I often tell others coaching is more than just a training plan. Tanya from GOTRIbal defined the difference between coaching and training plans as follows "A training plan is based on a consult with a coach. Then it's up to you to figure out how to modify as you continue forward towards race day. Coaching is the extra love that helps you figure out exactly what or how to modify the plan to you specific needs along the way and gets you OUT of my own way so you can be as successful as possible"
When planning and preparing to coach someone or create a training plan first we set up a consultation. The athlete fills out a detailed questionnaire then we meet in person or discuss their answers and questions over the phone.
During a consultation we discuss the following points:
• Previous experience or seasonal summary
• Goals and Objectives
• Competition Plans
• Financial Plans
• Training Plans
. Coaching Plans
Experience or Seasonal Summary
It is important to understand the athletes strengths and weaknesses. What they have done in the best to formulate a realistic goal for their upcoming season. The seasonal summary is a series questions regarding previous training and races, daily and weekly time commitment to training. The questions are meant to help an athlete understand how well they did or didn't do and see if they might understand how to improve there outcomes for the next season.
Goals and Objectives
Next we create SMART Goals, discussing the difference between Out Come vs. Performance Based goals and how to gauge if your previous goals were realistic or not and work towards creating goals by using the SMARTacronym as a guide. I also review how to set training objectives or short team goals to achieve your long term performance goals.
This part of a consolation is mostly for the first timer. I discuss basic gear to get though a triathlon. Bike, running shoes, swim suit, cap, goggles. If swimming open water I advice them on a wetsuit, purchase or rental. We also review t1 and t2 when discussing gear
What races are you going to participate in? You need to write down the Name of the event, how long the race will take to complete, the date it will be held, and what priority you are going to put on the race or event. An "A" priority is your top priority and usually riders/racers will only have 1-3 of these in a season. A "B" priority event is one where you want to do really well for but its not your top concern. Finally the "C" priority events and there can be many of these will be your back up race or the new race or event you might want to try out but have no goals or objectives for this race or event.
Financial Plans refer to my article on racing on a budget
Training Plans and Coaching
Finally we discuss training plans and coaching. All of the above equates to an investment in time, energy, emotion and finances. If you are a new multisport athlete who wants to race for the first time then a consultation with general training suggestions and outline is all you need. You won't be sorry.
If you have some experience or a couple of years under your belt you may have developed some SMART goals based on your previous experience and want to get fitter, stronger and faster. There is more than just showing up to an event and giving it your all. Proper periodized plan will lead you on the path to achieving your performance goals. If you train hard and are not getting the results you want with just following a training program then you may want to invest in some coaching.
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