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Endurance Nation Training PLans

How to Onboard Your New Athlete in 6 Easy Steps

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You have signed up a new athlete for your coaching services and now it is time to onboard them. There is a lot to do, but with these six easy steps you can make sure that nothing slips through the cracks!

1. Complete the paperwork.

Once you have talked to the athlete and decided to go ahead with coaching, it is time to get the paperwork out of the way. While the necessary documents may vary by county, state, and country there are some forms that are common practice.

First, you may want to have the athlete sign a service agreement outlining what services you will provide, at what price, and setting up the expectations from the outset. Some common things included in this agreement are: communication frequency, how often they can expect data analysis, price, and your expectations of them as athletes.

Next, you will probably want to find out more about their health and athletic history by having them fill out an athlete history and health questionnaire. Some common questions include years in the sport, sports played in school, past injuries, and health considerations.

Finally, you will probably want the athlete to sign a liability waiver stating that they are healthy enough to participate in an exercise program and releasing you of any liability should anything happen. Even if you have an athlete sign a waiver, it is still good practice to carry liability insurance. Consider contacting a lawyer to get details for your specific area.

A quick search online will return some good examples of the above-mentioned documents, as well as further resources.

2. Invite them to connect to your coach account.

After you have completed all of the necessary paperwork it is time to invite them to connect to your coach account.

Open your athlete library and click the “+ Athlete” and then copy and paste the link into an email.

When the athlete clicks the link they will be prompted to login to their existing TrainingPeaks account, or create a new account.

Depending on the level of service you plan to offer and how involved the athlete will be in their training, you may opt for a Premium Athlete account to give them full access to TrainingPeaks’ tools. Learn more.

3. Determine and update thresholds and zones.

Many of the metrics in TrainingPeaks are based off of threshold, or the effort an athlete can maintain for around one hour without fatiguing.

In order to ensure that the metrics are as accurate as possible you will want to make sure that you have their thresholds up to date.

There are several ways to determine an athlete’s threshold, such as looking at past races, reviewing dashboard charts, or conducting a field test. If the athlete has been tracking their training with a device take a look at their past data.

When viewing past data, looking at their peak power, heart rate, or pace for an hour within the last two to three months can provide a good clue on their threshold.

If they have not done an hour effort, consider using their peak 20-minute power and subtracting 5 percent from that number.

If the athlete has recently run a 5K or 10K their times can be inputted into TrainingPeaks to determine their threshold. If they have recently raced a 40K time trial which took around one hour to complete, this could be used for their functional threshold power.

If you don’t have any past data you may want to conduct one of these field tests.

Once you have determined their thresholds for each sport type you will want to update their threshold and zones under their account settings.

4. Import Data.

If the athlete has been tracking and recording their training with a device but not using TrainingPeaks, then the next step is to import that data into their account.

If they have been tracking their training in Garmin Connect then they can connect their accounts to sync all of their historical data.

If they have not been using Garmin Connect then you still may be able to get their data into TP by exporting the files from the site they have been using and then dragging and dropping those files onto their calendar in TrainingPeaks to perform a bulk upload.

Going forward, consider using one of our Auto Sync options to get their files into TrainingPeaks.

5. Create an Annual Training Plan.

Once you have set goals with your athlete and prioritized their race schedule into A, B, and C races, create an Annual Training Plan to act as a roadmap for weekly planning. ATPs can be created based on weekly hours, Training Stress Score, or Goal Fitness.

Reasons for using one option over the other varies by athlete. For beginner athletes and athletes doing long events, consider using weekly hours. For advanced and/or time constrained athletes, weekly TSS may be the better option. If the athlete is preparing for an event with a proven training load requirement, or they have done the race in the past, then target Fitness may be what the doctor ordered!

Once you have determined which methodology you will use to build their ATP you will need to determine the average weekly hours, TSS or Target CTL. This can be done by asking the athlete how many hours they have been training and/or have available to train, looking at past data on the dashboard such as Weekly Duration and Weekly TSS to see what they have been doing historically, or consulting the Performance Management Chart from past seasons.

Alternatively you might want to use one of our guideline charts based on athlete experience and event duration.

6. Start Planning!

Now it is time to get down to the nitty gritty and start planning for your athlete. The method you chose to create their Annual Training Plan will have an impact on how you plan.

