Triathlon Coaching 101 – Roles of a Coach

I had a discussion with a couple of clients this week.

The discussion went something like this…(picture thought balloons in the parentheses)

Me:  “First question, how did you find us? “  ( always curious how someone finds TYB Coaching)

Them: “I was searching online for triathlon coaching,  I found some plans and a few coaches in the area.   I tried to contact them but they were out of town or didn’t respond.  Seems like they weren’t really interested.” (And there it is…)

At that point, I was on a mission to CLEAR THAT UP.

I get the impression, quite often,  that there are a couple of misunderstandings (actually more but I will touch on the obvious ones) on both sides of the aisle when it comes to coaching and being coached.

Let’s address the roles of a coach FIRST and then we will discuss YOU.   Because at the end of the day if I am not serving YOU then why am I here?

In going through the education process that qualifies us as USAT Certified Triathlon Coaches,   we discuss the roles (formal and informal) of a coach.  They include, but absolutely are not limited to:

  • Teacher
  • Leader
  • Organizer/Planner
  • Psychologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Sherpa
  • Equipment Reviewer
  • ….many more

 

My personal experience, as a coach,  is that there are fantastic coaches that excel in all these roles and are very responsive to the athletes they serve.   Then there are “coaches” out there that are more than happy to sign you up and then throw random workouts on your training calendar with little or no explanation of why and then do not respond to your questions or concerns.

The reality is that TYB Coaching serves you through all of these roles and more.   We work with you to make sure you have the endurance you require to be successful your racing, as well as, to develop  you to your highest potential  as a triathlete.  This includes managing your training load in an healthy, safe manner to make sure you are able to reach your racing goals and deal with the personal challenges that invariably come up due to your multiple roles as a spouse, parent or business person.

The misunderstanding is that “all” coaches randomly throw hard work at our athletes through a training log and rarely communicate or are reachable to serve you and that this is all that coaching really is. That’s where the temptation to grab a “plan” off the internet comes from.   A plan written for some athlete with some ability in some life situation that the buyer “hopes” is close to theirs.  More often than not it is a “perfect world” plan that frustrates the average athlete or doesn’t fit their time commitment and is soon abandoned.

When you are looking at being coached and choosing coaches, remember that there is “more”.    Now you know…

So, when you considering coaches and coaching going forward… you now have a better list of criteria to evaluate your choices.

TYB Coaching is here to serve you.

#thetimeisnow

 

 

Triathlon needs YOU! YOU need Triathlon!

Multi-sport endurance needs you.   You are critical to its success and longetivity.   In a multitude of ways, it is also critical to your success.

If you have participated as an athlete or you have been a spectator at a triathlon, marathon or ridden SAG (Support and Gear) on a long bike event then you understand the value of the human element in supporting these events.   If registration fees have been charged for these events you appreciate that the race director/producer uses these registration fees to pay for various costs of conducting these events.   Personnel,  permits,  food and other support items must be paid out of this.    Were it necessary to pay every person that supports a multi-sport event,  it’s likely that the event wouldn’t exist or that the registration fees would be astronomical.   These issues go hand in hand.

But,  as crucial as volunteering is to the sport, volunteering is extremely beneficial to the endurance athlete.   Let me illustrate a few of the “how’s”…

Want to race Ironman Augusta 70.3 next year? Don’t wait till the race next year to see the actual course.  Remember…”objects in your mirror are closer than they appear”.   You can watch videos and look at google maps all day long but nothing replaces the opportunity to see the race course and venue up close and personal.   What better way than to volunteer and see the course without the race day nerves and pressure?!

Looking at a new pair of swim goggles? Want the new cycling helmet?  New pedals?  New tri bars?   Best way to see new gear in practice is to hang out and volunteer near the transition areas.  Do they work? Are they practical?  Hard to tell in the bike shop or looking at an online product catalog.   Ask questions!  Trust me, triathletes love to talk about their gear.

