Whether you're preparing for a sprint distance triathlon or an Ironman, training for three disciplines can be overwhelming.
Hiring a coach can make the world of a difference—not only with planning workouts, but also with keeping you motivated. Michael Plumb, a triathlon coach and former professional triathlete in Carlsbad, California, says almost all triathletes can benefit from having a coach.
"A good coach will know when to push forward and deeper and also when to back off with regards to workouts, which will vary based on their experience level," Plumb says. "Ultimately, for a beginner triathlete, a good coach can serve as a mentor. "
With the growing popularity of the sport, there's an increasing number of coaches, and rightfully so. In 2013, USA Triathlon reported having 2,515 certified coaches around the country.
Beneficial for All Experience Levels
Technical instruction may be unnecessary for more experienced triathletes. One recent study found that triathletes with a greater number of years of experience in the sport were actually more likely to consult a coach.
Even for athletes who understand how to build a training schedule, it can be difficult to make the right decisions. A coach serves as a fatigue manager who is removed from the emotional attachment of training and races. A coach can be objective in doling out both hard workouts and rest days.
"In a lot of cases, people just really like a sounding board, a second opinion on what to do and not to do when it comes to training and even race choices," Plumb says.
Putting together a training program takes a significant amount of time as well, so coaches can help a busy athlete focus on completing the training itself.
More: Why You Need a Coach