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coaching

Old 02-28-07, 06:41 PM
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Lithuania
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coaching

so who is using a coach? break down your experience for me. what they do, how much, online?,etc...

Im interested for a few reasons, the main ones being I react much better being told what to do than self motivating myself and I work an unusual work schedule so I need help creating a schedule.

I feel kind of silly considering a coach being a lowly cat 5 though.

thoughts?
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Old 02-28-07, 07:10 PM
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I started with my coach in May of 2005, I basically wasted the first 4 months by not buying into his program. After I started to really buy into it I started to see some improvement. 2006 was my first year racing and I made some good progress. This year things seem to be clicking. I've had a 3rd and an 8th in my first two cat 4 races this year.

My coach is local but he also has clients that he coaches online, Vinokurtov is one of them. I get a special deal from him so I can't quote his rates. From what I've researched most coaching is around 100-125 a month. He lays out my training program for the month and then adjusts it if my sleep patterns change or work or family obligations change. Sean is great because he allows you to actually call him not just have email conversations with him. He calls me after every race and talks me through how things went. Not all coaches do this. When I first started looking into coaches I was going to go with Kevin Livingston but basically after meeting with him I realized he was just going to shuffle me off to one of his workers. For me it was the personal feeling I got from Sean, that he was going to take an interest in my development.
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Old 02-28-07, 07:44 PM
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thanks thats exactly the type of response i was looking for.

I just read recently that you were only a cat 4 and i was shocked. For some reason I thought you were a racing vet.
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Old 02-28-07, 08:08 PM
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I have a coach and he lives in VA. He's awesome. He uses TrainingPeaks and CyclingPeaks, responds promptly to email, and we speak on the phone a couple of times per month for half an hour or so (or every week for 15-20 minutes). He also has the pre/post race hotline to call with questions, reports, etc. He lays out my training plan every week or two but modifies it at least weekly as needed. He does a lot of power meter ride file analysis. He's a more expensive than some Internet-based coaches, but I'm paying extra for more frequent communication at least this first year.

I'm able to handle training-related issues via email so most of my phone conversations with my coach lately have been related to race tactics. Since I'm a Cat5, that's been pretty insightful since for a supposedly fairly bright guy I tend to be a dumb racer (i.e. ignore what's going on around me).

All that aside, however, the best part of having a coach--FOR ME--is knowing that when I've been assigned an interval workout or a 20-minute all out effort or a long tempo ride there's going to be someone looking at the ride file and it helps keep me from over- or under-training.. I guess you could say I'm paying for the privilege of having someone to whom I'm accountable.

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Old 02-28-07, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by zimbo
I guess you could say I'm paying for the privilege of having someone to whom I'm accountable.
Damn, zimbo, you got a deal. Between the two rings I had to buy I could've paid for 100 months of coaching.
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Old 02-28-07, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by riskus
thanks thats exactly the type of response i was looking for.

I just read recently that you were only a cat 4 and i was shocked. For some reason I thought you were a racing vet.
Not on bikes but I've raced MX and cars for most of my life. Racing is racing to one degree or another. I've found a lot aspects of racing open wheel cars that I've been able to transfer to bike racing. Cornering, gear selection and being very close to another riders wheels are all things that I've adapted from car racing.

Last year as a 5 I really focused on learning how to move through the pack without using too much energy. Watching how the fast guys timed things and really trying to become relaxed. I've learned a lot from guys on BF like Vinokurtov. He and I have similar motor sports backgrounds so we can relate to things in the same way.

This year I'm learning that I have the speed but not the experience, Sunday I should have been in the top 3 or 4 but my positioning at 1000m was too far back. I should have fought a little harder earlier to get up front and I might have been on the podium instead of 8th. Sean is great on this kind of stuff as well, when we debrief after a race he makes me go over what happened and I can see where I screwed up. Also to piggy back on Zimbo's comment about being responsible to someone else, I totally agree. That is why I bought a power meter, so I couldn't lie to myself or to the coach. Watts don't hide the truth so at the end of each workout the numbers are there to be seen.
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Old 02-28-07, 09:37 PM
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i am investing in a power meter in the next few days/weeks so the next logical move to me is coaching. i definitely think i would need someone to help me with the numbers obtained.
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Old 02-28-07, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by riskus
i am investing in a power meter in the next few days/weeks so the next logical move to me is coaching. i definitely think i would need someone to help me with the numbers obtained.
The decision to get a coach went hand in hand with getting a power meter. I had been riding bikes for over 18 years, with a brief racing career between 1989 and 1992, and I wasn't making any progress. For the last 12 months I've totally bought into Sean's approach and I really feel that it's paid off. Sunday was a big test for me, I raced with the 'just passing through' crowd. Meaning these are the guys who are just passing through the 4's on their way to the 3's and up. I was right there with them the whole day so Sean is doing something right. This is especially meaningful since I'm 45 and the oldest guy in front of me was 28.

