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Training Plans vs Personalized Coaching

November 14, 2017 - For many of us, the racing season has come to an end or is wrapping up soon enough. In this part of the season we are enjoying a much deserved off-season. We are resetting our body and our minds to tackle another year of doing what we love; swimming, biking, and running. As we reflect on our experiences in the last season, there is always one question that sticks out. What could I have done better, and how do I improve? To answer this question, you have to ask yourself another question. Should I hire a coach? In every single sport, especially at the professional level (think football) the key factor to success lies in...Coaching! Here is article written by an AJ Baucco Coaching athlete.

 If you are a triathlete, chances are you have followed a training plan at some point in your career. Most of us understand the concept of following a training plan. When written for us, training plans are written in a way that respect our boundaries, build our fitness slowly, periodize our season correctly, and peak us for our most important races. As a newer triathlete, I personally followed a training plan for years. Even though it was a beginner plan out of a triathlon book, it gave each day purpose and it helped get me out the door to swim, bike, and run. For some triathletes, training plans are a great option, but for triathletes that really want to improve, coaching is the next level.

After a couple years in the sport, I looked to hire my first coach. I was pretty skeptical about coaching in general, but everyone I knew in the sport kept telling me that coaching was the way to go. Despite my hesitance, I reached out to someone that I respected in the community and I found my first coach since High School hockey. Right away, I noticed a difference. Not necessarily in the workouts (I was still swimming, biking, and running), but in what my coach expected of me. All of a sudden, there was another person involved with this entire process. This wasn’t just me and my triathlon book, this was now me and another person. I respected that my new coach was now spending time thinking about me, so I started taking my workouts MUCH more seriously. I felt a bit more guilt when I skipped a session, and I wanted to make my new coach happy. This led to much better workouts, and a lot less missed workouts.

When I started with my first coach, I also noticed a discrepancy with what I thought I was capable of doing and what he thought I was capable of doing. This is something that I have noticed throughout the last 8 years of having a coach. There have been workouts and intervals that I didn’t think I could finish. There have been days of training that I thought I was too tired to complete. There have been weeks and months of training that looked way too intimidating on paper. But I trusted my coach, and if he thought that I could do it, maybe I could. Since I have started working with coaches, there have been countless days where I reflected on a workout and said to myself “I can’t even believe that I did that”. To me, that is the power of coaching. Someone looking in, completely impartial, telling you what they think is possible. In a sport like triathlon, your mind can be your worst enemy. Sometimes having another person tell you what they think you are capable of is the difference between achieving your goal, and giving up on your goal. I’ve had coaches and I’ve had training plans, and a plan has never motivated me to be great. But I’ve have several different coaches light a fire under my ass from how much they believed in me.   

AJ Baucco Coaching is world class triathlon coaching for age group athletes of all ability levels. We specialize in Full Service Triathlon Coaching, but we also create Focused Training Plans for athletes that like a more hands off approach. Feel free to contact us with any questions or to set up an informational phone call.

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