Getting started with coaching
An introduction to the things you need to think about if you're considering being coached
Before We Start
The first thing that we need to go through is what you want to achieve, in terms of your cycling, and how much time and personal support you have. The sort of training that will help you is very much dependant on what you want to achieve and when, where you are at the moment, how much time you can use to train and if your family, friends etc are supportive (this is more important than many people realise at first!)
Do you have any specific events you'd like to significantly improve your performance in? Are you familiar with how a structured training programme works?
The gist of it is you pick a few events you want to particularly focus on in the next 12 months or so, and we work on making you as strong as we can for those events. We use most other races as training rather than events that the results matter in when it's appropriate to do so. The common mistake riders make is to do a bunch of base miles, and then race all season with no real plan. They never peak, so they never get their best performances. This leads to competitive burnout, killing motivation! Not good!
Before we do any programme development, we need to know what you want to achieve, with some specificness. We want to work out what your immediate, medium term and long term goals are.
For example, in the medium term, my roadies pick a couple of races a year that they want to do well in, and we design their programmes to suit those events. They will do other events (and may even win some of them!) but their main focus is on 2 or 3 races a year. My recreational riders pick events like the Bicycle Victoria 'Around the Bay in a day' or the Audax Alpine Classic.
In the short term they may want to be able to complete a set of training exercises in a particular time, or lose 2 kg, or smooth out their pedaling action. Every training session has at least one short term goal (which can be as simple as "ride 100km without needing a rest"). Short term goals are usually determined in the details of a training programme.
In the long term (2+ years) they may want to win their way up into A grade, etc. You as the rider determine your long term goals. Coaches can assist with this, but it's ultimatly 100% your choice.
The key with these goals is that they've got to be achievable, measurable, challenging, flexible and compatible with the rest of your life.
So, the things you need to
work out are :
- What do you want to achieve in the long term?
- What do you want to achieve in the next or current season?
- How much time and support do you have?
If you can answer the above three questions, you're well on your way!