I like the fact that Sean lays out all my workouts for me. I don't have to think about what I have to do next. I've got enough to deal with in my daily life and having a coach makes training a lot easier.
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Old 02-28-07, 11:11 PM
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When I did race, I had a "trainer" who's normal rates were I think $100/month (he gave my brother and me a group discount). For that, he printed and gave me a weekly workout schedule which included mileage and intensity along with any races I stated that I would be racing in. I downloaded key workouts on my heart rate monitor to his computer for a printout and analysis. Twice a year, he would have me do a computrainer session to determine peak power, average power, and VO2 max. He was also present at my weekly velodrome training sessions and as many races as he could fit into his schedule.

I use the term trainer because I think of "coach" as the team coach for the team I raced for. Different person and job function. He was at almost all of the races I did (since they were mostly scheduled by the team or its members), provided transportation and sometimes lodging at events, and evaluated my training logs after my trainer did. I did not pay for his services since the team hired him.
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Old 03-01-07, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by riskus
I feel kind of silly considering a coach being a lowly cat 5 though.

thoughts?
I really think a Cat 5 benefits the most from a good coach. A good coach can get you way up on the learning curve quickly for racing and training, the curve is steepest when you first step in. As much as anything they can save you from making mistakes that will be big time and performance setbacks, or worst case giving up the sport when things go bad.
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Old 03-01-07, 06:13 AM
  #11  
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El Diablo Rojo,

What didnt you buy into right away?
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Old 03-01-07, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by riskus
El Diablo Rojo,

What didnt you buy into right away?
The first thing he told me was that I was riding too much, when I started with Sean I was doing 225-250 miles a week. I wasn't resting and most of my rides had a lot intensity. He told me at my age and my work and with my family schedule that I should be riding less. Well that was contrary to everything I had every learned about training. Then once I started with him I wasn't disciplined about following his workout schedule. He'd have me do a recovery ride and someone would come past me and I'd chase them down, or I'd hook up with some other riders and ride outside my zones. It wasn't until I did the Tour of Columbus (TX) Aug of '05, a race Sean asked me not to do, and I got completely shelled, that I realized that I either had to do what he said or not have a coach. From that point on I've pretty much stuck to the program.

The hardest part for most of the people with whom I've spoken with who are new to being coached is being disciplined. It's hard when you wake up and feel like going out on hard ride and you are scheduled to do zone 1-2 easy gears for 2 hours and your friends are hammering away on the local fast training ride. Now I ride by myself a lot more, but Sean usually has me doing some sort of group ride on the weekends if I'm not racing.
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Old 03-01-07, 06:53 AM
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I am so I could stop worrying about if I'm doing it right.

I still worry, but I don't have to figure out how to plan based on my worries. It's also a huge motivator when you want to quit. You know someone else is going to see your results.
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Old 03-01-07, 07:59 AM
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What do you guys think about the marketability of purely tactical coaching? Here in Austin, it seems like it might be worth $25 for me to ride with a beginner in the Tuesday Nighter and talk him or her through the B race (or A race if they're strong enough). I've mentored a couple men this way who quickly went from cat 5 to cat 3 after learning how to corner, shift, read the pack, move around in it, etc. I coached a cat 2 woman as well who just needed to learn how and when to really fight in the pack, and the Tuesday Nighter was a great forum for us.

I guess it would kind of be like snowboarding lessons. Get you on to the blue slopes in a day or two by just covering all the crap that's tough to learn on your own.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:01 AM
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I wish i could afford $100/month on a coach.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:33 AM
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I see you're in VA. Here are some outfits with local coaches. I've personally worked with or know athletes who've worked with each of these groups with alot of success.

Coaches who specialize in powermeter based coaching:
http://www.peakscoachinggroup.com/co...g_coaches.html

VA-based Friel-based "periodization" schedule coaches:
http://www.fitness-concepts.com/roadcyccoaches.htm

Local coach who works with athletes who use power as well as those who dont:
http://hpcoaching.com/

For me, I wanted a local coach who knew what I was talking about when I say things like I want to attack in turn 5 at reston, or where should I make my move at Jeff cup, etc. Also, I'm kind of "right brained" when it comes to cycling, training, and racing, so I wanted a coach who could handle that and not be all encompassed by numbers. You might be wired differently and should consider that when selecting someone. Also, different coaches have different levels of communication, I dont need alot of hand holding, but I also didnt want restrictions, so that was a consideration as well.

