Why do I need a coach?
Having a coach is a significant step beyond following a ‘one size fits all’ training plan that you found on the internet:
Focus: A coach can help to plan a training programme to meet the specific demands and goals of your chosen event(s). By identifying your individual strengths and weaknesses, the programme can be tailored to help you develop your strengths and address any weaknesses.
Efficiency: A coached training programme is the most effective way to use your limited training time. You don't need endless training hours to improve; a coach can help you to train efficiently in the time you have available.
Motivation: For some people, having a coach helps with motivation, as having an external eye on your performance means you will complete sessions that you may have skipped otherwise.
Support: A coach can help you deal with problems, injury, illness and other issues that may hold you back.
Confidence: A coach is there to recognise your potential (even when you don’t!) and help get the best out of you as an athlete.
Expertise: You may not have the time to spend hours reading about the theory of athletic performance, aerodynamics, bike physics etc and how to employ this for your best advantage. A coach is there to be the expert so you don’t have to be, and can focus on your training and the rest of your life.
In summary, having a coach makes you part of a team! This is fundamental to the way we work.
I am a triathlete/ duathlete – can you help me?
Yes, we are experienced at tailoring the training for the bike leg of your event to fit in with the rest of the training you are doing. The total volume of training, as well as the amount of swim, bike and run training individually, can be monitored in Training Peaks so that we can keep on top of all aspects of your event. We treat the bike leg of a non-drafting triathlon/duathlon in a similar way to a time trial, producing much improved times and better overall results. Drafting events have some of the features of a road or circuit race and the training and tactics can be applied similarly.
You may already have a triathlon coach, but they are often from a running or swimming background and additional focus on the cycling side (from a training and technical point of view) is generally beneficial. Remember, you spend either almost half, or more than half, of your time on the bike during a triathlon or duathlon, so the gains in your overall time are highly significant.
Do I need a power meter?
No, you don't need one, but in recent years power meters have become much more accessible to individual athletes. Anyone can now have access to their output power on the bike in real time, and also analyse this data afterwards. They are probably the single most useful tool available that will help you improve your performance, both by training more effectively and by pacing your races (especially time trials and triathlon bike legs) more effectively. If you don't have a power meter we will use a combination of heart rate, speed and perceived exertion to guide your training, although all of these are subject to variations that make pacing more difficult. In particular heart rate is a useful guide to effort levels, although it is influenced by temperature, tiredness, hydration and stress/excitement so this needs to be borne in mind.
What is included?
The provided training programme is planned to work around your needs, work/education and family commitments and training time available per week. You can get in contact whenever you want via email, text, messenger or phone. You get feedback on your daily training with everything you need to support you and help you reach your goals. We also provide technical advice and support where required.
How do you track my training plan progress?
We use Training Peaks to set your training and monitor your progress. As part of your package a basic Training Peaks account is included free of charge (premium accounts are included with Silver and Gold coaching packages). You will receive your planned sessions on Training Peaks, but if you need to change something just let us know and we can adjust the plan accordingly.
How much does it cost?
Coaching packages start from £50 per month, with a three month minimum coaching period, plus a £75 startup fee to cover the initial consultation and assessment. There is a 20% discount for St Ives CC members. See the Services page for more details.
What happens when I sign up?
The first step is to fill in an information form which covers your current training, strengths and weaknesses, goals for the future and information about your existing lifestyle and non-cycling commitments. We will then schedule an initial consultation which includes an assessment of position on the bike and current fitness. The consultation also includes a discussion of cycling goals, around which we can then build your training plan.
Once everything is in place, the scheduled workouts appear in your Training Peaks calendar. You get a green light in the calendar when you complete the session as scheduled. If you have key events coming up, the plan can be tailored to allow you to peak for the event and optimise your form at the right time.
On an ongoing basis, we will review your progress against the plan, retesting your fitness where necessary and adjusting the plan as your fitness and goals progress.