If you created an ATP based on hours, then you can start planning as you normally would using the ATP hours as a guide. If you decided to use one of the more advanced methods leveraging TSS, then we suggest using the workout builder to plan as it will auto calculate the TSS for each workout based on the athlete’s threshold.

Learn more about building workouts or get a free workout library to help you start your planning.

Working with a new athlete is all about starting off on the right foot. These six steps will ensure a smooth onboarding process, allowing you to set expectations up front so you can guarantee a healthy coach-athlete relationship from the start!

 

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Coach Lineage: Fostering Successful Long-Term Athlete Development

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An athlete is more likely to succeed when the knowledge passed down from the coach is retained by the athlete for the duration of their competitive career.

By definition, a coach is an instructor involved in the training of an athlete or team, which may include a series of coaches throughout an athlete’s career or a collaborative group of specialized coaches (trainer, psychologist, nutritionist, skills, etc.) working simultaneously with an individual athlete or team.

This is similar to our education system, where a student accumulates knowledge from multiple instructors throughout elementary school, middle school, high school, and college to advance the student’s future career.

Unfortunately, the concept of an instructor lineage in athlete development is under-utilized in the highly competitive market of endurance coaching, where coach-athlete relationships are often perceived as exclusive agreements in which shared knowledge is restricted.

However, is a limited coach-athlete relationship in the best interest of the athlete’s long-term development? In reality, due to the complex nature of the highly technical sports of cycling and triathlon, an athlete is likely to benefit from more than one coach during their career, with each coach providing collective contributions to the long-term development and success of an athlete.

Coaching Lineage Defined

Coaches often gravitate toward a specific context, or focus area, based on their effectiveness and expertise, which in turn, defines the type of athlete they work with (Côté & Gilbert, 2009). The coaching context is often categorized by age and/or competitive categories, namely chronological age (biological), skeletal age (physical development), training age (sports participation), and sport-specific training age in addition to the more traditionally recognized categories of amateur and elite competition (Balyi, Way, & Higgs, 2013).

Coaches who gravitate toward working with elite athletes may not have the patience to work with a beginner athlete who requires more fundamental skills; whereas a coach who excels at working with early development athletes may not have the competitive knowledge to most effectively train an elite athlete.

As a result, a natural coaching lineage evolves for athletes as they transition from a beginner to an elite competitor. While coaches and athlete should always establish long-term competition goals, the primary training focus should always be within the context of the current age and competitive category to prevent gaps in skills and physical development. These gaps would prove detrimental to an athlete as they ascend to the elite and professional ranks.

This essential process is often rushed when a coach identifies an endurance athlete with superb physiological capacities, such as a high VO2max or lactate threshold. For example, in women’s cycling and Olympic distance triathlon, inadequate skills training on the bike will consistently limit performance at the elite and professional level no matter how large the aerobic engine of an athlete may be.

In this instance, an athlete may benefit from multiple coaches who work together to assure that both the skills and physiology progress together. This type of collaborative effort is extremely valuable to an athlete, but requires open communication and constant contact between coaches to efficiently organize training sessions that effectively result in improvements for the athlete.

The Importance of Communication Between Current and Past Coaches

As an athlete transitions between coaches during development, interpersonal communication between athletes and coaches is critical, primarily to avoid errors that may have been made in the past. For example, neglecting an athlete’s prior training history can result in overtraining if a new coach prescribes a training load that is significantly higher than what the athlete completed in the past.

In some extreme cases, a coach may prohibit an athlete from maintaining possession of their training record (e.g. a TrainingPeaks athlete account) or even discussing their former training program, making it impossible for an athlete to share their prior training history as they transition to a new coach.

By doing so, a coach violates one of the 10 key qualities of a great sports coach established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC states that a great coach shares the knowledge and educates others, reaffirming the aforementioned role of the coach as an instructor.  In addition, the IOC states that having the confidence to share and seek others’ view is critical, and that the “best coaches clearly understand that they are there to educate the athletes.”

A Cooperative Coaching Lineage

In summary, establishing a cooperative coaching lineage is becoming increasingly more common among endurance sports and provides a much more solid foundation for athlete development. Coaches are most effective within a context or phase of athlete development that aligns with their knowledge and athletes’ outcomes.

In turn, athletes benefit the most when this knowledge is retained and transferred to concurrent or future coaches. Coaches should always remind themselves that they are educators to athletes first and foremost.

