A friend recently commented that coaches are a great idea for people who actually listen and do as instructed. That’s me. Mostly. Usually.
The physio staff at the local sports medicine clinic I attend are always surprised. “You’re lots better. Did you actually do all the exercises?” “Yes.” “Wow. Almost no one does that.”
I am surprised that people pay for physio, get told what will help/make them better, and then don’t do it.
So I’m predisposed to like coaching. Other people have expertise that I don’t have. And yes, I could do my own research but I respect the experience that good coaches have as well. I’m also a fan of the accountability that comes with letting someone else have access to my Garmin files on a weekly basis.
This is my second year working with a cycling coach who writes up a monthly training plan for me taking into account where I am fitness wise, what races or events I have coming up, and (this one really matters for me) whether I’m traveling for work and away from my bike. Chris is a terrific coach but I also benefit from the community of women cyclists that have gathered around him. One of the many cool things about being a coach is that there’s someone who’s got a pretty good idea of what you can and can’t do. When Chris says I can do something, I believe him. That’s very nice.
It’s not cheap but I know lots of people who pay for pricey cycling stuff but not for coaching. I think that’s a false economy. I’ve written before about how not to get faster. And one way to avoid all the bad habits is to hire a coach and do what they say. Some people just opt for coaching through the spring and summer but I actually find the winter coaching more valuable. It keeps me on track and motivated at a time of year when enthusiasm for outdoor riding can be in short supply.
Read Bicycling Magazine’s article on why you might need a coach and how to choose one.