Word from the Beatles

by klassman

I need a little help.  I’m not sure what form of help exactly, only that the project at hand is very large, very complicated and not something I want to get wrong the first time.  Maybe it is a coach, maybe not.

For more than a decade — more than half my life at that point — coaches were instrumental in my life.  They helped determine what I ate, when I had time to play, where I went to school and above all, training.  They were a source of advice about everything from technique and race tactics to more subtle things like character, discipline, integrity and friendships.  Then, there were no coaches.  I was an adult, on my own and out of organized athletics.

Some years later I tried triathlons.  With the prospect of months of training at levels I’ve not attempted for more than 15 years and a race that has been known to bring professionals to their knees, I’m currently flying solo.  No coach.  Nada.

Do I need one?

I read a lot.  I’ve done plenty of races.  I know Ironman finishers who are generous with their time and answer all manner of questions.  There are scores of do-it-yourself programs available online.

And yet, I wonder.  What am I missing?  A sounding board.  Nutritional guidance.  Someone to plot and plan the workouts, periodization and rest.  Technical advice.  Race strategy to match my skills and fitness.  The unstated and practical wisdom that is earned through experience.  A place to devote hundreds of dollars…

Ah yes, the cost.  My decision on a coach may come down to the dollars and sense.  In the meantime, I’ll look into a handful of options.  There are programs like Mark Allen Online, the programs offered by Beginner Triathlete, and the more local offering of the  DC Tri Club.  Alternatively, several local clubs including FeXY and Team Z offer a blend of group training and coaching services.  And then there are recommendations via word of mouth like Ronny Angell and Kim Schwabenbauer.   Each is a good option.  But what is the correct option for me?

Any advice?  Can I get little help?