The knowledge, skills, and physical development retained by the athlete from a coaching lineage significantly contribute to the long-term development and success of the athlete’s career.

Come listen to endurance industry experts like Corey Hart, Dave Scott and Jesse Kropelnicki discuss coaching best practices, business solutions and innovative insights at the 2017 Endurance Coaching Summit, August 3-4 in Boulder, Colo.

If you can’t make the conference in person, consider purchasing an online Summit pass to gain access to all the premium conference content (as well as earning USAT and USA Cycling CEU’s) here. 

The post Coach Lineage: Fostering Successful Long-Term Athlete Development appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

5 Keys to Training for Epic and Extreme Multisport Races

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The popularity and number of extreme triathlons are growing fast. Isklar Norseman, CeltMan, Swissman, and even extreme swim/run events like the Ötillö World Series are given teams and individuals the opportunity to push themselves in demanding terrain and exotic locations.

There is even a new Xtri World Tour, which includes Norseman, Celtman, Swissman, among several others.

Like many of these extreme multisport races, the Xtri World Tour has a rigid selection process or a lottery to enter. The waiting lists are long and the number of participants is limited (for example, both Norseman and Swissman accept only 250 athletes). Given this high demand, we can expect further growth of extreme races in the future.

The Definition of Extreme

So what makes a triathlon or multisport race “extreme?”  It can be its elevation profile, terrain, the expected weather conditions—and often it is all three.

Even one of these factors can double the duration of average IRONMAN, and triple the suffer score.

Being at elevation adds to the finish time as well: My estimate is that each 1,000m of elevation can add between 30 and 60 minutes to your overall time.

Steep inclines mean more gravity, more fatigue and subsequently can lead to significant slowing down of race pace. You can run up a 4 to 5 percent hill at between 10 and 11km/h, but you definitely have to walk a 15 to 20 percent grade hill at sometimes as slow as 2.5-3 km/hr. This looks and feels like crawling, especially if it is on a technically challenging mountain trail.

One of the most famous and desperately sought after extreme triathlons, is undoubtedly the Isklar Norseman. Its organizers claim that it is “Simply the ultimate triathlon on planet Earth.”

In addition to +5,235m (17,175 ft) of elevation, the harsh and cold weather conditions in Norway, swimming in 13C to 15C (55F to 60F) fjord water combine to make it a truly extreme and punishing experience for human physiology.

There is also the Swissman—which I finished on June 24th—and I can attest that it truly deserves its extreme label. The course takes you over three major mountain passes (two of them are “Hors Catégory”) with a total elevation of +3,500m (11,483 ft).

Crossing the south-north weather divide in the Alps, the Swissman marathon finishes at 2,061m (6,762 ft) with a total elevation gain of +1,800m (5,905 ft) on the run.

This race takes you from the almost tropical, southern, Italian-speaking part of Switzerland to snowy mountains—weather-wise I experienced all four seasons within a single day.

In addition, most Xtris are self-supported races and each athlete is required to have a supporter (or a whole crew) who will feed her and drive behind her with spare bike parts and several changes of clothes, food and drink.

On the last 10 to 20km of the run, which takes you away from civilization and roads, the supporter is required to run/walk with the athlete to the finish. This makes the entire race not only a physical challenge, but a logistical challenge as well.

So, how should one train for an extreme triathlon? Here are the five most important skills you need to master before you attempt an extreme multisport race:

Develop Fatigue Resistance

It takes a very strong athlete to complete an iron-distance, extreme triathlon: they must be physically strong, emotionally resilient and mentally focused. All of this can be trained.

The main method to achieve this is with hard interval training with a very high number of short and intensive reps to be completed under a pressure of a fixed time. Example sessions:

Swim: 50x100m with paddles and pull buoy on 1:45

Bike: One hour of three minute max power hill repeats with  one minute rest in between each

Run: 50x200m on one minute

The idea is to keep the pace and not to slow down: The winner in all extreme and ultra-endurance races is the one who slows down the least.

Fatigue resistance is also trained in multiple short sessions per day, where we train without being fully recovered (but recovered enough to avoid injury), and through all variations of bricks: bike-swim-bike, bike-run, swim-run-bike or even biking to and from work.

What is key is to become aware of your inner voice and internal dialog during hard sessions and being able to train it to become your internal motivation coach (and maybe a drill sergeant sometimes when necessary!).

