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  1. #1
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    How Frequently Should I Expect a Coach to Review my Data?

    I recently hired a coach to help me prepare for an endurance event. I paid for a full coaching plan, which includes some rides with the coach, unlimited phone/text/email contact, and a monthly training plan; this is not an inexpensive plan. I've had really excellent results thus far, way better than I expected, but today I found out from coach that he only reviews my data once a week. I discovered this because I had a crash on Saturday with the major impact to my chest and then had some aberrant HR values on Sunday's ride (30 min of sustained HR >200 bpm, my max HR is 185, if these numbers were not in error, they could represent a heart arrythmia which would typically happen in the time frame of 24-48 hrs post crash).

    The coach did not pick up on these numbers, so today I basically asked him WTF? His response was that he reviews that data once a week. I was a little shocked by this, I assumed he reviewed the data as I sent it to him, ie after each ride. What is a reasonable expectation for me to have in regards to how frequently a coach looks at my ride data?

    The answer to this question really doesn't matter for me as far as this particular coach goes. I could definitely pay less money if I'm willing to have a coach who only looks at data once a week and that's what I'll probably do. But I just want to be realistic when I hire the next guy and I'm not sure what the norm is.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Did you text the dude about the weirdness in your workout or did you just expect him to check the data on his own and get back to you asap?

    edit: to be more specific...if your progress is ahead of expectations and he is actually checking your work at regular intervals, and if he's generally responsive to text/email/phone and if you didn't give him a heads up about the weirdness of your workout, it's sort of on you for not being responsive enough as a client. Working effectively with a coach is a two-way street.

    This assumes of course, that you didn't give him a heads up about 1) your crash and 2) your weird HR numbers
    Last edited by TheKillerPenguin; 11-24-14 at 07:46 PM.
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  3. #3
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
    Did you text the dude about the weirdness in your workout or did you just expect him to check the data on his own and get back to you asap?
    I didn't notice it until today. I texted him once I noticed it. He hadn't looked at the data yet and told me he didn't plan to until tomorrow.

    But to answer your question, I guess I did expect him to look at the data within a fairly short time frame after I sent it to him, less than 24 hours was my assumption. Especially after a crash and before sending me new workouts. Or if he was ramping up my training to see how things are going. For example, last week I had a TSB of -60. I thought it was weird that he didn't see that and say "wait, don't do that tough interval workout I have on schedule for you tomorrow". But now I see why he didn't, he's not looking at the data as frequently as I assumed he was. BTW, I did not do the workout because I wound up getting sick.

    That's what I'm asking- is this expectation reasonable? I guess I just assumed he was looking at it as I was sending it.

  4. #4
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
    Did you text the dude about the weirdness in your workout or did you just expect him to check the data on his own and get back to you asap?

    edit: to be more specific...if your progress is ahead of expectations and he is actually checking your work at regular intervals, and if he's generally responsive to text/email/phone and if you didn't give him a heads up about the weirdness of your workout, it's sort of on you for not being responsive enough as a client. Working effectively with a coach is a two-way street.

    This assumes of course, that you didn't give him a heads up about 1) your crash and 2) your weird HR numbers
    No, he knew about the crash. I told him about it when I emailed him Saturday's rides (two rides, 20 miles pre-crash and 50 post-crash on a different bike). I also talked to him about it on the phone. I told him Sunday's ride didn't go well when I emailed that ride to him. I also texted him with questions about some issues about the bike today, so he knew it was a pretty good impact.

    And in the meantime, he gave me a new set of workouts. I guess I don't understand how he could give me new workouts if he hasn't reviewed the results of last week's workouts.

  5. #5
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    How much are you paying him and what was the initial agreement?

    If you wanted daily reviews from me you better be >$400/month. Or more, and have that daily review up front in the agreement. Because, believe it or not, a coaches time is worth something. You want 30m a day x 30 days that's 15 hours. A good coach is worth how much an hour?

    If you sent me an email/text with a big cap subject line saying "CRASHED" (or some other anomaly) then I would be checking in and modifying your workouts, regardless. If not then I dunno.

    If he asked you to send him workouts daily then you could reasonably presume he did daily reviews, so there might be a disconnect there. I'm very specific that I want a weekly bulk upload unless otherwise agreed. One bad/good day is a tiny snapshot in a big picture unless something like your crash happens, or you're early in the process and trying to make sure folks are doing things right. Even then a weekly review is often a better vehicle to push out info.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 11-24-14 at 08:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    $350 per month, and I totally believe his time is worth something. I am actually a believer in expertise, and am fine with payng for it, which is why hiring a coach makes sense to me.

    I did not send him CRASHED in the subject line, but I did include it in the body of the email and as I said above, I talked to him on the phone about it. I didn't have any workouts yet for next week, because I had been sick last week and he wanted to see how this weekend went before he gave me more. I guess it seemed to me that seeing how this weekend went would include looking at my data before deciding on more workouts. But we did have a verbal review as to how things went- Sat I was unstoppable even after the crash, Sunday I was weak enough to have to abort a planned 40 mile ride 30 miles in, this is something very rare for me, I pretty much do every workout he gives me on the day he assigns it. We also talked today about some logistical stuff about the damage to the bike because my event is less than two weeks away. So he knew all about the crash & the magnitude of it.

