Why A Coach Is A Great Investment
1. Not Training Hard Enough On Your Hard Sessions, And Easy Enough On Your Easy Days.
This is a classic. Most athletes default to averagely hard tempo most of the time.
2. Smashing Yourself Into a Coma Every Training Session And Not Getting Enough Rest.
When you’re motivated, a coach’s job is to hold you back when necessary, and to push you harder than what you thought was possible. Think about it this way: you don’t get fit when you train; you get fit when you rest.
3. Putting In Your Best Efforts In Training, And Not In The Race You’re Training For.
Everyone knows that one super-strong athlete who smashes everyone in training and doesn’t have what it takes in racing. I refer to this as the “suitcase of courage” analogy — if you empty the suitcase when it doesn’t matter, there is nothing left for when it really does.
4. Making Every Training Session A ‘Breakthrough Session’.
Consistency is the key, not massive sessions every day. You need to leave something in the tank to back it up again tomorrow, and the next day. The advent of Strava has led to many riders looking to take segments every ride/run and feeling as though everyone is watching.
5. Skipping The Easy Sessions.
The intense days are the ones that matter, right? Not necessarily. You need to stay in your zones to be able to build your aerobic system and facilitate the recovery process. The easy days are just as important as the hard days.
6. Getting Caught Up In What Others Are Doing And Not Sticking To Your Own Plan.
It’s important to structure group sessions into any plan to keep the social aspect of the sport (that’s a big reason we do this, right?). But key workouts often need to be completed alone to make sure you get the very best out of them.
7. Not Committing To A Concrete Goal.
You need time-bound and realistic goals to work backwards from. This creates the basis of a training plan. It’s easy to just float along in your riding and when an important event or race comes up, just pretend it wasn’t important and let it pass on by.
8. Thinking That You Should Never Miss A Training Session.
It’s important to understand that it’s fine to take a day off or miss a workout if you have been smashed at work or your kids been up all night and you’ve had no sleep. The benefit of having a coach is that he or she can make this decision for you, taking away the nagging doubts. A day or two missed in the short term is far better than running yourself into the ground and missing a week because you wound up sick.
9. Trying To Fit In The Same Training Hours As The Pros.
You need to be realistic about the time you have available in the real world of working 40-60 hours a week and having a family. All that will happen when trying to follow a plan with unrealistic hours is a downward spiral in performance.
10. Not Training With Specificity.
It’s incredibly important to understand what the demands of your target race or event are and develop workouts to target them. There’s no sense of training speed for a race in the mountains, for example.
11. Creating Unrealistic Expectations.
Are you are targeting the right race or event for your physiology? A coach can give an objective view based on the data and sometimes this is something we don’t want to hear.