More and more Ironman triathletes are opting for online triathlon coaching to prepare for their race season. While there are both positive and negative aspects of investing in Ironman triathlon coaching online, the decision always depends on the lifestyle, preferences, and location of the triathlete.
As advocates of quality and personalized online triathlon coaching, here at Better Triathlete we support athletes who interested in web-based coaching dynamic. Below we share a few reasons why online triathlon coaching is a win for Ironman triathletes.
The Independent Nature of Ironman Training
There are few sports more personalized than triathlon, especially when it comes to training. Sometimes finding training friends or getting immersed in a triathlon/swimming/cycling/running club is not an option.
While some individuals prefer to have training friends, almost all competitive triathletes appreciate the personalized nature of training alone and going inward. In fact most triathlon coaches will agree that a combination of individual and group training is a good thing.
The independent nature of Ironman is a proponent of triathlon coaching online. Because athletes focus long-term on a big race that’s solely dependent on oneself, many resist outsider interaction or the need for motivation.
Most Ironman athletes are disciplined, independent, and focused – naturally.
For these reasons, a disciplined athlete can leverage significantly more options for triathlon coaching and training services online.
Elite-Caliber Ironman Triathlon Coaching
Some athletes want the same elite-level Ironman triathlon coaching as the pros (but without the personal attention that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars per month.) Some of the most advanced and experienced Ironman triathlon coaches offer training programs and coaching services online, such as Dave Scott, Chris Hauth, Bret Sutton, to name just a few.
If you have a specific Ironman coach in mind, then go for it. But if you’re searching around for potential triathlon coaches online, make sure to clearly understand the level of coaching that you’ll be receiving.
Some reputable Ironman coaches provide online training programs to new or online athletes. While some of these training programs may be personalized to the athlete, this investment may or may not include direct communication with the coach.
Local Barriers to Train
Even though the sport of triathlon is rapidly growing, the demand for Ironman coaching exceeds the supply of qualified triathlon coaches.
Unless you live in a metropolitan area or city with a strong triathlete community, it can be hard to find a coach who is experienced in Ironman distance training (let alone find fellow athletes to train with.)
In short, Ironman triathlon coaching online opens the door to a plethora of qualified coaches. For many triathletes living in rural, cold, and dry areas that lack a thriving tri community, online Ironman coaching may be the only option.
Tips for Interviewing Online Triathlon Coaches
The following are important considerations when evaluating potential triathlon coaches, both online and local. Consider these qualities when interviewing prospective online triathlon coaches.
It’s important to ask potential triathlon coaches exactly how available they are to athletes. Most Ironman coaches will make these details clear on their websites by mentioning how many emails, Skype sessions, phone calls, etc. an athlete can expect to receive.
During your initial conversation with the triathlon coach, make sure that the level of accessibility the coach offers is a reasonable amount of contact for you and your needs. This also includes how often the coach wants to hear from you as the athlete. Most online Ironman coaches like to connect with their athletes on weekly basis. However, this frequency will depend based on the individual and his or her lifestyle.
An effective online triathlon coach must be flexible in how he or she programs and administers workouts. As an athlete, it’s crucial to ask questions the coach’s framework and process on how he or she can design and adapt a training program to suit your needs.
Consider a few what if’s, like what’s the protocol if a training session is missed? Will the triathlon coach implement modifications based on what feels more natural to you as your triathlon training progresses?
Many Ironman triathlon coaches online might think they have the best approach to programming and training an athlete. However, without the willingness and professional capabilities to adapt their approach to fit the individual needs of the triathlete, there will most likely be roadblocks in the progression of one’s training season..
Especially for those planning to do an Ironman, athletes need to reconcile and modify their day-to-day life to incorporate structured triathlon training. For this reason, it’s vital for an online Ironman coach to consider your work schedule, family, and social life when constructing a triathlon training plan.
In short, the triathlon coach willing to modify training sessions based on the big picture of your life. Like mentioned above, it will go a long way to ask questions during your initial consultation or interview with online triathlon coaches. This will help you avoid feeling frustrated and overwhelmed if the online coaching dynamic doesn’t meet your expectations.
Research your online triathlon coaching candidates well enough to be confident in his or her experience and qualifications as your coach. If you’re reaching out and interviewing triathlon coaches online, you can ask to speak to current or past client athletes.
While for some triathletes it’s not necessary for the coach to be a Kona-qualified triathlete or former Ironman pro, pinpointing a triathlon coach online with some competition-specific experience is a good benchmark for a competitive athlete seeking coaching services. At the very least, your prospective coaches should hold some kind of certification (i.e. personal training, running, cycling, and/or swimming) or have attained a Level 1 USAT Coaches Certification. It also helps that your prospective triathlon coaches have completed a few Iron-distance races.
Regardless of how experienced, smart, or high-profile an Ironman triathlon coach is, the coaching will not be very effective if your personalities are not fully compatible. Prior to the interview process, outline the goals of your upcoming triathlon season. Next, be real with yourself and determine what it is you need (both in yourself and in your triathlon coach) to achieving those goals.
Will your tri coach be the motivator you need to push you through your triathlon training program? Or will this individual serve as more of guide and resource? Some triathletes make the conclusion that it’s usually a combination of both, depending on the depth of the training program, intensity of the season, and distance of the race(s). By undergoing this self-analysis process, you can better narrow and pinpoint the ideal online Ironman triathlon coaches who will help you actualize a successful and fulfilling season.
Find The Best Online Triathlon Coaches for Ironman Training
Are you planning on doing an Iron-distance race? Do you need help designing your Ironman training program?
Work with some of the best online triathlon coaches to help you realize your best season. At Better Triathlete, we help connecting both local sprint and Ironman athletes alike with local and online triathlon coaches. If you’re interested in pinpointing a local triathlon coach in your area, click here. To inquire about online triathlon coaching and connect with some of the best coaches online, contact us.