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Old 02-17-08, 10:02 PM   #1
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Picking a coach

Okay guys. What do you look for when choosing a cycling coach?
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Old 02-17-08, 10:29 PM   #2
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I look within
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Old 02-17-08, 10:31 PM   #3
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I look within
Next......
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Old 02-17-08, 10:33 PM   #4
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I look within
You don't believe in coaches? Have you tried one and didn't like it or just never felt the need?
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Old 02-17-08, 10:56 PM   #5
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You don't believe in coaches? Have you tried one and didn't like it or just never felt the need?
I absolutely believe in them. I don't prioritize this sport high enough to impact the budget at that level. I'm certain I would develop faster with the right level of coaching from the right coach.

You can also make huge gains without a coach.

Note that I've also done some coaching.
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Old 02-17-08, 11:01 PM   #6
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I would never hire any coach who would consider me for a client.
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Old 02-17-08, 11:02 PM   #7
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I would never hire any coach who would consider me for a client.
Looks like we have a deal then.
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Old 02-17-08, 11:07 PM   #8
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My problem with coaches is I'd have to follow orders. I'm not good at that. Which is why I never kept one job working for other people for more than 3 years, but I've been self employed for nearly 17. I just can't handle a sheet of paper telling me what to do on a given day. And I know that's the smart way to train. Duh. Maybe I'll have to try it one year. But this won't be the one. Let's see how it goes with my hack approach. I'm not sure I care enough about racing/performance to submit to a regimin that I fear would suck much of the fun out of cycling. I do it for lifestyle reasons/mental/physical health. The racing is part of it, but far from the important part. But it does make it more fun.
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Old 02-17-08, 11:20 PM   #9
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I'd look for a coach that uses a similar training philosophy to what you like. If you are a Friel, base miles kind of guy - find a coach that uses that sort of system. If you are a sweet spot training, no need to ride so dam slow kind of rider, find a coach that does that. Otherwise you may constantly question and go against your coaches advice.

Also, I personally wouldn't get a coach until I got a power meter so the coach could base his advice on real data. FWIW I don't have either.
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Old 02-18-08, 06:43 AM   #10
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Also, I personally wouldn't get a coach until I got a power meter so the coach could base his advice on real data. FWIW I don't have either.
Power meter should be here tomorrow. I did ride with a meter last year as well but the problem was that while some of that info was helpful to a point, a lot of it went clear over my head. Maybe instead of a coach I need someone to teach me how to read all the charts and graphs in Cycling Peaks and what I should be doing with all the information.
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Old 02-18-08, 07:30 AM   #11
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Power meter should be here tomorrow. I did ride with a meter last year as well but the problem was that while some of that info was helpful to a point, a lot of it went clear over my head. Maybe instead of a coach I need someone to teach me how to read all the charts and graphs in Cycling Peaks and what I should be doing with all the information.

http://groups.google.com/group/wattage
http://www.cyclingforums.com/f88-power-training.html
http://www.midweekclub.ca/powerFAQ.htm#Q23

And of course, you know about Coggan/Allen's book. Joe Friel's Training Bible is a big help too.
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Old 02-18-08, 07:34 AM   #12
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I have read and read......and read. I think I am one of those guys who needs to learn face to face when it comes to this. I am on the little bus when it comes to effective power meter comprehension.



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http://groups.google.com/group/wattage
http://www.cyclingforums.com/f88-power-training.html
http://www.midweekclub.ca/powerFAQ.htm#Q23

And of course, you know about Coggan/Allen's book. Joe Friel's Training Bible is a big help too.
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Old 02-18-08, 07:40 AM   #13
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Okay guys. What do you look for when choosing a cycling coach?

-Has the understanding of the gear you use (training with power, heart rate, whatever)
-Local knowledge
-Unlimited email contact
-Web based (training peaks, etc)
-Can beat me in a 40k tt
-Non-generic training plans
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Old 02-18-08, 07:52 AM   #14
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I have read and read......and read. I think I am one of those guys who needs to learn face to face when it comes to this. I am on the little bus when it comes to effective power meter comprehension.
Yeah, this is part of why I like to DIY: I enjoy coaching, but have no cert and limited experience, so where do I find and athlete to coach? Oh yeah. Me. Every so often, I get approached by someone I mentored or who coached with me to help with specifics.

