If you’ve been considering working with a coach, but finding the “how” and “why” and “what do I really need?” questions to be a little confusing, you’re not alone. A lot of people have a general sense that they could use some more help as they work towards their goals in endurance sport, but just don’t have a vision of what it could look like for them. And there are so many options—daily, weekly, calls, training plans, in person sessions—that you might feel paralyzed by choice. Here, we’re breaking down the few types of coaching that we offer and who they might work best for, but more importantly, we’re talking about the questions you should ask yourself before signing up for coaching.
Consider what you’re hoping to get out of having a coach
Your past coaching experiences might help you isolate what you liked and what you didn’t. Spend some time journaling about what it is that you’re hoping a coach can provide for you. That could be:
- New workout Ideas
- Not having to think about what workouts to do each day
- Plotting a route to a goal
- Someone who is excited about the training and racing / celebrates wins with you
- Feedback on where to improve
- Skills / Movement training (e.g. in-person sessions)
- Motivation (E.g. more personal training / guided workout – in person or now virtual!)
There are no wrong answers here, and you may have quite a few reasons you want to work with a coach. And this list can be really helpful to send to your prospective coach as well—for us at the Consummate Athlete, we love knowing exactly what it is you’re hoping to get out of coaching.
Having those as you head into deciding what kind of coaching is right for you will be really helpful. For example, if you’re hoping to get accountability, then daily, weekly or monthly coaching makes sense. But if you’re extremely self-motivated and just are struggling to figure out a road map to your upcoming race day, then a custom training plan might do the trick. The key is figuring out what will give you the best chance for success.
Consider the services that would work best for you
At Consummate Athlete, there are a few different options and levels of coaching. While we’ve designed this to better serve a wide range of needs and preferences, it can seem overwhelming or even confusing at first. As you try to think about what it is that you want, you’re probably feeling a bit like you need to do it all. Good news: It doesn’t have to be a set-in-stone choice, and we’re here to help you figure out what the best way to get to your goals is. Let’s dig into the primary options available:
Phone/Zoom Consultation – One Time
If you’re just not sure and you find the entire idea of figuring out what you need overwhelming, you might benefit from starting with a phone call to talk through where you are, your goals, and the simplest way to move you from your point A to that point B. It’s easy to get bogged down in the question of ‘weekly versus monthly,’ or a plan versus coaching, and if the answer doesn’t immediately present itself or you find yourself waffling between two options, sometimes talking it through helps clarify your needs.
Custom Training Plan
A customized three month training plan is a great low-commitment way to dip your toe in the coaching waters. You’ll get workout ideas and a path from where you are now to a goal (e.g. getting ready for a race or ride). This is great if you’re a self-motivator, because there won’t be a coach holding you accountable.
Daily, Weekly or Monthly Coaching
Working with longtime coach Peter Glassford, who will design a training plan for you based on your schedule and constraints as well as your goals and aspirations. Beyond that, though, you’ll also be getting feedback on workouts, adjustment for changes, and celebration of your victories. Depending on your coaching level, you’ll be able to communicate via phone, email or text regularly to check in.
Bike Skills sessions (personal or group setting)
In these sessions, you’re not working off of a training plan, you’re honing your on-bike skills. We ride and work on skills + explore new riding areas. (These are most often done in Collingwood/Dufferin in Ontario but we do travel.)
Phone/Zoom Consultation – Regularly
This is becoming more common and Peter uses this option with a lot of people now. We talk weekly, or every few weeks, or monthly about how training is going and set some goals for the next period—this can be on top of a training plan or in-person or monthly coaching, but it can also be done without any other coaching elements. This is great if you want some accountability, but you don’t love working within a specific training plan. Also ideal for more lifestyle-focused people who are trying to stick to healthier lifestyle choices in general and want to talk about healthy habits as well as training.
It’s OK to mix and match: You may find that a custom training plan along with the occasional phone consult and in-person clinic or skills session is the perfect fit for you!