Develop Power Endurance

Racing in mountains requires a consistently high power output to create enough propulsion to go uphill fast (or just go uphill)—against increased gravity and resistance. This is why all endurance training for an extreme event absolutely has to have a power component to it in order to develop specific muscle strength.

Swim: Up to 60 to 70 percent of the swim training should be done with paddles to develop swim strength and to encourage you to get out of water fresh.

Bike:  You should push big gears when riding on flat roads, as well as up to 5 percent-grade hills. At least once per week, do hill repeats and once or twice a week do max power turbo trainer sessions These are relatively short compared to the race mileage,  but they are very effective when looking to develop power.

Run: At least once per week we do hill repeats. Do as many reps of 15 to 90 seconds of uphill sprints with high but not max intensity. Do your long runs in a hilly area, or if you need to simulate hilly conditions, you can run on a treadmill to simulate the race profile.

Develop Weather Resistance

This is rather an individual skill, since people have different sensitivity to hot and cold weather conditions. Although Norseman is always won by Norwegians, who are well adapted to cold and wet weather, everyone can become better adapted through specific training and nutrition.

Training in bad weather conditions and learning how to dress strategically is something everyone can do, but it takes overcoming a lot of mental resistance.

I’ve found that when you do train in what you qualify as “bad weather,” you’ll likely notice at the end of the workout that it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be. It is important to remember that when you are thinking about not going out when it is rainy, cold or windy.

This is why weather resistance is also a mental skill; your mental strength can take you through the most horrible weather. Nutrition plays an important part too: Fat adapted athletes with well-developed fat metabolism seem to handle cold weather better. They kind of go in “winter mode” and switch to lipid energy production, which keeps them warmer compared to the average athlete.

Develop a Fat Adaption Plan

As I just mentioned, fat-adapted athletes have an advantage in ultra long races, and this advantage can be a critical one. After 10+ hours of racing in harsh conditions, your stomach will no longer be able to digest the 60 to 80 grams of carbs per hour that you are trying to get in.

Your digestive system will eventually need a break, during which you might bonk if you are not fat adapted, or it may simply shut down because all your blood and physical and cardiac capacity will go into the working muscles and maintenance of brain function.

Extreme racing is 100 percent aerobic, and you need to develop a mixed-metabolism to provide your body with enough energy. You will need to be able to oxidize both carbs and fat during the race, so that you eat less but still can perform using your fat reserves as fuel.

This takes dedicated training (a lot of fasted runs and rides) and nutrition with a high fat percentage in your race preparation so that you can continue this type of fueling during the race itself.

Additionally, knowing what, when and how much to eat is absolutely critical in an extreme or ultra race. It has to be meticulously planned and trained, and and even more importantly, you have to have enough focus and concentration to be able to execute your nutrition strategy during the race even when things get tough.

Develop a Strong Support System

You cannot finish an extreme triathlon without a supporter! First, it is a mandatory requirement from race organizers—you fully rely on your supporter to provide you with food and drink and several changes of clothing.

They are essentially your Sherpa and North Star for the day:  They set up and dismantle your transition zones, carry your gear, pushes you over the last hill, and helps you if there is a technical problem.

But most importantly, your supporter is your mental and emotional bond, your positive charge and your motivator when the going gets hard. These selfless heroes might actually have a harder job than you—so be grateful for them!

Racing an extreme event is an unforgettable experience for the participant, but what makes it even more special is being able to share it with your support system as well.

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How to use HRV Training to Identify Weaknesses

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Just as we routinely measure and capture multiple aspects of a workout, there are also multiple aspects that characterize recovery. There are several factors that contribute to the speed of recovery, most notably sleep, diet (including hydration) and the absence of mental and emotional sources of stress. HRV can be a valuable way to track many of these recovery factors.

Tracking workouts
Tracking recovery

Miles
Power
Heart rate
Intensity Factor
TSS

Resting heart rate
Heart rate variability (HRV)
Reaction times
Perception of fatigue, mood and soreness

Whereas heart rate (HR) measures the average number of heartbeats in one minute, heart rate variability (HRV1) assesses the differences in timing of each individual heartbeat, controlled by the body’s autonomic nervous system.

HRV is a much more sensitive measure than resting heart rate for understanding recovery, and is usually measured first thing in the morning to provide an indication of readiness to train for the coming day.

HRV is an inclusive, individualized and objective measure of stress. How HRV changes over time can provide important clues as to which lifestyle factors are the most influential to any given individual.

