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Old 04-11-07, 01:54 AM   #1
Snicklefritz
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What would you do?

I've got a question for people regarding coach/client interaction. To provide some background, I signed up with a new coach a few weeks ago. I've been impressed with this person's sense of me as a rider and what I seem to respond to best. In fact, right away they were able to get me out of what felt like a big flat period. The workouts are challenging but I'm enjoying them a great deal and feel like I'm getting stronger.

However, the email contact with this person has been less than consistent and I'm not certain how to address it. The arrangement is for "unlimited email contact", but when I only send a few I would hope for better responses than I am receiving.

Here are some examples of the type of thing going on.
(1) sometimes I get responses right away (same day). At other times it takes 3-4 days to hear back.
(2) Some questions don't get answered at all even after waiting for those 3-4 days. Well they are more like half-answers. I'll ask something specific like "today my legs felt like bricks and I was essentially completely cooked after about 50% of the ride." I'll continue with a few specific observations and then say that I'd like to discuss X, Y, Z with him. the answer I get back is "are you squared away?" then a bit later "you are adapting to a new program". No details or any comments on X,Y, Z.

(3) I'm supposed to get a weekly analysis of my power files. When I don't hear from this person, I send a brief email like this: "Last week's sprint workout went well, but it was tough. What do you think about aspect A and B? I'd like to know also what you thought about the change in power from sprint #1 to sprint #n. how does that compare with previous data?" No response.

(4) This person said we were scheduled to talk once a week but no conversation happened last week. They even said initially they would be willing to talk a bit more to help me get adjusted to the program. Even so, the scheduling has been off. On more than one occasion we have scheduled a specific time to chat. This person doesn't call at the appointed time. So I emailed them later asking when we can chat. The response "I didn't realize we had set a time I thought we were just talking about it. I have been in front of the computer for 6 hours and I would like to go to the gym now. I can call when I get back from the gym". I went back to my emails an verified that we did set up a specific time in spite of what they said.



Is there a way to address this with the coach if I generally like the program but I am concerned about this other stuff? I don't want to alienate this person by coming off as critical. However, for what I am paying, I'd expect a bit more than I am getting. Am I being unreasonable in my expectations? For me, the value added of a coach is the email interaction to help me understand the data and how my body is responding. If the email isn't providing that, I wonder if I should go back to something I did last year where I just did Hunter Allen's preplanned programs from trainingpeaks.com. I got in good shape last fall by doing that...

Last edited by Snicklefritz; 04-11-07 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 04-11-07, 03:37 AM   #2
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Call your coach,
be straight up and honest with him regarding your concerns about the level of support he is providing and start the dialogue with him to resolve the problem before it becomes a bigger problem than it is now.
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Old 04-11-07, 04:00 AM   #3
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^

+1 top the above.

is this a local coach, or an online? i can't really tell from the way you wrote your op.

if he's local, why don't you have face to face meetings? if he's not local, why don't you have a local coach?
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Old 04-11-07, 09:11 AM   #4
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The situation you described is not acceptable and is not what was advertised. Address the issue with them but my bet is that it will not improve and you will have to change coaches.
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Old 04-11-07, 09:32 AM   #5
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+1 get on the phone or face to face with him. It sounds like he's putting you on one of his programs that matches people similar to you, and is just letting the program do the work.
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Old 04-11-07, 10:58 AM   #6
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I'm down with the Kiwi on this one. I'd call him and let him know your concerns.
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Old 04-11-07, 11:24 AM   #7
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It sounds like he isn't living up to his promises. Tell him so and if things don't change, find a new coach.
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Old 04-11-07, 07:29 PM   #8
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I talked to him today (via email) to ask when I would hear back from him regarding questions A, B, C and to discuss the "comprehensive strength and weakness analysis" that was supposed to be part of the startup package.

I think he knows something is up because he emailed back right away and said lets talk on the phone. His answers though to "when will I hear back on..." were not really what I was looking for. It looks like he and I may have different sets of expections. I thought "comprehensive strength & weakness analysis" meant looking back at old data - particular workouts/races/whatever I highlighted in my power files and where I found things "easy" and where I found them "difficult". I didn't think this sort of analysis consisted of him just taking notes on what I said - which is what he told me he did. He also said he doesn't comment on the files unless there is something I did wrong and he wants me to correct it or if there is something he wants to teach me. I emailed back and made it very clear what kinds of questions I had and what I needed in order to understand the data and how my body is responding. It will be interesting to see what he says.

Right now I am kind of feeling like I am doing the workouts but really don't know if I did it right or not. Some workouts were well out of the power range I was supposed to do them in but he never commented on that so I wonder if he even noticed...
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Old 04-11-07, 07:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
Some workouts were well out of the power range I was supposed to do them in but he never commented on that so I wonder if he even noticed...
I don't know, he sounds like a terrific coach. Can you pm me his contact info?
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Old 04-11-07, 07:44 PM   #10
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Get a new coach man. You're paying for a service that you don't feel you're getting and that's just silly. Essentially this guy works for you, he is your employee. If he's not giving you the results you are expecting and paying him for, find someone else. Just because someone is knowledgeable in a subject, or tells you to do something, doesn't mean they can convey it to you effectively (think about all those high-school teachers you had that bored you out of your skull).
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Old 04-11-07, 07:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yep
I don't know, he sounds like a terrific coach. Can you pm me his contact info?
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