Why Get Coaching?
Coaching - who is it for?
Is coaching only for professional athletes, or is it for absolute beginners? I get asked this a lot. In fact sometimes when I’m chatting with fellow athletes, I’ll have one say, “it’s not for me, it’s just for the pros”. This is nearly always followed up with someone else saying, “it’s just for beginners”. The truth of the matter though, is that coaching is for anyone who wants to improve in some way.
I’ve had the chance to work with a wide range of people wanting coaching, from elite World Champions through to people trying to lose weight, and they’ve all had one thing in common: They had goals. Even if they weren’t entirely sure what their goal was, they had one. Smashing the Worlds or losing weight and improving your health these are all things that coaching can help with. If you want to improve in some way, however, personal to you, then coaching is something that can work for you.
Of course, the majority of people we work with at RST Sport are working towards a goal such as taking a minute off their 25-mile time trial time, or moving up a road race category. These are fairly common goals, which are then broken down into smaller goals to help achieve the main goal. For example, to move up in a road race category, the athlete may need to focus on a variety of issues such as losing weight to climb hills better, increasing their MAP, and increasing their race skills so that they use less power when drafting or knowing when to attack.
There’s a lot of shiny toys available to the cyclist, which can cost a lot of money. Coaching is no exception. Deep section carbon wheels, aero clothing, aero bike fits, power meters, ceramic components/bearings, can all reduce the effort required to ride at a given speed (except perhaps a power meter). However, coaching will build the ‘engine’ (you) making you fitter and faster. Once everyone has the shiny toys (e.g. deep section wheels, aero fit) then the playing field starts to level itself again, and the only way to differentiate yourself is to increase your actual physical performance. On average we add at least 10% to a rider’s FTP over a season.
When I interview athletes about their own training, one thing I hear time, and time again, is “I’m doing XYZ session today, is it the right thing to do, or should I try ABC session?”. Having a coach will give you the confidence to know that you’re doing the right session, at the right time, to build the fitness you need to meet your goals. That’s why, at RST Sport, more than 99% of the riders we work with meet or exceed their goals.
Having a support network is really helpful. Whether it’s your partner, training mates, or friends, having the added support of your coach, can help keep you on track, and focussed. Your RST coach will know when to tell you to back off the training, and when to push deeper. The training programme and system we provide is the major framework of what you need to do, but when you’re feeling tired for whatever reason your coach will let you know to ease up. This also helps prevent injury from pushing on too much.
Lots of athletes don’t have as much time to train as they’d like — work, college, family can all prevent us from training 6 hours a day (not that that would be best practice either!) but being short on time isn’t an excuse to training well. Our RST Coaches are all adept at providing quality training to make maximum use of whatever time you have. So long as you can manage at least 4 hours per week over 3 days then we can help deliver the programme you need. Coaching helps to keep the rider motivated, and on track.