    He never specified how he wanted the workouts sent to him, he just told me to send them. So I sent them after each workout & assumed he was looking at them as he got them.

  7. #7
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Yeah I dunno, it sounds like your coach took the time to talk to you on the phone about everything and answered the relevant questions and heard you out; if I'm your coach and we talk on the phone about how you crashed 20 miles into a 70 mile ride and then you finished it off on a different bike, I'm going to assume you probably have some road rash and are otherwise pretty much OK even if your bike is not, regardless of if the following day doesn't go tip top, and that there's no crazy urgency with regard to changing the way in which I review your workouts. I'd probably expect the day after a 70mi day with a crash and a bike switch to not go great so it wouldn't really be a huge surprise if the workout wasn't completed, and would assign the next week's workouts and see how you did with them based upon how you've been doing in general. but, I'm not a coach, i'm just a dude that pays someone else to do the bulk of the meta thinking for me.

    At the end of the day what matters is that you trust your coach implicitly, and it sounds like up to this point and up until this once a week revelation he's been awesome and exceeding your expectations, yea?
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  8. #8
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    I'd say the disconnect was you sending him files everyday thinking he is looking at them in real time (daily). While athletes are OCD about what happened today, good coaches look both long/short.

    That he wanted to see how things went post crash tells me he's paying attention and making adjustments. You're OK.

    BTW, don't step on a scale for a few weeks. Crashes add weight.

    Seriously.

  9. #9
    Killing Rabbits
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    If you take major impact to your chest and have concerns you should see a doctor not e-mail a cycling coach.

  10. #10
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
    Yeah I dunno, it sounds like your coach took the time to talk to you on the phone about everything and answered the relevant questions and heard you out; if I'm your coach and we talk on the phone about how you crashed 20 miles into a 70 mile ride and then you finished it off on a different bike, I'm going to assume you probably have some road rash and are otherwise pretty much OK even if your bike is not, regardless of if the following day doesn't go tip top, and that there's no crazy urgency with regard to changing the way in which I review your workouts. I'd probably expect the day after a 70mi day with a crash and a bike switch to not go great so it wouldn't really be a huge surprise if the workout wasn't completed, and would assign the next week's workouts and see how you did with them based upon how you've been doing in general. but, I'm not a coach, i'm just a dude that pays someone else to do the bulk of the meta thinking for me.

    At the end of the day what matters is that you trust your coach implicitly, and it sounds like up to this point and up until this once a week revelation he's been awesome and exceeding your expectations, yea?
    Well, I have actually had some issues with him prior to this, my feeling has been that's he's not been reviewing my data. This was before I noticed the heart rate abberation, that was kind of just the icing on the cake, and I have actually already been inquiring about other coaches. Mostly this feeling stems from issues I've had with one of my power meters, it's recorded some faulty data which he has never to my knowledge noticed, I'm the one who seems to always call it to his attention. But also I had the expectation that he was looking at my data as I sent it, so if this is unrealistic, then maybe I've been needlessly hard on the guy. Maybe he would have noticed the bad data eventually.

    So I guess it has been hard for me to trust him implicitly because of these little details that I feel like he's missing. But do I think he knows way more than me? Yes. Has he exceeded my expectations in regards to performance gains? Yes, for sure.

  11. #11
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    If you take major impact to your chest and have concerns you should see a doctor not e-mail a cycling coach.
    As I mentioned previously, I noticed this issue today. I have since spoken with my very excellent physician on the phone. We have a specific game plan as to how we are going to assess the problem on an on-going basis.

    I did not seek or expect medical advice from the coach. I'm actually a veterinarian and know way more about what is potentially going on with my heart than he does.

    All I wanted him to do was notice there was a problem and call it to my attention if I missed it myself. It sounds like this was a somewhat unreasonable expectation, which I will accept if this is the consensus.

  12. #12
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    I'm actually a veterinarian.
    cool

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    So he's helped you by your own words exceed your expectations as far as performance gains go and you're complaining? That sounds like a win to me.

  14. #14
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterwaterfall View Post
    So he's helped you by your own words exceed your expectations as far as performance gains go and you're complaining? That sounds like a win to me.
    Well, my expectations were probably a little too low going in, I am very patient with these types of things and expected things to proceed more slowly.

    I know it seems weird & ungrateful and believe me as I've discussed it with friends I have been the first one to say I how strange it is that I'm thinking of switching coaches when everything is going so well. All I'm saying is that I think there are other good coaches who could achieve the same with me. I am completely self-motivated and I do everything I can to make the process a success. Like someone said up-thread, it's a two way street, and I do my part for sure. Hopefully that is not coming across as arrogant because believe me I'm not.

