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Old 12-02-09, 05:13 PM   #1
dadoes
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Coach or not

Thinking about getting a coach for the upcoming year. Maybe start in January. I know very little about training, peaking, specializing...I just hammer it all year. I know, not optimal. Coaches are expensive, but cycling/racing is my only hobby now, so it seems like a good investment.

There are about a 100 coaches in Colorado, no idea who to choose. Any advise on what to look for or what has worked for you would be greatly appreciated.

Thx.
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Old 12-02-09, 05:37 PM   #2
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Word of mouth and local is good for a coach. Its great to be able to talk face to face and ride with your coach.
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Old 12-02-09, 06:41 PM   #3
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what about joining a team with a coach?
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Old 12-02-09, 06:48 PM   #4
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Thinking about getting a coach for the upcoming year. Maybe start in January. I know very little about training, peaking, specializing...I just hammer it all year. I know, not optimal. Coaches are expensive, but cycling/racing is my only hobby now, so it seems like a good investment.

There are about a 100 coaches in Colorado, no idea who to choose. Any advise on what to look for or what has worked for you would be greatly appreciated.

Thx.
For what reasons do you want a coach?
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Old 12-02-09, 07:01 PM   #5
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cycling/racing is my only hobby now
....with emphasis on the "hobby".

If you're considering taking it to a serious level, then yes. Get a coach.
Going to Nationals? Looking to get on a regional team?

If it's your hobby, save the money.
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Old 12-02-09, 07:14 PM   #6
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....with emphasis on the "hobby".

If you're considering taking it to a serious level, then yes. Get a coach.
Going to Nationals? Looking to get on a regional team?

If it's your hobby, save the money.
If cycling is not your occupation, then it's your hobby.
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Old 12-02-09, 07:14 PM   #7
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I'll disagree with EventServices a bit. A few years ago, my wife got me a coach as a Christmas present. It ended up being about $1800/yr and I was riding 8-9hrs per week on average. That year was the fastest I've ever been. I dropped the coach based on the expense, and now often regret it.

Really just comes down to how much disposable cash you have. If you can afford it, and have the time to make it worthwhile, go for it. You'll get more out of it than a set of deep carbon wheels.
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Old 12-02-09, 07:21 PM   #8
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I'll disagree with EventServices a bit. A few years ago, my wife got me a coach as a Christmas present. It ended up being about $1800/yr and I was riding 8-9hrs per week on average. That year was the fastest I've ever been. I dropped the coach based on the expense, and now often regret it.

Really just comes down to how much disposable cash you have. If you can afford it, and have the time to make it worthwhile, go for it. You'll get more out of it than a set of deep carbon wheels.
I have a mentor, not a coach (similar I suppose other than the $), and I must say it has been the best thing I could have asked for as far as increasing my performance.

I clown on the bicyclist attitude that you must drop $$$ on every aspect of your bike. The reality is you've got to train, and unless you can stand teaching yourself some of this stuff on the trainer and applying it on the road too, a trainer can push you down the right path.
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Old 12-02-09, 07:26 PM   #9
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I'll disagree with EventServices a bit. A few years ago, my wife got me a coach as a Christmas present. It ended up being about $1800/yr and I was riding 8-9hrs per week on average. That year was the fastest I've ever been. I dropped the coach based on the expense, and now often regret it.

Really just comes down to how much disposable cash you have. If you can afford it, and have the time to make it worthwhile, go for it. You'll get more out of it than a set of deep carbon wheels.
Not a lot of disposable cash, but you know, I can cut things out for others things that seem important.

At 36 years old, it is a hobby now. I want to improve, and yes, I plan to race masters CX nationals next fall. I also want to improve on the road, specifically in crits and hill climbs. I just started cycling two years ago, but I have a little bit of success.
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Old 12-02-09, 07:46 PM   #10
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A coach keeps me focused and helps me make the most of my time on the bike. I use a very simple coaching relationship. I use both monthly training programs and during the winter I get a three month plan. My coach is just down the street from me. We ride the same roads in the same weather and we know all the same local people. That is the best relationship to have. My current coach is a disciple of my last coach and is also very active in racing at the semi-pro level. He also is less than $1500 a year.
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Old 12-02-09, 08:30 PM   #11
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What about the Friel approach, e.g. self-coaching via that book?
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Old 12-02-09, 08:40 PM   #12
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This is an issue of limited resources. No one has unlimited time and money. Some people have more time; some people have more money.

If you have a lot of time, not much money, and enjoy compulsing over TSS, CTL, etc, buy a power meter, a book, and self coach (assuming you are also self motivated.)

If you have more money than time, and don't particularly enjoy geeking on trainging metrices, get a coach (particularly if you're not self motivated)

There isn't a one size fits all answer.
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Old 12-02-09, 09:08 PM   #13
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Check out Colorado Premier Training. I've worked with a number of their coaches and they're all good. Shoot me a PM if you want to specific names of good coaches in the area.

Where in CO are you?
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Old 12-02-09, 10:16 PM   #14
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I have one that we trade coaching services back and forth and it is the way to go.

Ken
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Old 12-02-09, 10:17 PM   #15
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My experience was that I did better with a good attentive coach by phone and online, than a good, inattentive coach in my back yard.

First: Before you start looking write down your monthly budget number, then list your strengths and weaknesses, along with what you want to achieve next year.

Next: pick people's brains who have coaches, ask them what they like and dislike about them. Ask them how they've improved, and where they've improved. Narrow it down to three people then talk to them. If they won't give you much interview time you'll probably get even less once you sign on.

Then pick one. Ask him/her where they expect you to be fitness and racing-wise 3 months and 6 months down the road.

Now go buy Freil's book and read it, along with one or two other books on coaching. Ask questions along the way. If things sound hoakey beware. If your coach gets testy about you asking questions be double beware.

After 6 months do an honest assessment about how things are going.

PM me if you want my guys info.
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Old 12-03-09, 08:55 PM   #16
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what about the friel approach, e.g. Self-coaching via that book?

bingo
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Old 12-03-09, 09:10 PM   #17
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also, just because a coach is a cat1 or pro doesn't mean he/she knows what he/she is doing and vice versa
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Old 12-04-09, 09:49 AM   #18
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bingo
+1, read the "Training Bible" first, then determine if you need assistance.
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Old 12-04-09, 09:51 AM   #19
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also, just because a coach is a cat1 or pro doesn't mean he/she knows what he/she is doing and vice versa
Even if they are a wealth of knowledge they must also have the ability to effectively communicate it to the pupil.
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Old 12-04-09, 11:12 AM   #20
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+1, read the "Training Bible" first, then determine if you need assistance.
Would you apply this to learning to drive a car? And it's a bit of circular logic; you assume he'll know what he doesn't understand or misinterprets.

There's a reason you put (hopefully qualified) teachers in a class room and not just books. The TB is an excellent outline and helps you to understand periodization, but I can think of a hundred things it lacks that a good coach could/would provide. Among them is an individualized program tailored to the rather unique demands of cross racing.

Given that the OP's goal is Nats, and his history as outlined, he'll probably save himself a lot of time, effort, and missteps working with someone who knows what they are doing.
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