August 29, 2014 Login  


Hiring a coach
Last Post 05/21/2014 05:54 PM by Dale Dale. 10 Replies.
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pascal

Posts:2

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05/19/2014 07:45 PM
Giving thought to hiring a coach, mostly to get my fitness to the next level, and to prepare for my 8th? season of cyclocross. Anyone have advice? Should it be someone you should meet face to face? Thanks Rich
Ride On

Posts:422

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05/19/2014 10:25 PM
I've tried on line coaching twice. One guy gave me what I thought was very little personal coaching. I felt like he plugged me into a program and spit that out to me once a week. I don't think he ever took time to look at any of the files I sent him. Just set me up once and then let the program run. The other guy took time to look at every file and would give me two work outs per week. On my own with general guidelines the rest of the week. If something was a miss he would see it and react to it. Heck one time after a work out he looked at the file and said, I think you are coming down with something. I felt ok at the time but a day later I was sick. He treated me as an individual. Funny thing is he actually charged less than the other guy. It's a crap shoot I think now a days with on line coaches. If they are doing it for a living they either need to charge a ton or not spend much time on each person to jake it work financially. Do the numbers yourself with what they are charging you and see how much time you think he is spending on you. If you get a canned program, those you can set up and run yourself for much less.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1054

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05/19/2014 11:25 PM
Personally, I am not a fan of coaches for guys at our levels. The info is out there and tools such as Power meters makes it reasonable to be self-coached. BUT...... You have to be honest with yourself about whether you can be self-coached.

Can you properly develop a plan on your own? If not, can you adhere to one that you can get out of a book or online? Do you know how to properly use a power meter and interpret the data?

To be honest, most of the guys posing as coaches have the same or less knowledge than most of us.....they are just cashing in on the "I need a coach" craze.

A structured plan, almost ANY structured plan, will deliver results if you stick to it.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Keith Richards

Posts:726

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05/20/2014 09:34 AM
What CK said. Do your reading, come up with a plan and stick to it. You have been at this 8 years already (at least), right?

You should know what you need to do at this point.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
jrt1045

Posts:361

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05/20/2014 09:43 AM
I'm with CK on this, if you are old - just ride hard when you can and do what feels right and you'll be fine. The point is that the bike is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, not another task. Every day in the saddle is cheating the grim reaper as far as I'm concerned. Most coaches that I encounter seem like shills peddling (like that pun?) snake oil dreams to cat 3/4/5's anyways. They will never be a Pro so what's the point of wasting the resource? Just ride and enjoy the experience

Interesting to watch the dynamic between female riders and their "coaches", it could almost be called bullying. Waterworks when the power meter breaks and running around like a nut to download the data to keep their coach happy. Co-dependence
C2K_Rider

Posts:168

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05/20/2014 02:41 PM
If you can find a decent club with a coach that is best - then you get some coaching and some people to ride with towards similar goals. For instance, we have a club near here called Peninsula Velo that has a former top rider as coach, plus some other top riders pitching in. they put on club racing clinics and training "races." it is quite good - they have a clinic before each "race" teaching some aspect and then "race" with the idea you test out the clinic methods. Then they ride real races as a club and try to put their training to work. They do road, crit, TT, CX work. They get 20 to 40 people out each time. It is much more informative and interesting than just some wanna be coach spitting out training rides for you.
pascal

Posts:2

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05/21/2014 06:47 AM
Thanks guys. I'll think it through before I pay somebody. Might just do an online plan on my own and tweak my workouts
Keith Richards

Posts:726

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05/21/2014 07:58 AM
I would highly suggest "Greg LeMond's Complete Book of Bicycling" as a resource.

Dude is an idiot off the bike, but he knows how to train.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1054

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05/21/2014 08:39 AM
Posted By pascal . on 05/21/2014 06:47 AM
Thanks guys. I'll think it through before I pay somebody. Might just do an online plan on my own and tweak my workouts


Good call. For tri training, I am using Joe Friel's Your Best Triiathlon as a guide and adjusting as necessary. Mostly, I am using it for hours and volume and then making my own choices on individual structure of workouts. I pretty much know what I need to do to hit good bike form, I am following a differs workout plan for swimming and I can't run at some of the intensity levels in his plan due to prior injuries.

But for my first IM, I am mostly concerned about getting in enough volume and his plan gives a pretty good breakdown on what is required. I then adjust as needed.

Example - Saturdays are my long run day. In base 3 (where I am now) he calls for 2 - 2.5 hours of running. No way I can do that long of a run right now. So I ride for 75 minutes first (using PowerCranks) and then run for about an hour. I therefore get the volume that I need, but don't follow the specific workout his plan calls for (usually some mix of hills, speed skills, etc).

For CX, I would recommend a LOT of high intensity intervals with short periods of recovery. Don't make the workouts very long (1 hour-ish) and you should be able to do multiple rides like that during the week.

Another (probably really good) option - sign up for Trainer Road. All their training plans are included in the monthly fee ($10). They have plans for just about every type of racing.....I'd be shocked if they didn't have a CX plan.

But be prepard to get your ass kicked....some of the workouts are brutal.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
dkri

Posts:80

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05/21/2014 04:42 PM
Get as broad of a knowledge base as you possibly can about training (read as many of the iconic books - completely ignoring anything Chris Carmichael has ever said, the guy is an absolute f-ing joke - as you can, triangulate out the bs, come to the best understanding you can), and commit to however many hours over however many days as you reliably, very very consistently can. Align your goals with your available commitment - for example, if you want to race elite levels on 8 or 10 hours a week, you'd better hope your parents gave you some pretty extraordinary genetics because otherwise it ain't happening.

The more knowledge and commitment you have, the better you'll do with any coach, and the more you'll be able to weed out crappy coaches. There are GREAT ones out there, there are crap ones out there, and a great coach for you might not be a great fit for me.

I currently coach a pretty talented cyclist who is starting to do national-level crits against the national level people, and what I bring to her is efficiency (in that I bring knowledge that she doesn't have time to learn, and that I know how to package a lot of both training load and recovery into the far-from-infinite time she has available), and some support. We work on weird stuff, too. For example, one of the strange demands of crit racing is that you do your warmup, and then do the start-grid shuffle, and then you go bat guano hard for 10' until the race settles in. Her standard warmup on race-specificity days in this block ends with her standing next to her bike, humming the national anthem to herself, and then immediately busting into a hard set. It actually works super well (and now I've just given away a nice secret). Some outside perspective to take a look at random stuff like that can be very helpful.

Become a better consumer of training information, and mark out your commitment.

Also, I'd like to give a big shout out to the monthly training features in Road Magazine. I think the authors are Hunter Allen and Scott Saifer. That is the only thing I consistently think is worth reading in cycling magazines. Very good columns.


edit - in no way should this be construed as a promotion of my coaching services. There is one and only one person who I coach, it's not something I do otherwise.
formerly dkri
Dale

Posts:468

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05/21/2014 05:54 PM
Meh, get a divorce, get fired, or have a falling out with some family member… maybe all three.

You'll be amazed at how well you do next season when you're seething there on the start line spitting hydrochloric acid and shooting lasers out of your eyes
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