Understanding this and making adjustments accordingly allows for the greatest amount of training and therefore the biggest stimulus for adaptation of the body without it breaking down.

At the last count, there were more than 21,000 published papers on heart rate variability, including multiple studies looking at how the various lifestyle and recovery factors influence HRV.

Recovery Factors
1. Sleep

It’s a well documented that good, quality sleep is a key recovery enabler. However, what is not widely recognized is the relationship between sleep and HRV. A higher HRV baseline, HRV before bedtime and smaller dips due to daily stress lead to better quality, restful sleep.

2. Diet

Finding a diet that provides an acceptable combination of appropriate fueling for training, essential micronutrients for health, as well as one which is enjoyable enough to sustain can take decades. What works for one person may not suit another.

One universally beneficial supplement is Omega-3 fish (or krill) oil. Omega-3 fatty acids have multiple beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system including stabilising heart rhythm, raising HRV and reducing the occurrence of arrhythmias. Tracking diet compliance in relation to HRV can help you understand how your body responds to different nutrition.

3. Stress

Professor Stephen Porges describes HRV as “an index of stress and vulnerability to stress.” Acute stressors including workout sessions reduce HRV, with the amount and duration of reduction being proportional to the workload (e.g. TSS).

The body is well equipped to deal with short-term stresses, and gets stronger during recovery once the stress has been removed. A higher HRV baseline signals greater resilience, with the body then able to handle larger and more frequent stressors.

In short, if you manage your recovery well and improve your baseline you will be better able to manage stress and benefit from workouts, and in doing so will improve performance.

Subjective Factors
1. Fatigue

Researchers monitoring workload and fatigue in professional cyclists during the Tour of Spain found a negative relationship between acute training load (ATL) and HRV, especially during the third week of the event. For amateurs, non-training stressors, such as work and family life are also likely to affect both perceptions of fatigue and HRV to a significant extent.

2. Muscle soreness

Research has yet to find a solid relationship between training-induced muscle soreness and HRV. The good news is that with HRV in the normal (±1 SD) range, identified with a green light in ithlete, stiffness is likely to disappear within 30 minutes of warming up and starting exercise, allowing you to complete important sessions with confidence.

3. Mood

Perhaps surprisingly, there is a very solid body of research linking HRV and mood states, and we often see a high correlation in users’ data. Clinically, persistent low mood state and depression are strongly associated with reduced HRV.

Conversely, activities that enhance HRV such as meditation, yoga, slow deep breathing and of course exercise, significantly improve mood state.

dentify Weaknesses

Throughout this post, ‘HRV’ is used to refer to breathing-rate high frequency beat to beat heart rate variations measured over a short (one to five minute) period using measures such as RMSSD, SD1 and HF.

References

High-frequency heart rate variability during worry predicts stress-related increases in sleep disturbances. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25819418
Billman GE, Harris WS.  “Effect of dietary omega-3 fatty acids on the heart rate and the heart rate variability responses to myocardial ischemia or submaximal exercise” Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2011 Jun;300(6):H2288-99.
Relation between physical exertion and heart rate variability characteristics in professional cyclists during the Tour of Spain. C P Earnest, R Jurca, T S Church, J L Chicharro, J Hoyos and A Lucia. Br. J. Sports Med. 2004;38;568-575 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2003.005140
Heart Rate Variability as a Predictor of Negative Mood Symptoms Induced by Exercise Withdrawal. ALI A. WEINSTEIN1, PATRICIA A. DEUSTER1, and WILLEM J. KOP

Overtraining symptoms

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Coach’s Desk: The Lost Art of the Training Diary

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Today there is a device to measure nearly anything imaginable from power and heart rate to sleep hours and steps per day. Many of these devices sync with TrainingPeaks automatically through Bluetooth or Wifi.

Despite this massive increase in accountability, we have found that getting athletes to consistently leave comments has become a major pain point for many coaches. In fact, in a recent review of workouts uploaded to TrainingPeaks by coached athletes, we found that less than 25 percent of them included post workout comments!

So this month we turned to some coaches who recognize the importance of athlete feedback and asked them, “How do you stress the importance of keeping a training diary and leaving good post workout comments in TrainingPeaks to your athletes?”

Simon Kessler

“Keeping good, consistent notes in a training diary is about learning over time how your body responds to the training and what worked and did not work in terms of training, warm-up, pre race/ride routine, nutrition, recovery plan etc.

