It’s hard to answer this question without sounding biased, but we can explore it in slightly more detail here. Can anyone benefit from a coach? Yes. Do you always need one? It really depends on what you want to achieve.
Granted, if you are just riding your bike around and have a target that you should achieve with ease, then probably not. However, as your targets grow (as do your expectations) your need for a coach might grow too.
Consider this. Presuming you’re not an electrician yourself, would you hire one to change a lightbulb in your home? Not likely. But rewiring it completely? Almost certainly. The magnitude of what you need to achieve will almost certainly dictate the answer to the title question.
Is it worth it? 100%. What a good coach will teach you will help you improve far greater than most pieces of equipment, a new bike or anything you eat (that is legal!). Those improvements, and the knowledge the coach will impart, will last a lot longer too.
Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons you might hire one.
Knowledge & Experience
Providing you pick the right coach, he or she will bring with them a lifetime of experience and knowledge. They will have seen similarities between you and their previous clients, they can reference these and formulate plans to help you improve or break past obstacles. Good coaches will be qualified to use a wide variety of tools from TrainingPeaks, WKO4, Best Bike Split and many others. A good coach will be able to fit you to your bike, offer you advice on your mental fitness and help with just about anything bike related.
When something goes wrong; maybe sickness, injury, work or family, a bad race or any reason why you need/have to deviate from the plan, your coach will use this knowledge and experience to adapt your training, give you exactly what you need and have you back on track in no time.
Again, we can use our electrician example to show real value here. Consider you could self-learn some electronics, how much do you think you could achieve on your own, how long before you gave yourself an electric shock?! While not wanting to offend any electricals reading this, the human body is infinitely more complicated that your home electrics.
This is why a lot of coaches are themselves coached. Accountability works in a few ways. Perhaps you don’t want to look bad in front of the coach or you want to impress them. Perhaps you want to ensure that you get your monies worth from your investment in coaching.
Having that person looking ‘over-your-shoulder’ at your training is another invaluable benefit to working with a coach. While your ego can be accused of many frustrating and annoying ‘chimp’ like behaviours, it can be harnessed to create motivation, drive and determination. A coach with some mental fitness training, will be able to unlock this and have you chomping at the bit to succeed.
Because you can’t be awesome all the time. Many self-coached athletes have a tendency to always want to be in top form. This isn’t really sustainable and is an unrealistic expectation of yourself. The very nature of training is that, you must get fatigued before you get fitter. By definition, if you’re not getting fatigued you’re not stressing your body enough through training. Like the jack of all trades, you end up being mediocre at best. Take a look at this blog I wrote on Ideal Training and Recovery for more information.
This is where a coach comes in. Having someone to question, someone to be your cheer-leader, someone to give you that pep talk after a bad session or race, is again, invaluable. You can’t always be awesome and sometimes you need reminding of that.
Over my years as a professional coach, I can count on one hand the amount of clients where I have not listened or provided advice in their life outside of cycling. Much like a therapist, coaches have heard it all. Whether it’s a bad day in the office or an argument with a spouse, your coach will be there to listen and comfort. While we don’t pretend to be qualified therapists, we do play a role in helping manage day-to-day life, after all, when your life runs smoothly, so does your training.
So, Do YOU Need a Coach?
Here’s a simple way you can find out based on your knowledge of your goals and how difficult it will be for you to achieve them. Out of 10, how hard will you find it to achieve your goals? If you are at a 7 or higher, get a coach! If you are at a 5 or higher, consider a coach, you might consider a coach as a luxury. If you scored less than 5, you might be just getting a coach to help in other areas, general cycling or longer term aspirations.
Either way, why not enjoy a free consultation with a Spokes coach? Find out what a coach could do for you and understand a little better about the process involved.
Get in Contact:
If you’d like more information on how Spokes can tailor a training programme to your exact needs, why not check out our products and services. Need more info or would you like to speak to one of our coaches? Get in contact.