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).
Norton Sports Health
You don’t have to be an elite athlete to get elite care.
Norton Sports Health is the official health care provider of the Louisville Cardinals and the official medical provider of Ironman Louisville.
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.