I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!
The Benefits of Working with a Cycling Coach
September 13, 2019
Choosing to sign up with a cycling coach is not a decision to be taken lightly, there are so many considerations to take into account, and what works for one athlete does not work for another. Indeed, for some, having a coach isn’t necessarily needed – if you’re a casual cyclist that simply rides for the coffee and cake provision on your Sunday morning ride for example, having a coach might not offer any added benefits. But for athletes seeking performance gains, it can make a colossal difference on a race season, and many would argue it’s a more significant, and indeed valuable outlay than your bike and kit. After all, without the legs to power you, what benefit does all the gear really offer you?
We’ve collated our top three benefits below:
If you set your alarm clock at 5am for a 5:30am turbo session, what are the chances that the warm comfortable confines of your bed will result in the appeal of the ‘snooze’ button? Or after a hard day, that one-hour spin is just too much like hard work, and you resort to dinner and a beer?
Having a coach brings an element of accountability to the mix. If you don’t do a set, it’s not only yourself that you’re letting down. To know that there is someone else - that you are paying your hard-earned money to – watching you – well, you’d be letting them down too!
‘I actually enjoy my training more, when being coached’ said MBPC coached rider Kate Allan. ‘It’s great to have the flexibility and ‘free flow’ of doing what I want and when I want, but I like to know that the sessions I am doing are designed to count. I also like the rapport that I get with my coach – when my numbers improve, I’m applauded. When circumstances beyond my control meaning that I can’t do a set on day – or I’m tired/injured, I’m given an effective alternative to play with. When in competition mode, I can’t imagine myself being without the support now’.
To ‘pull in the reigns’
It’s very easy when attempting to compete at the very top of your sport to take it just that little bit too far, and overtraining can curtail even the best planned season in a second. A good cycling coach (providing you listen to what they tell you) will help prevent this from happening, and devise a realistic and adaptable training plan that works well for the individual athlete, accessing their personal goals, and making it work with their individual circumstance.
Kate ‘When I was competing a couple of years ago, my son was repeatedly in hospital, most commonly in the lead up to my A-races of the season. Having Matt as my coach was a saving grace – I was reassured that it was better that I miss a session or two, and keep myself as rested and focussed as possible. Had I have not had a coach, I would have invariably have panicked, pushed it, and burnt out.’
Source of knowledge
The added value of a coach is not just in the form of a training programme, it goes far beyond this. A good coach will offer advice and education on many other things. They might suggest you get fitted on your bike properly if you haven’t yet been looked at, or that because of your cycling gait a particular helmet might suit you especially well. It’s an excellent opportunity to have contact with an expert in the field, and It is also possible to learn a great deal from your coach.
Kate says, ‘Matt has taught me a lot about what the numbers mean when I’m training – the meaning and significance of a TSS score for example, now when I’m cycling I can translate my results far better and have a far more thorough understanding of how things work. This is far more effective and comprehensive than simply reading a book, or self-learning as you go. It’s incredibly effective to be taught these things as you go, and have them applicable to yourself.’