Surely I'm not doing as good of a job as an experienced coach, but it's really fun, and has been effective to this point.

If I was only interested in the racing part of it, I'd have a coach. As it is, I spend more time and effort self-coaching than I do training and racing
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Old 02-18-08, 07:58 AM   #15
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Power meter should be here tomorrow. I did ride with a meter last year as well but the problem was that while some of that info was helpful to a point, a lot of it went clear over my head. Maybe instead of a coach I need someone to teach me how to read all the charts and graphs in Cycling Peaks and what I should be doing with all the information.
I thought all of the charts and graphs were just to post online. People really use them for training data?
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Old 02-18-08, 09:44 AM   #16
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I tried getting coaching last year. I had to stop after a month. It sucked the fun out of riding. If I couldn't do the assigned workout for whatever reason- work, weather, or I was too tired and needed some rest days, I felt like I'd let someone down. Never mind that the schedule was supposed to be flexible, if it said do X Y and Z, I was gonna try to do X Y and Z even if I really knew that I needed a rest.

I also didn't get an explanation of why I was doing X Y or Z and what they were supposed to do for me. I'm not real good with blindly following something, I need to know how it works. To be fair, I don't think that a coach who's getting $250/month is going to have the time to explain all that in depth to every athlete. Maybe in a less rushed and expensive part of the country.

The last problem I had was that I was training mostly for endurance climbing races, not regular races, and I didn't feel like the coach I had really understood that.

So I am back to self-coaching. I used a Friel-style program and spreadsheet (actually I got his and modified it) but purposely left out any rest weeks, with the understanding that I'll take one whenever I feel I need it. Being sick for the last two weeks has pretty much blown it up, so I'll have to modify it to compensate. But that would have happened with a coachs' program too. By being self-coached I only have to feel bummed that I didn't get to ride; I don't have to also feel bad that I didn't meet assigned workouts and that I have to make someone else redo my training plan.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:43 AM   #17
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important to me is coach being local and unlimited email communication. I use a power meter too but get overwhelmed trying to analyze the output and form a plan around it. I am much better just sending it to someone who can interpret it for me and tell me how to go from there. Its helpful if your coach looks at your workouts every night too. Just last week I had some troubles riding and my coach reformed my workouts daily to compensate my legs and allow me to get some extra recovery but not lose any fitness.
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Old 02-18-08, 12:14 PM   #18
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When I selected my coach I wanted someone who:

-coached athletes like me successfully
-is local
-knows that bike racing is about WAY more than fitness
-is accessible
-is competitively priced
-doesnt have alot of restrictions or rules about contact
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Old 02-18-08, 12:31 PM   #19
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I think you have establish what your goals are. I wrote down my goals to reflect process and outcome. The process is about my lifestyle, available time, and equipment. The outcome goal is where I want to be at the end of the process. I found a coach that defined his coaching the same way. My coach is not focused on getting me onto a podium or to a fixed power output but to provide me with a healthy, fit lifestyle. Even without the focus on outcome performance, (as he predicted), my gains in performance have been both noticeable and satisfying.

I like that style of coaching. Especially being 46, too busy, not a racer and not genetically talented.
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Old 02-18-08, 12:33 PM   #20
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When I selected my coach I wanted someone who:

-coached athletes like me successfully
-is local

-knows that bike racing is about WAY more than fitness
-is accessible
-is competitively priced
-doesnt have alot of restrictions or rules about contact


+1 My current coach is a library of racing tactics. I've learned more about racing in the past 4 weeks than I did all of last year with my previous coach. He's taught my team how to work together and be smart and aggressive.
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Old 02-18-08, 06:05 PM   #21
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Thanks for the feedback guys...
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