Of All the Reasons To Need a Coach, Witnessing is the Most Interesting

by | Apr 26, 2020 | Mindset

I’ve been thinking about the idea of having a coach a lot lately, as I’ve been working with my run coach for over a year now, I’ve been doing some Shred Girls coaching, and of course, I’m married to a cycling coach!  There are a ton of reasons that you may need a coach, but the one that’s most interested me lately is the idea of a coach serving as a witness. That is… If a cyclist finishes a race in the woods but has no one to tell about the race, did it really happen? (Yes, obviously, but you get the idea…).

And more specifically, since social media and Strava and MapMyRide or MapMyRun can still host your post-race feels, a coach may be the person who has the most genuine heartfelt reaction to your race other than you. You may have a supportive family/friend crew (or you may not), but for most of us, the people closest to us don’t totally get what a race result means for us. They may be happy for you if you won, but only your coach is privy to all the sweat, tears and occasional blood that went into that result.

I started writing this article when the thought popped into my head back in December of 2019, but in April of 2020, it’s never felt more important. I know so many people have had their races cancelled due to COVID 19 and it probably feels a bit pointless to keep training at all, especially continuing to pay a coach to push you. HOWEVER. I’m going to argue that now is actually the most important time to have a coach, and probably the time you need one the most. If you want to come out of this point in time as a stronger rider/runner/triathlete, then you can’t just hit pause on training. If you rely on your training to keep you happy (and sane), you still need a training plan. You’re not training ‘for nothing,’ you’re training for life. You’re training because racing will come back. You’re training because at your core, you identify as an athlete, and athletes train.

This is important. Your health, your fitness—they matter. Personally, I don’t really know what I would be doing if I didn’t currently have a coach. This summer for me was never about race results—I’m thinking towards 2021 and 2022, and that was always the plan. But still, having trails close and not being able to run with friends or do local races to stay competitive put a damper on my excitement for training. Or, it almost did. Luckily, I have an extremely enthusiastic coach in my corner who took my current state of ennui into account and isn’t letting me just opt out of being serious about running because I’m not feeling as psyched. I needed that push now more than ever.

If your training is not going towards a race build and no one is looking at it, will you still do it? Will you really get out and do the intervals?

Most of us won’t.

I’ll still work out, but it won’t be training, it’ll be a few runs of about an hour each, done casually. I need that accountability and I need a coach to see my training because no one else will.

Coaches aren’t with you on race day, but they do get you to the starting line. Just because we’ve pushed the start line farther out doesn’t make them any less important. If anything, they’re more important than ever.

It’s funny, when the idea of a coach being a witness occurred to me, it was well before COVID 19. It was a thought I had when I realized that, for the most part, most of us who aren’t racing professionally may have friends and family who are happy for us when we race, but they don’t really get it. Only a coach knows exactly what you’ve put into making that race effort happen. And that’s critical for a lot of us, especially those without a lot of support around. (I’m lucky to have a husband and parents who are wildly excited about racing, but I know I’m in a minority.) Having a coach who cares about the nitty gritty details of how your race went, who actually listens to you and doesn’t just nod along—that’s crucial for a lot of us. Sure, the training plan is important, but to me, the most vital, interesting part of the coach relationship is the fact that they’re listening to you, that they see you, that someone out there knows exactly what you’ve put into this damn sport.

Before you go, get subscribed for a twice-monthly set of tips, tricks + outdoor motivation!


Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a Weekly Dose of Information + Inspiration!

Related Blogs

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

A FREE weekly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on all the latest in off-road cycling + endurance sport, with the latest podcasts, articles + intel.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This