No matter if you're brand new to triathlon and are looking for guidance, or you're a seasoned veteran aiming for the top step of the podium, hiring a triathlon coach can be a valuable investment.
In a sport where the smallest tweaks in training can make a world of difference on race day, a knowledgeable outside perspective can give you some clarity and help you reach your goals. A good triathlon coach is someone who's more than just a "question answerer"—they help hold you accountable, provide personalized insights on balancing training with life and can often catch an injury before it happens (or help guide you safely back to health).
But navigating the coaching landscape can be tricky, especially for those of us who are new to the sport. How much should you spend? Do you want to be coached in a group? Do you want to be coached in person or virtually? How can you know if a coach is qualified?
While asking your tri buddies for their personal recommendations or finding a local tri club who works with a coach are two great options, we outline four valuable online resources that help pair athletes with coaches.
A relatively new program from the IRONMAN brand, IRONMAN U is an online educational classroom that offers a complete IRONMAN Coaching Certification Program spearheaded by master coaches Paula Newby-Fraser and Dave Scott. While you can take the course if you so please, it also offers a "Find a Coach" feature that connects IRONMAN U certified coaches with athletes.
Start by simply entering your city or zip code, and an interactive map will display the results closest to you. You can filter by discipline (including nutrition) and specialty, as well as by gender and price. Click on the thumbnail card to see the picture of the coach, their experience level, a bio, their availability calendar and more.
TriFind, known for its robust, always-updated triathlon calendar that's searchable by state and distance, also hosts a "Find a Triathlon Coach" tool. It's not as interactive as others on this list, but it's broken down by state and displays each coach's name, company and city in a results page in alphabetical order.
Click on each name, and it takes you to a details page where you can see their background and qualifications, the services they offer, their email address and a link to their website.
TrainingPeaks, known for its tools designed to help coaches better manage, track and analyze its athletes' endurance training, offers a "Find a Coach" tool made up of two parts, a Coach Match Service and a Coach Directory.
The Coach Match Service begins with an athlete questionnaire where you'll outline your experience, goals and what you're looking for in a coach. Your questionnaire will be processed, and within a few days you'll get a personalized match where you can then pick the package that best fits your needs.
The Coach Directory is pretty straightforward—simply search by keyword (running, cycling, etc.), location, sport type, TrainingPeaks Accreditation and more. Related matches will populate below the form where you can view each coach's profile and see their pricing structure.
Perhaps the most widely used resource on this list, USA Triathlon's "Find A Coach" tool is similar to the others in terms of functionality, but it also allows you to search by USA Triathlon certifications.
To start, enter a coach name, city, level or specialty in the field, and from there you can filter further and click on individual names. Each coach profile has a picture, their city and state, their specialties and discipline focuses and their USAT certifications. If you're unsure if the coach is still practicing, USAT provides an email address to verify a coaching status.
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