Hiring a Cycling Coach
A great cycling coach not only brings expansive knowledge and years of experience, but they also bring a great level of service too. Sports science is always evolving with new physiology learned every year. The goal is to not only get people stronger and faster at their sport but to also make training safer. Learning this science and staying on top of how it works with current clients is a full-time job. It takes years of application to learn the trends with sport related science, from heart rate variability, power trends, to intensity prescription and strength adaptations from it. So, let’s look at the three top reasons to hire a cycling coach and what you will get from it.
Greater Understanding of the Science and Training Parameters of Cycling
Knowledge of basic physiology is a basic need for any cycling coach. A coach with a deeper understanding of sport specific physiology is a bonus. Coaches with years of racing and coaching experience, that have degrees in sport science and/or are Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists with the national Strength and Conditioning Association, along with cycling specific certifications are coaches likely to have a firm grasp of sports physiology. Learning how gains in power are made, compared to exercise prescription and more, across a variety of clients, takes experience over years of work. Every person is different and will respond to exercise prescription differently. As an example, one cyclist may have a heart rate threshold in the 180’s, while another cyclist of the same age and ability may have a heart rate threshold in the 160’s. Read my article here on does it matter if your heart rate is high or low.
An experienced coach who has viewed thousands, if not tens of thousands, of heart rate and power files can help you dial in heart rate and power zones. This is done mainly through testing and viewing training files and helps you get the most out of your training days. Knowing proper parameters also gives great insight into fatigue. If you are unable to pedal within the proper heart rate and power training zone for the day, you could be dealing with greater fatigue. A good cycling coach will monitor this over several days to a week to determine if it was just an off day or if recovery from training is needed.
Always Having a Workout Goal
A coach that is on top of it will keep your workout calendar full with realistic things to focus on, whether that’s a big ride day with plenty of hard intervals or a rest day, focused on yoga stretches. Consistency and knowing when to rest are the two most important factors in training. When working with a coach, you can determine the best times and your availability for training, while letting the coach fill that time with proper workouts. It is important to keep a good balance between life and training, as home and work life will always take precedence. A great coach will get to know you, what you can handle on a weekly basis and set the workout goals.
Consistent Reviews and Motivation
Not every workout is completed perfectly and not every week of training goes as planned. A cycling coach that is in tune with the program will provide consistent updates on where you’re at in training, reviews of training files, and updates when you score new power PR’s. This provides the motivation to continue with training, even when training is not going as planned. A good coach will help you continually set new goals to keep moving forward while continually providing feedback. As a coach, we are invested in you and essentially are a great training partner.
When you hire a coach, you’re investing in a person to help you get to your targeted event or targeted goal in the best shape possible. An experienced cycling coach will have compassion for where you’re at and motivation to get you to reach your goals. An experienced cycling coach will also have plenty of science-backed training info to provide, with plenty of great coaching results to show.
Mike Schultz, CSCS