Your children will become what is modeled for them.   I say this time and time again.  This is multi-faceted.    Your children see a role model volunteering their time and energy with a grateful heart.  Your children see people participating in a healthy lifestyle.  After all,  triathlon IS a lifestyle sport.  Endurance racing can be a lifetime activity for you and your family to participate in together.

Never underestimate the value of a friendly face on foreign soil.   I won’t forget the 2014 experience of being 300+ miles away from home and volunteering at a IM Florida race with freak weather conditions. I watched the pain and intestinal fortitude of the participants that weren’t quite prepared for the conditions.  In the midst of a swim cancelled event with winds and 40 degree temperatures at the bike start, there was an athlete struggling through the single transition on both a mental and physical level.  The look of gratitude and relief in their eyes, when they suddenly recognized me as a friendly face from home, was priceless and something I will always remember.

Finally, helping with the production of an endurance event can be very inspirational.  When there are 2500 participants in an Ironman event, there is likely a story of inspiration and awesomeness for each athlete and the journey that they’ve made to show up at the swim start.

Opportunities

Can you help?

TYB Coaching and TYB Coaching Georgia are “practicing what we preach.”

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TYB Coaching and TYB Coaching Georgia will be volunteering at the IM70.3 Gulf Coast on May 12th and at IM Florida on November 3rd.  If you want to volunteer or if you plan to race, link up with us at david@triyourbest.com.

IM Gulf Coast 70.3 Volunteer registration:

IM70.3 Gulf Coast Volunteering

Local opportunities:

If you wish to volunteer locally, here is your opportunity (Jeremey Davis loves you 🙂 ):

South Carolina (Setup Events):

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Setup Events Volunteering

Georgia (Georgia Multisport Productions)

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Georgia Multisports Productions Volunteering

Florida (MultiRace)

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MultiRace Volunteering

#trivolunteering

“A” is for August and the Augusta Preview

#thetimeisnow

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We are less than 6 months away from what is, currently, the largest North American Ironman 70.3 event.   Ironman 70.3 Augusta has sold out every year since it’s inception and 2018 marks the tenth year of it’s existence.

Each September, approximately 3600 nervous triathletes enter the waters of the Savannah River at the 5th Street Bridge just off Broad Street in Augusta, Georgia to begin a day of endurance racing.   The majority of those racing are entertaining butterflies because they wonder about how they have prepared for the race or what the course holds.

Figuratively speaking,  it’s time to get on the training bus.    If Augusta is your ‘A’ race this year,  are you building your base fitness now?   Are you progressing through the necessary training volume and program that you need to be successful?

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If you have concerns or you are just not sure what you should be doing to prepare for Augusta,  TYB Coaching can help with that. 

Talk with us.  Email us.  We can work with you to put you on the right coaching plan and path from a training plan perspective, as well as,  the demands of the Augusta race course.

Jamie Joe or David can help you take care of the Augusta butterflies once and for all.  Reach out to us.

We work with athletes from all over the South and the United States.  We work with athletes from abroad as well.  It just takes an email, phone call or text to start the process.

Speaking of the race course,   the word on the street is that the Augusta bike course will change this year.    Our SAG supported (multiple vehicles) preview will give you a shot at seeing and riding the course prior to the pressure of race day.

This the fifth edition of the fun TYB COACHING Augusta 70.3 preview.  You can register for the preview by punching your ticket here or copy and paste at:

https://www.active.com/augusta-ga/triathlon/camps/tyb-coaching-augusta-70-3-course-preview-weekend-2018?int=

The popularity of the preview is unprecedented this year so “The Time is Now”.   We are limiting the number of slots for the preview to be able to provide a solid and hands on experience for ALL participating athletes .

Let’s do this. #thetimeisnow

 

 

Losing and Regaining Fitness

 

TYB Coaching is often asked about base fitness and about maintaining base fitness over the months between a typical end of season ‘A’ race and the start of the next triathlon season.