By keeping good notes one can go back and see from past notes what worked when you had a breakthrough ride or your best race. This makes it easier to replicate what worked for a future racing or a training goal.

When you keep good notes, it also allows your coach to understand better how you managed the training session, as well as your mental and physical state. As a coach I always look at my athletes comments first. An athlete who keeps detailed, consistent notes gives his or her coach the ability to provide for the athlete a higher level of service and customization.

In return, as a coach I like to offer encouragement for a training session well done and also point out in a constructive way what could have possibly been done better. The tone of the comments should always be positive and constructive, even if the athlete fell short on the workout.

I like to use the comments as a way to educate my athletes on TrainingPeaks and the different mathematical models that are used to evaluate their training. The comments can be a platform to have a conversation about the training session with the athlete.

I will often ask a question to my client in the TrainingPeaks comments and they will respond to my question in the comments as well. This works very well to have a specific conversation about the training session and provides greater detail for future reference.”

Andy Kirkland

“Like most questions in coaching, the answer is ‘it depends.’ This is a particularly complex question which cannot be answered through a few top-tips. Rather, the solution lies in your coaching philosophy and the needs and wants of your clients.

For many of us, our clients are people with sufficient disposable income to pay for a coach. That means that they’re around 40-years old, have a good career, and aren’t the best at changing their behaviour.

Our job is to bring efficiencies to their training whilst maintaining a coach-athlete relationship that results in our pay-check arriving. In such circumstances, it’s best for us to chill and not worry too much about the level of feedback provided.

This dynamic changes when working with elite athletes. The physiological adaptation process is dependent on achieving a stress balance in training and life. Training Stress Score (TSS) provides me with around 10 percent of the feedback I need to plan their training, while their feedback gives me the remaining 90 percent.

Without quality feedback, things will invariably ‘hit the fan.’ When they do, that’s the time to strike. I will pull the ‘wise old coach face’ and say ‘if only you had given me quality feedback.’

This can be the catalyst for behaviour change in athletes who are wholly committed to being the best.”

Katee Pedicini

“I feel the main reason athletes don’t write notes comes down to two key things;

They forget or rush off to do other things so when they do write notes later on, they have forgotten how the session actually felt which waters down the effectiveness of the notes.
They don’t know what information is relevant or valuable so they either write nothing or write something useless, for example how bad the traffic was on the way to their workout.

With this in mind, I put a few action steps in place for my athletes:

When talking to a prospective athlete I’ve learned that as much as they are interviewing me for the role as their coach, I too need to interview them to ensure they are the right fit for my coaching style.

As such I always discuss the need for notes and communication in an initial consultation. So I ask them: ‘The best way to get the most out of this coaching relationship is to communicate regularly and write post training notes—is this something you are willing to do and see yourself doing?’

I’ve also developed some blog posts in relation to my coaching style and how to get the most out of individualised or personalised coaching.

When an athlete starts with me or starts to drop the ball on notes, I shoot them these blog links as a friendly reminder.

I prompt post-training notes in each session within TrainingPeaks and suggest writing their notes while cooling down or eating their post-training meal.

I feel it’s important to communicate WHAT information is valuable to me from athletes. This avoids no notes, useless notes or too much information.

To communicate this, I provide my athletes with a post-training notes guide that spells out the key areas of the session I would like them to pay attention to and report back on. These include mental resilience, perceived effort, niggles and so forth.”

Nate Wilson

“The first step to getting my athletes to leave daily comments in TrainingPeaks is to convince them that I am not as smart as my glasses make me appear. I explain to my athletes that quantitative data is great, but at the end of the day no number can tell me what their subjective feeling was.

Additionally, often in competition performance, the limiter may be something that doesn’t show up in a number—from poor tactics to poor pre-race nutrition—and anything in between.

Only with their feedback can I actually paint a complete picture and narrow down where we need to work to improve performance. The second step is to convince my athletes that leaving comments will help them, not just help me.

Having a diary of your past performances, how you felt in a certain workout, how you coped with a certain travel pattern—it all is massively valuable. Most athletes have lots of repeats year to year, whether it’s a summer vacation with family, a race that they did the prior year, or whatever.

Having some notes to look back on so that the event (and not just the mistakes) are in one place is one of the most valuable tools to elicit improved performance. Experience beats watts more times than people would think!”

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