Do You Need a Cycling Coach?

It's a new year and the start of the cycling season is just around the corner. Now is the time to improve your performance and make this your best season ever.

To do this, consider hiring a coach. It's an important consideration because an effective coach can provide you with three benefits: knowledge, objectivity and inspiration.

More: 7 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Coach

Knowledge

Experienced cycling coaches have a tremendous amount of knowledge. This can be helpful because competitive cycling is a complex sport. There are many variables that impact your success including the bike itself, bike fit, position on the bike, bike handling, year-round training regimen, diet, motivation, rest and recovery, choice of racing discipline and race selection.

A good coach can be very helpful when it comes to developing a training plan, improving your cycling skills and dealing with problems such as performance plateaus.

More: 10 Tips for Finding the Right Coach

Objectivity

Objectivity is another benefit of coaching. A coach can objectively diagnose problems that are impacting your performance. For example, if you are struggling during the season, you may have difficulty determining the cause of the problem, but it might be clear to your coach.

He might notice you're not resting enough, or may recognize the need for a diet modification. Even more commonly, your coach may point out your expectations are unrealistic for your current stage of development. With their impartial perspectives, coaches can often discern issues athletes overlook.

Inspiration

Third, a coach can be a great source of inspiration. Never underestimate the tremendous psychological benefit an effective coach can provide. No matter how dedicated and committed you are, sooner or later, you'll need some inspiration. Cycling is a very difficult sport and there are numerous obstacles every cyclist must face. These include injury, illness, difficult training and racing conditions, uncertainty and a lack of confidence, especially when things are not going well.

A coach can help motivate you during these difficult times. She can be a source of strength, a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board and a friend. A coach will also hold you accountable. You may buy the excuses you make but a good coach never will.

More: 5 Simple Ways to Increase Power on the Bike

About the Author

Tyrone A. Holmes, Ed.D, CPT, is a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and a Level 2 cycling coach through USA Cycling. He provides Cycle-Max Coaching for cyclists and multisport athletes who want to improve their performance on the bike and Healthy Life Coaching for individuals who want to lose weight and develop healthier lifestyles. His latest book is Developing Training Plans for Cyclists and Triathletes. Visit his website at www.holmesfitness.com and his Fitness Corner blog at www.doctorholmes.wordpress.com.

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