In particular,  our coaches are asked how to maintain the fitness and not lose the results of the large body of training that went into the late season long course races.

The simple answer is to have a plan!   The plan includes talking with our coaches as the end of the season and the big race approaches. Once you have completed your last race,  we can talk with you to evaluate where you are as an endurance athlete, as well as, where you want to improve.  Then our coaches can help you prepare goals for the next season and discuss how TYB Coaching can help you maintain fitness over the winter months and perform base building prior to the start of the next season.

In fact,  some interesting research has been done recently to provide some practical numbers for how quickly an athlete that is not working out “de-trains” .

Check it out here and here.

I hope everyone has a great season and, as JC says,   RACE YOUR RACE!

– Coach David

 

Turning the Page to 2017

2017-1

Who knew Bob Seger wrote songs for triathletes?

“Here I am, On the road again…”

No one understands this more than endurance athletes.   Our world has two seasons – race season and training season.

As 2016 race season draws to a close we want to congratulate TYB athletes on a spectacular season that spanned from “Where It All Begins” on Parris Island in March to the Emerald Coast for IMFL in November and all points in between.

“Here I go playing the star again,  turn the page…”

TYB Coaching is excited to coach and prepare our family of current and new athletes for a fantastic 2017.

TYB Coaching announces that we will again hold our Triathlon 101 Clinics.   Look for upcoming details on clinics in both Upstate South Carolina and we will be announcing our first clinics in Atlanta, Georgia!

We will host a preview of the course that will be used for year number two of the highly successful Mountains to Mainstreet Half Iron Distance Triathlon in April.

Stay tuned for more on that as we await final course details from the organizers.

Additionally, TYB Coaching will hold the 4th annual IM Augusta 70.3 Preview Weekend on the weekend of August 26-27th.    Preview the course that will be raced on September 25th in the premiere North America IM70.3 event with over 3500 entrants every year.

The Sign up and details can be found here:

Sign up for the TYB Coaching IM Augusta 70.3 Preview

The TYB race calendar has been updated, so pick your races and we will help you make 2017 the year that changed everything.

“There I am, upon the stage….”

As endurance athletes,  YOUR 2017 success begins today.   It starts with your thoughts and preparation NOW.   Do the heavy lifting NOW.   Be accountable NOW.   Be spectacular in 2017.  Let us help you!

The Racing Continues!

As we roll into the first weekend of September, the racing continues throughout the Southeast and throughout the world!

First off, TYB Athletes Sandy O’Keefe and Jennifer Long travel to Cozumel next week for the ITU Age Group World Championships.  After qualifying last year, Sandy and Jennifer are looking forward to representing USA at the ITU World Championships!

In North Carolina, TYB Athletes Tina Rich and Randy Parks race the always fun White Lake Half Ironman.  Tina and Randy both are looking for some fun in White Lake.  Tina will use this race as a “recovery style” weekend as she continues to prepare for Ironman North Carolina while Randy, coming off of Lake Logan Half 5 weeks ago, continues to use the long distance races to experiment and figure out his perfect race scenario.

Also, across the country, TYB Athlete Jimmy Bagnola races in Santa Cruz at Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz.  Ready to roll, Jimmy looks for a solid day of swim, bike and run!

In South Carolina, TYB Athlete Frankie Valle heads down to the coast and races the new South Carolina Triathlon Series TriFecta Sprint Triathlon.  Keeping it short and sweet and fast, Frankie continues to prepare for the end of the season Ironman Florida.

The Big Dance

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In any sport or competition there is the penultimate contest that makes a statement to the world that you are the best of the best.

In triathlon,  where Ironman is the standard by which all triathlons are measured,  these are the Ironman World Championships.   This year the Ironman 70.3 Championship is held in Queensland, Australia.

TYB Coaching is proud to have a TYB athlete, Robert Vanderburg competing in the 2016 IM70.3 World Championship.  Robert punched his ticket to the Big Dance at IM70.3 Chattanooga! Good Luck Robert!   Race your race and have fun!