How to Get the Most From Your Coach
You put a lot of effort into your training, your coach spends time crafting a well thought out, periodized program to deliver you to race day in the best shape possible. What could go wrong?!
Lack of communication.
The fact that you should keep your coach in the loop may sound like common sense; communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship, right?! But I’ve seen many good athletes sabotage their work by not talking about important with their coach.
While your coach can get a lot of information from the session data you upload – there is also a lot they can’t see. So to help, I’ve put together a short list detailing some of the situations when you should reach out:
- You’re ‘feeling fatigued’ – your numbers look good but you’re just feeling ‘drained’ (especially for multiple days in a row)
- You’re injured, (or feeling an injury coming on)
- You’ve had a ‘breakthrough session’ – your coach is unlikely to immediately analyse every session you do, (unless you’re on a very personalised/comprehensive plan) so if you have an exceptional session, shoot your coach a note
- You’ve had a very bad session, (or a few in a row) – if you’re struggling to hit your numbers it’s usually an indication something is wrong
- Your motivation to train is low
- You’re struggling with sleep
- You’re experiencing our of the ordinary food cravings
- Your appetite is either very high or very low
- You’re losing or gaining weight rapidly
- You’ve experienced an increase in personal or work stress – or you know you’re about to enter a period of high life stress
Why Let Your Coach Know?
Most of this should go without saying, but not everyone is aware of the implications of the points listed above. Based on your feedback, your coach may:
- Alter your program:
- Suggesting you to take a break
- Adding variety to your sessions
- Adjusting intensity/duration of upcoming sessions
- Changing focus to avoid aggravating an injury
- Alter your ‘zones’ – if you’ve had a breakthrough session you may need to change your FTP/HR zones/CSS pace for the swim, etc
- Alter your nutrition protocol
- Suggest changes to lifestyle factors
- Suggest recovery protocols
- Refer you to another health professional, (physio, doctor, etc)
You get the idea…
Your Coach Should Be Asking Good Questions Too
An important point is that your coach should be teasing information out with good questions.
Especially for those new to being coached, it’s hard to know what information is meaningful and helpful to share with your coach. You’ll learn this over time of course, but in the initial stages of the relationship, your coach should be doing the work.
Hopefully, that’s given you a little more context behind the importance of communication.