Why You Need a Coach

There are gadgets and numbers to guide you, but your coach is key to fine-tuning your training and extracting your best performance.

There are certainly no secrets when it comes to getting fit. Whether you are a professional athlete or recreational athlete or newbie, you’ll have to constantly push yourself—the right way. If you have a coach, it’s important that you’re both on the same page.

Your coach is trying to maximize your aerobic capacity (engine), which is your ability to ride close to your limit for as long as possible, as well as fine-tuning the engine (threshold work), and trimming the bodywork (improving power-to-weight ratio).

Technology has its advantages. It brings screens of numbers and colorful charts, important metrics and powerful software for riders and coaches to endlessly pore over. However, these are not what make a successful endurance athlete.

You may have the gadgets: a GPS (global positioning system) watch (for running and swimming), a power meter (for cycling) to measure intensity and relate it to your Functional Threshold Pace (running and swimming), and Functional Threshold Power (cycling). But you still need the coach to interpret and utilize it for you. Coaching is not principally just science but also an art.

Your coach needs to know your goals and ambitions, your preferences, and other commitments that have more priority than training, like your family and career. The art of coaching has a psychological aspect that no amount of technology and data can replace.

Coaching is about getting the best out of a client or athlete. And the most important factor in achieving your goals isn’t the about your heart rate, pace, or power at threshold, but the relationship that exists between you and your coach.

According to Coach Paolo Slongoof Astana Pro Cycling Team, “The relationship between a coach and athlete needs a mix of skills. But the most important elements, as far as I’m concerned, are confidence in each other, dialogue, and honesty.”



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