Do You Need A Coach?

irunitri_claudiaspooner_triathlonDo you need a coach?  That is a question I get a lot when discussing triathlon and running.  As an RRCA certified coach I always say yes because I want them to become clients and pay me gobs of money……just kidding its not gobs.  Seriously though I say it is up to you on whether or not you need that motivation from a coach, that positive reinforcement or are just too busy to put together a proper plan.

For me the latter of those three is the reason I still have a coach after two years.  Running 3 businesses, having a family and friends as well as training anywhere from 15-25 hours per week and I just can’t see having the time to put together an effective training plan for myself.  Now, for my clients it is easy to do.  I can sit down and double-check their numbers against my plan and make sure they are headed in the right direction each day and week.  To do it for myself seems like work.

If you know MattyO then you know he is going with the No Training Plan, Training Plan.  For me that would never work.  I am to anal to not have something in Training Peaks to focus on.  Something to look forward to.  Something that I don’t have to think about but can just wake up and go.  Does this mean that you need a coach or a plan?  Of course not.  You need to look inside yourself and figure that out. had a post that was written by Mackenzie Madison about why self-coaching could be a good thing.  She had great points and here they are:

  • No one knows your strengths and weaknesses better than you do.
  • You learn how to become your own motivator.
  • You know why you are doing certain workouts.
  • You can take credit for your own success. 
  • It’s free.
As I prepare my credit card to register for 70.3 San Juan in March of 2013 I think about whether or not I can coach myself post IMAZ or if I stick with Claudia.  My reaction and thought is that yes I will be sticking with her.  A lot of the reason is that right now in recovery from IMTX I feel very good and am ready to roll but that is not what the schedule calls for.  My fear is that I will not recover properly and then get injured.  For me this is reason enough to have a coach.



Print Friendly

Related posts:


  1. Misszippy says:

    I started out with a coach in triathlon and had him beyond Ironman. Then I felt pretty confident in what I was doing so made the break. These days, with mostly run training, I also feel ok to fly solo. I think people should look at coaching as a fluid relationship–use when needed.

  2. BDD says:

    I think it all depends on the athlete and the athletes goals, in my opinion
    BDD recently posted..Tri for Joe Aquabike Race ReportMy Profile

  3. Erin says:

    I recently got a coach and I am loving it! Finding the right fit was important, but once I did, I really think that having a coach is going to help me progress and reach the goal I have set (to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon trials). I don’t have any trouble with motivation/accountability, but I have loved having someone to give me workouts, mileage, guidance on when/where to race, and then all of the support/feed back, etc.

    I am also getting my coaching certification through USATF and hope to be able to coach some newer runners. Having a coach isn’t right for everyone and I think depending on your goals, many are find without one, but I also think that there are lots of benefits to having a coach. :)
    Erin recently posted..Questions and answersMy Profile

  4. Jill says:

    I think there’s more to being a good coach than a little piece of paper, coaches are molded out of experience … and heart. I ran and swam competitively in college and so having a coach was pretty much instilled in me and I’ve had several (more so, personal trainer who do coaching) and have had good and bad ones. I know how to write a plan for myself, that’s the easy thing….what I value most in a coach is someone to talk to about my training and having them there on my side. When I’m left to my own devices (such as now, because I can’t afford one), I tend to be slackier because it’s just me and my feeble mind.
    Jill recently posted..Action Packed Mountain WeekendMy Profile

  5. Natasha says:

    I believe having a coach can be very valuable if you have very specific goals. I also believe that you can be a great self coach if you have the right resources. The only reason I don’ t have a coach is proably because I can’t afford the plans available in my area. When I signed up for my 1st IM I was so nervous that I went and got USAT Level I certified just so I could coach myself :-)
    Natasha recently posted..Blog Post ConfessionalMy Profile

  6. Jeff Irvin says:

    Good post Jason. As you know, I am currently self coached and have been happy with my results. I enjoy putting together my own plans but sometimes I think I need another perspective – especially when it comes to recovery. I have learned over the years that I am unrelenting on myself. This is good because I never lack motivation but at the same time, not so good because I do not allow myself to back off when it is really needed. I am thinking after IMMT that a coach maybe necessary to help me recovery and get ready for IMTexas in May. Maybe I’ll give Claudia a call?

    As for recommending a coach to athletes? Yes, I do this often. Especially when they keep asking me for training advice every time I see them (-:
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..2,160My Profile

    • CTER says:

      Yeah, definitely give Claudia a call for that. Getting advice/coaching from a 2x Vegas Qualfier and Kona Qualifier is never a bad idea.

      And I am like you. Go Go Go…..recovery? Sure when they bury me.

  7. Bob says:

    Matty O is my coach…… he just doesn’t know it
    Bob recently posted..The FL/ALMISLA/TX IronmanMy Profile

  8. katie says:

    I LOVE having a coach, it’s one of the best training decisions I’ve ever made.
    katie recently posted..on recoveryMy Profile

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: