Since the fall is when I get most of my new clients, a little reminder of why coaches can help.
As with many things, the internet has created an abundance of information on all kinds of topics. There are training plans up the wazzoo available for free that are pretty darn good. So if you’re looking for a training plan, why would you pay someone to give you one?
Many folks I have worked with thought a cycling coaches main job was to provide training plans. Sure, that is the usable deliverable, but I would argue the reasons to hire a cycling coach are:
1. Optimize your time/performance ratio.
One of the things I love about cycling is that hard work pays off. A person can get pretty darn fit by just spending hours in the saddle. But a cycling coach ought to create a plan that optimizing your time on the bike so that it is the MOST effective. This, of course, is a personal passion. Too often I see riders just doing the miles.
2. Synthesize cycling into your overall life goals and responsibilities.
You got a lot going on. Family, work, other passions, etc. should be incorporated into your plan for cycling. It should be part of your life in a way that is symbiotic and not in conflict. This can be tricky, however many of my clients have been surprised how it can be done with some pretty demanding schedules.
3. Develop your mind/body relationship.
Understanding how your body works and what it is telling you during a race, training, and recovering is part of learning to become a great racer. I’ve talked about learning to suffer and how important this is in cycling.
4. Create winning confidence.
A coach can give you an outside opinion and motivation that creates a real winning attitude/confidence. In the pros you will see many a rider have a breakthrough and talk about their coach as a major influence in how that happened. They aren’t always talking about intervals, they likely are talking about the mental side of the sport that coaches should provide.
5. Accelerate your understanding of the sport.
Cycling isn’t a main stream sport. Most folks getting into riding and racing need to learn so much about strategy, etiquette and equipment. A coach should be able to develop your cycling knowledge rapidly so that these critical elements are not missing from your cycling experience.