People often ask me ‘what does a coach do day to day and what do I get with your coaching that I would not get with a standard training plan?’.
The answer is ‘quite a lot!’
I like to think we offer fantastic value for money. Coaching should not be cheap because good coaching takes time, experience, expertise and emotional intelligence. In addition, running a professional coaching business involves spending money on things like systems and software that makes the whole training process as easy as possible for you. From initial onboarding, electronic document processes, automated payments system, meeting booking software and training software, we invest in delivering a top class experience, that saves you time and makes your training effective.
With our Individual Coaching Plans, which are our Level 2 and Level 3 options, here is a list of the work we do and what we offer above and beyond a standard training plan.
1. Training that is individualised to your exact experience, fitness level and available training time. I know everybody says this so what do we mean specifically?
We look at your training history in detail and make sure we apply the correct amount of general stimulus to elicit gains. For example, if you have been averaging 6hrs of training per week, we would look to increase this volume to increase general training load. More volume is the foundation of improved performance.
We conduct a series of performance benchmark tests so that we gain a clear understanding of your current fitness abilities, right across your power duration curve, not just what you can do over a 20 minute effort.
We look at your whole life, including the exact nature of your working life, what family commitments you have and other lifestyle choices you make that might affect how much, and how hard you can train.
2. We individualise every workout and every training plan to make sure we maximise the value you get from every training minute we plan for you.
We build your top level training plan with a laser like focus on your goals, events and races, to make sure we get you into the right condition at the right time.
We never just copy and paste workouts from a folder into your Training Peaks. Each workout in your training calendar has been either built from scratch, or been modified to meet your exact situation. Our aim is always to progress you as fast as possible and everyone adapts at different rates.
We build your training week on a case by case basis balancing your preferred training times with the training rhythm that we feel will be most effective. Sometimes back to back hard days is what is needed, and sometimes more rest between workouts is optimal, and often there is a trade off between what’s perfect and what’s practical.
3. We monitor your training progress every day and every week.
Each morning we open Training Peaks and check for any comments you have made to the workouts and rides you completed the day before. Every single workout comment is read and, if appropriate, responded to. The more feedback you give, the more coach contact you will get. It’s a two way process!
What’s more you have pretty much unlimited WhatsApp availability with us so if you have an urgent question about your training you will receive a very quick answer most of the time.
Every week we review your previous training week and plan the next 2 weeks. We look carefully at how you have coped with the workouts we have set you. We progress your training on a case by case basis by changing duration, intensity or recovery to ensure we are always pushing you at an appropriate rate.
4. We monitor your progress using cutting edge software using industry standard and proprietary metrics.
Each athlete has their own account in WKO5 which contains various proprietary dashboards that track things like training load, aerobic and anaerobic progression, physiology, workout building, testing, power peaks and other aspects of your cycling.
Data is fed into WKO5 from Training Peaks and every week we check your data for power spike errors. This process alone can be very time consuming but it is vital to guarantee the integrity of your performance metrics. Garbage in = garbage out.
5. We communicate regularly and make the process as immersive as possible.
We often use screenshots from Training Peaks or WKO5 to illustrate the feedback we are trying to give to you. These are sent via WhatsApp with a message so that you can easily see what we are talking about.
We offer regular Zoom calls, booked using Calendly, where we will talk to you about your training and gain important qualitative feedback. On these calls we often end up talking about other things such as the stresses of work or family life, and often it is these insights that provide vital clues as to how much we should be pushing you.
6. We keep on learning.
We spend a lot of time reading research papers or articles from other coaches and scientists. Personally, I spend a lot of time time listening to fascinating podcasts because I have the reading speed of a snail!
Through constant learning comes progress. We are not afraid to change our minds on some aspect of training if new evidence comes to light either via an external source or through our own experience. A great example would be pedalling technique where we used to emphasise delivering a smooth pedal stroke, aiming to deliver power through the complete pedal revolution. Now we focus much more on the power phase of the pedal stroke and clearing the leg away as it exits the power phase.
If you are not prepared to change your mind, you are never learning.
7. It really is all about you.
We are your biggest fans. We take time to understand what makes you tick and think hard about what type, and what style of feedback to give you. Sometimes and carrot, sometimes a stick, sometimes just listening, but always considered.
We run a limited client list of no more than 25 clients per coach to ensure that we can give you all the highest level of service and attention. The vast majority of our clients have been with us for multiple seasons and most of our new business comes from them referring us to their friends.
I hope that gives you a good summary of what we provide you with our coaching. Ultimately we do this because we love coaching. We are not trying to build a big business and to be honest with you, I don’t even have a business plan or set of yearly objectives (shock horror!).
If you feel you would like to be part of what we do then get in touch and we can start to find out if we would be a good fit for each other.
All the best with your cycling
Rob & Sue