There are also more internet based coaching programs, like CTS or http://www.everybodysbikecoach.com/. I am familiar with atheletes who've used CTS with success, I also know people who said it was a waste, kind of luck of the draw there. Depends on how much communication you need. In my opinion, anyone can come up with a training plan, the value of a coach comes when your #s start dropping or rising unexpectedly, or things start going wrong and you've gotta re-adjust.

Pricing, expect $150 - $250/month. Other on-line programs might be less $$ as others have alluded to $100/mo., but that seems pretty low in my experience.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:43 AM
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thanks mdcatv, i would love to find someone locally like this. I will have to look at these guys once I get my PT.

My biggest concern right now is comming up with a schedule.

I work Thursday - Saturday and every other Wednesday 6am to 6pm. When you throw in another 2 hours each work day for commuting I really dont have time to ride those days so I need someone to help me figure out what is the best way to use the time I do have.
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Old 03-01-07, 09:08 AM
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My coach is also my team's executive director (but offers coaching to people not on the team as well).

It's based on trainingpeaks website and I get daily emails with the day's workout. Unlimited emails and phone calls are included in the coaching "package", but since we're friends and team mates that's not really a concern since we email back and forth a lot anyway.

I upload my data from my workout each day and I comment on how the workout went. On days I upload power data (from my realaxiom trainer), he can see how many watts my intervals were, etc.
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Old 03-01-07, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by riskus

I work Thursday - Saturday and every other Wednesday 6am to 6pm. When you throw in another 2 hours each work day for commuting I really dont have time to ride those days so I need someone to help me figure out what is the best way to use the time I do have.
I used to have a very similar schedule when I worked in a data center....4 days on/4 days off, 12.25 hour days. My days off rotated each week, though. Combine that with a 45 min. commute each way, and I was out of the house from 5:30 a.m. until 7:45 p.m.

During those years, I was more into running than I was riding...and even at that, it was difficult (and running takes up way less time). If you don't require a lot of sleep, then it's almost managable....but, either way, riding on your work days is going to be very difficult. What I would do is work out IMMEDIATELY when I got home, and would be done just before 9 p.m. Try to relax and unwind for an hour (good luck), and then go to sleep.

I would say try to do the bulk of your riding on your off days, and use 2 of the 4 workdays as rest days, and shorter efforts the other two days (no more than 1 hour), and try to keep your sleep patterns "normal". Even if those rides during workdays have to occur on the trainer to make the best/most efficient use of your time, so be it.
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Old 03-01-07, 09:41 AM
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I just bought my trainer for that exact reason of riding for one hour on work days.

As it is now I wake up at 4am leave the house by 5pm and get home at the earliest 7pm. Oh and I work in a data center too.
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Old 03-01-07, 09:44 AM
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I kinda miss having 4 days off, but I SURELY don't miss those 14 hour days.
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Old 03-01-07, 10:05 AM
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i heard you. The pros and cons of these shifts are amazing and the grass is always greener on the one you are not working.
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Old 03-01-07, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
What do you guys think about the marketability of purely tactical coaching? Here in Austin, it seems like it might be worth $25 for me to ride with a beginner in the Tuesday Nighter and talk him or her through the B race (or A race if they're strong enough). I've mentored a couple men this way who quickly went from cat 5 to cat 3 after learning how to corner, shift, read the pack, move around in it, etc. I coached a cat 2 woman as well who just needed to learn how and when to really fight in the pack, and the Tuesday Nighter was a great forum for us.

I guess it would kind of be like snowboarding lessons. Get you on to the blue slopes in a day or two by just covering all the crap that's tough to learn on your own.

Interesting, I have thought about this as well. There is so much information out there on Training, and most people assume that coaching=training programs. The learning curve in terms of how to "play the game" is tougher IMO, and may benifit more from personal contact with a coach.

The most succesfull coaching I've had in the past involved asking the right questions before and after races, and improving on the decisions that I made during races. This type of coaching had a much greater and faster impact on my results than modifying my training.
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Old 03-01-07, 12:03 PM
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with my little racing experience i wouldnt really know what to even ask a coach about a race right now.
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Old 03-01-07, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by riskus
with my little racing experience i wouldnt really know what to even ask a coach about a race right now.
Asking coach is for wussy.
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