How to Get the Most From Your Coach

No Excuses

Do you make excuses? "It's cold; it's windy; I was at work late; lunch didn't sit right; I have an early flight; it's too dark." Yes, these things happen, but when they happen all the time they're excuses. Fix them. We have all heard phrases like: "it's not the cards you're dealt; it's how you play them." And, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Things don't happen to you, you have to make them happen, so take control of your life and your training.

"Adapt, improvise, overcome!"? ~Clint Eastwood, Heartbreak Ridge.

You and you alone have to fight for your success. No one is going to hand you your goal on a platter. You have to go out and get it. Stop saying 'whoa as me' and start saying 'whoa, I feel sorry for my competition'.

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I have an infinity-symbol tattoo. It's broken, however, and doesn't connect. Every now and then someone takes a close look at it and asks, "Why is your infinity symbol not complete?" I say, "I am the completion of it. I have to go out and make life happen." If I sit in the house all day and wait for my business to grow or my legs to get stronger, guess what, it won't happen.? In fact it won't be long until the opposite happens. So toughen up, take initiative and own your training.

Plan Ahead

As a coach, one of the things I hear a lot is: "Oh yeah, I didn't do any of the workouts last weekend because I was away." ?

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Training properly takes planning.? Did you wake up on Saturday at 3:00 a.m. and decide you needed to fly to Canada that morning? Communicate your travel plans to your coach.
Your interactions should go like this:

  • Communicate your schedule to your coach. Point out important dates or events in the upcoming month: which days you need off, when you will be away for work, which days you would like to do a group ride, etc.?
  • Look over your training calendar when it's all set. Make sure it works with your schedule.
  • Make sure you know the three keys to a successful workout for every single workout.
  • Plan ahead.? You may have to get up early for one workout or pack clothes for another. You may have to eat pasta for breakfast one day or ask to move a workout if the weather looks bad: All this planning leads to better quality training and better performance on race day.?
  • Prepare. Don't forget to stretch, eat, hydrate and get pumped up before those tough workouts. Do whatever it takes to get it done.

Outside Influences

It's only a matter of time before people start telling you what workouts you should do, how many hours you need to train or how fast you have to go to reach a goal. Go ahead and listen, take it in, but remember that everyone has an opinion. Trust your coach and have faith in your training. You can't be second guessing yourself all the time. If you jump around form training method to training method you'll fall sort of your goal. Trust what your coach has laid out specifically for you.

It's OK to educate yourself, read training articles and get advice from other athletes, but before you make changes to your routine, talk to your coach. Don't hesitate to ask your coach questions, lots of them.? I get it from my clients all the time. I encourage it. It makes for smarter, better athletes and it pushes me to be a better coach.

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Take Control

Whether you have a coach or not, you have to own your training. The athletes I've seen with the best results all have one thing in common: They were proactive with their coach, they kept communication open and they planned ahead. They took steps to ensure they were getting the most from their their training and their money. Everyone has set backs. Everyone has tough times and bad workouts. The more you take control, the more you take responsibility, the better you will be on race day.

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