Why our Ironman trainee chose not to hire a coach — this time

Using a coach is most helpful for one of these reasons: Wanting a personal record, fitting training into a busy schedule or fear of injury.

I don’t have a coach for Ironman. I didn’t want one. Even a 16½-hour finish would be a personal record for me since I’ve never attempted an Ironman-distance triathlon before.

My schedule is somewhat flexible, where I can fit my training in without someone telling me to do it. I also have very good time management and scheduling skills.

My nutrition and hydration habits are good, as I understand the power of carbs and protein and water.

And I work with orthopedic specialists, physical therapists and athletic trainers who will answer my questions in a text. (Insider tip: Most of the time the simple answer is REST).

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Using a coach is most helpful for one of these reasons: wanting a personal record, fitting training into a busy schedule or fear of injury.

I’ve also seen some people with coaches focusing on the basics, such as nutrition, transitioning and pacing. I can ask my Ironman finisher friends that info for free.

I have nothing against coaching, of course. If you found a great coach or are a coach yourself, that’s great. I’m a coach, at all different levels, so I get it.

But I’m also a self-motivator, training schedule fanatic and realistic racer. Do I think I could benefit from a coach? Sure!

Do I think a coach would annoy me? Yes!

I’ve been coached a bit in swimming. But mostly I just ask my friends from Derby City Run Club, Louisville Landsharks and other Ironman regulars about their experiences. I take everything with a grain of salt, and see what works for me.

And if I don’t finish this race, maybe I’ll look into a coach for next time.

But for now, I’ll save my money.

Stephanie Fish, sports events marketing coordinator for Norton Sports Health, is training for Ironman Louisville — her first Ironman-distance triathlon.


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