Written by ALP Coach, Jennifer Sharp
A great coach should be an athletes best advocate. We're looking out for your best interests - to help you succeed at your goals and perform at your absolute best on game day. And although you may think otherwise, when you're assigned intervals and hill climbs, we really are putting you first.
We take into account your physiology, outside factors such as home life, work balance, kids, schedules, stressors - you name it. When you develop a relationship with your coach, you're getting more than just a training plan. You're getting constant feedback, ways to make each workout/interval better, how to plan ahead for important races and more. I'm constantly thinking about each athlete and how to improve their training and make sure they have the global balance they need in their lives to perform at their absolute best.
That's why it's so important to leave post-activity comments. It's your chance as an athlete to help your coach by providing context to a ride. You don't have to write much - at bare minimum including how a workout felt (that was hard/easy/between the two) and anything else that may be going on that had an impact on your performance (weather, hydration, nutrition, self-talk, stressors, etc.).
Help me, help you.
Help us, help you.
If you want to get the most out of your coach/athlete relationship, then the more you put into your training and feedback, the more we as coaches can help. Fill out your race calendar, include work or life events that are coming up, above all - communicate this with your coach.
Figuring out how to communicate best with your coach and establishing that trust can take time. I have some athletes who I only use the TrainingPeaks app comments, others who mainly text, some who prefer a phone call (even if it's under 5 minutes), and some who like to post their stories on Instagram. Any and ALL of these methods work for me. I want to know about the outside factors in your life that are affecting how you train and race because a happy racer is a fast racer.
"Hey! See, that's the difference between us. You think we're fighting and I think we're finally talking!"
For those who struggle to come up with post-activity comments, here's a list to get you started. Being an observer of what you experience will help you get the most out of your training.
- How did the ride go? What did it feel like? Was it hard or easy? Was there anything about the workout that surprised you? Is there any area that you felt you could improve on? Do you have any questions for your coach about the specifics of the workout or want to know why you're doing what you're doing?
- Was weather a factor? How was your hydration and/or nutrition? What about your self-talk? Is your bike functioning properly? Is there anything going on at home or at work?
Sure you may have hired your coach to help you with your cycling, but we're also part sports psychologists and want to help in whatever way we can. Chances are you'll be even more motivated and inspired to complete a workout if you know your coach genuinely cares. And yes, we care deeply.