even then I think they'd be telling me what I already know, but I would listen to that person telling me it's okay to miss that session, or that I probably need to do another CP20!


He is a sub 9 IM and coaches multiple Kona qualifiers but I am not in that league and I don't really want to be because I see the time and effort these guys & girls are putting in and I don't want to train that much!

No doubt he is very good but there wasn't much personal adaptation to someone with my time, lifestyle and goals.

I'm educating myself, I just got 'Triathlon 2.0 - by Jim Vance' to learn more about building plans based around TSS and and different levels of athlete/goals.


Just becasue someone is a good athlete, dosnt make them a good coach. Reason he may have several athletes under him who also Kona Q'd is because he's attracted good athletes due to his lifestyle choices and they can handle the same workload he can and also have a similar lifestyle.

The best coaches are those you see doing the hard hours poolside or at the track learning their trade and actually committing time and effort over just cutting and pasting a training peaks plan between numerous athletes.
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PCP




Joined: 13 Oct 2012
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Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No doubt, hammerer. Thatís why I ditched it in March.
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hammerer
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Joined: 19 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PCP wrote:
No doubt, hammerer. Thatís why I ditched it in March.


Its one of a few gripes i have about this "industry". There are so many unqualified coaches out there funding a lifestyle choice but becasue they do well people, novices mainly, are drawn to them. Its like the ex pros that turn to coaching, many have only ever mixed in elite circles, how could they posssible understand a 60hour a week office worker with 2 kids!
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As well as coaching a number of athletes of varying ability and experience, i also mentor a number of athletes who prepare and complete their own training.

Preparing training plans remotely is an extremely challenging way of earning a living. Over time, you can build up experience but it takes some time to really understand an individual's needs and their response to training load. Thus, i am quite conservative early on and invest a lot of time up front until i have a reasonable level of knowledge of the athlete.

Mentoring is an easier activity, although it still takes a long time to understand the athlete...
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