Several years ago, if you wanted a coach you had to go comb through the local classifieds, ask friends while out on a group run, or make inquiries at the local bike shop.
Triathlon was a small sport, and it’s coaching pool even smaller.
Triathlon training for beginners was…challenging.
So back then, there was an underground network that was hard to access. Coaches were mostly personal trainers or full time university or high school swim and cross country coaches who did some personal “tri” stuff on the side.
Now we have lots of options!
Regardless of whether you hire an individual coaching program or you prefer a simpler group program, the basics are the same for online triathlon coaching:
1. Video analysis: if you are looking at any type of coach they need to offer video analysis of not only swimming, but biking, running, and strength training too. Video analysis is particularly helpful in triathlon swim training.
2. Individual Attention: Many coaches advertise individualized coaching programs or “workouts” just for you, but are they really? The only way to know though is for the coach to look at your weaknesses and then assign workouts based on that.
3. Unlimited communication and feedback: Be it through Facebook, Skype, text, or email, if you are paying for a coach or program you need to have near unlimited access to the coach to ask questions, share fears and insecurities, and get feedback on improvements.
4. Psychological support: as a coach I feel that I am more of a therapist than a coach at times. Your coach should be there to help you through tough times, celebrate each success, reassure you when you are down, and remind you of your goals when training motivation gets tight. Without the mental support, the physical training cannot succeed.
When it comes to online coaching, it’s athlete beware. Keep the above tips in mind, and be sure that the program is for you, fits you, and will help you thrive as an athlete and person.
About Tri Swim Coach,
Tri Swim Coach is a resource providing the best and latest information on triathlon swim training, and go from a struggle to “laughing at the water!”