Are you considering hiring a running or triathlon coach?

Posted on 31 August 2011

It’s amazing how the coaching profession has taken off for endurance athletes over the last 25 years. I remember when starting out in triathlons we just trained and raced hard week in and week out. Off-season just meant cutting back the miles slightly but never a full recovery. There was limited science, technology and nutrition so we focused on training with the goal of more is better. Today, there are many options for athletes to work with a coach in various specific endurance sport disciplines.

5 benefits of hiring a coach:

  1. Provide some additional motivation
  2. Structure a year round training program
  3. Offer advice with respect to new techniques
  4. Offer assistance to improve form and technique
  5. A coach will keep you accountable for the workouts.

When evaluating coaches it’s important to ask some key questions:

  1. Is the coach available regularly – voicemail or email. Many online coaches will only provide access via email and separate fees for regular calls.
  2. You should evaluate coaches locally as well as outside of your area (online) and determine what will be best based upon your objectives.
  3. Ask the coach how they will adjust your program “on the fly” in the event you get sick, injured, business constraints. The original spreadsheet of workouts might need to be completely overhauled. Ask them what flexibility they have in making the changes and of courses the cost.
  4. Experience – Find out details of length of time coaching, do they still race (important), get not only testimonials but have a few phone conversations with clients.
  5. How often will you receive the workouts, weekly monthly, etc.
  6. Pricing options, flexibility, pricing discounts for a longer commitment.
  7. Ask what is their main sport background along with specific types of athletes they coach and accomplishments achieved by their athletes.

Of course it’s a personal choice to consider hiring a coach and the financial requirement is only one key consideration to determine if it’s right for you. Using a coach can provide a “sounding board” to bounce ideas off of him/her.

You comments are always welcome, feel free to email me at



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