  15. #15
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    For example, last week I had a TSB of -60. I thought it was weird that he didn't see that and say "wait, don't do that tough interval workout I have on schedule for you tomorrow".
    wait, what?

    feel free to pay me $350 a month to ignore your training and send you canned workouts! you can text me any time.
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  16. #16
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    wait, what?

    feel free to pay me $350 a month to ignore your training and send you canned workouts! you can text me any time.
    Well I was thinking I could pay someone $150/mo to ignore my training & send me canned workouts. I could live without the texting.

    Seriously, I don't think they're canned workouts but I do think he has been pushing things with me and then not watching that carefully to see the effect. He was pretty conservative the first month but since then has been pouring it on. I guess if I was pouring it on with a newby I'd pay closer attention to what the effect was. I had no concerns about this dramatic increase in intensity because I assumed he would be on top of everything, this was a very big change from what we had been doing just a few weeks prior. He switched for example from 4 days a week to 6 days a week. On top of that I'm a woman & 48 years old, I'm not going to respond like some 28 year old kid. Then that wildly neg TSB, if he's going to do that I guess it only seems fair to me that he watch me like a hawk.

  17. #17
    The Slow One Alaska Mike's Avatar
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    My coach reviews my data every week, give or take. Notes I leave on my online calendar give her a snapshot of how each workout went, without having to look too closely each and every day. If there's a significant event, like a wreck or illness, she lets me adjust the next few workouts as I see fit to match what I feel I am capable of, then adjusts subsequent workouts to get me back on track in a measured way. The only way a handful of workouts in the off season are going to make a significant impact is if I overdo it and make a short-term issue into a season-ender.

    At that price, feel free to shop around for a coach. It's far more than I pay, but I am getting exactly what I want from my coach. First I would talk with the coach about your expectations and where they failed to meet them. Allow them a chance to correct the perceived problems and in turn convey their expectations.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    I send my coach weekly updates and upload my files weekly as well. I know that he is not looking as closely at my power files right now because it is less important this time of year.

    But he also is very quick to respond to questions or issues, and while my plan is laid out monthly, he has made adjustments as things come up.

    And from my experience, looking at numbers daily is fun, but I gain more insight looking at them over time and seeing trends.

    Moreover, it's fairly common for outside interference to cause weird HR or power numbers. For example, my mas HR is 185, but every time I ride by one set of power lines, my computer shows my HR at 225. It doesn't matter how hard I am going, my number spikes to 225. So, he probably assumed it was outside interference as it seems highly unlikely that you could actually have such a high HR.

    Oh, and I've never paid anywhere near that much for a coach. I've had two coaches who provided their services for free, two that cost $75 a month and two that cost $100 a month. My wife's coach, who is a former pro and national champion, charges $225. She provides weekly and sometimes daily updates.

  19. #19
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    You should talk to your coach about your expectations and how you feel they are not being met. That is a lot of money, and you should get what you pay for - which would also mean both you and your coach agreeing about what you are paying for. My coach has 2 levels of coaching, i'm on the $200 level and get twice-weekly look at my power files (although the stated amount is weekly) and a monthly plan. Her more expensive level is $325 and includes daily power file review.

    In terms of him not noticing stuff in your files - you should call out what you notice. Remember, you have additional information about how the workout felt and how you feel, over and above what the coach has. For example, if you are seeing a very high HR value and you know you were not working hard, and you think - oh that was my jersey flapping or there were power lines interfering... you can tell your coach, it's not fair to expect him to figure that out w/o the extra info you have. Coaching is a collaboration. Are you making notes on your power files? you should be!

    this isn't to say your coach is or isn't doing a good job. But it's not fair to expect him to know as much about your riding experience as you do. The numbers don't tell the whole story.
    ...

  20. #20
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Just a comment...
    To be honest if I were reviewing the file and saw a heart rate in excess of 200 for 30 minutes I would probably discount it very quickly as a data error. Just not physically possible...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  21. #21
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    are you on any drugs? they can elevate HR

  22. #22
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    are you on any drugs? they can elevate HR
    Post of the day?

    But seriously maybe a little but not that much...
    Unless you are riding on uppers then he should be looking for a life coach rather than a cycling coach.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  23. #23
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkwaki View Post
    Just a comment...
    To be honest if I were reviewing the file and saw a heart rate in excess of 200 for 30 minutes I would probably discount it very quickly as a data error. Just not physically possible...
    For 24-48 hours after a thoracic trauma, you can see a syndrome called "traumatic myocarditis" one symptom of which would be tachyarrhythmias- ie pathologically fast heart rate, usually in the form ventricular premature contractions (VPCs). VPCs occur secondary to injury to the heart muscle. So, yes, it is physically possible and potentially very serious.

    I'm not saying that's what has happened here, I agree that a HR monitor glitch is more likely. Just if you are a coach it is worth knowing that an aberration like this right after a crash is not necessarily a data error.

  24. #24
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    i've seen wildly high readings while on percoset

  25. #25
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    are you on any drugs? they can elevate HR
    Lol, no

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