Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - How many use a coach?
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12-12-06, 11:11 PM
If you ride long distances (100+ mi) and race (any distance): do you only do shorter races/competitions, or do you also race longer competitions?
I ride long distances, and I race long distances (24-hour TTs). I would like to race more long distances, because I have discovered I really enjoy them ... but they are all so far away.
I keep toying with the idea of racing shorter TTs again (I raced them, plus road races and crits for three years before getting into long distance riding), but the timing and opportunity has not worked out for me. For example, the local weekly TTs are held on Tuesday evenings, and I work Tuesday evenings.
I use no coach or coaching service ... cycling coaches of any sort don't exactly grow on trees in this part of the world ..... and I'm not a big fan of heavily structured programs.
12-13-06, 06:25 PM
I'm not a great fan of structure either; however, the older I get, the more I realise that this is a weakness. I really respect other people for not wanting structure though -- it can rob a lot of the pleasure from an activity. I've started to realise my pattern: I get engaged with something quite deeply until the point when I realise I'm going to need to focus on technique, on the science of the activity, to get better. Then I usually drop it. So what I've done this time, as a kind of compromise, is rather than get a coach, I've hired someone to write me a programme. This way I have some liberty to alter it. The base structure is there, though. I'm really enjoying having some structure actually; otherwise, I tend to go out and do a lot of miles at about 70-80% which really is a large waste of time.
Another thing to think about when getting a coach is philosophy. Even the most hasty survey of coaches will tell you that cycling coaching is not a science. It can be a rather intimate relationship (if you opt for that) and you do want to find someone who shares your basic approach to the sport; or, who is sensitive enough to be able to modulate their approach to suit different clients.
12-13-06, 07:08 PM
I use a certified coach, who is also a dear friend and training partner. I am lucky that I do not have to pay for his services, as he charges $300 per month.
He has me on a structured program to do the Elite Pac Tour next June.
I am currently pedaling 20+ hours a week (with cross training on a rower and lifting weights), in February this will bump up to 25+ hours a week and April to early May 35+ hours a week. I also have certain weeks where I do some pilates or yoga, read books and watch movies.
For the 35+ hour weeks, one week I will be doing a 5 day trip / 750+ miles and then the following week a 12 hour time trial, then a 3 week taper.
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