Wanted: Triathlon Coach

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have registered for my first Half Ironman Distance Triathlon….Rev3Tri at Cedar Point. I’m super stoked, yet I’m going into personal uncharted territory.  Uncharted territory is nothing new for me. Heck, almost 5 years ago I jumped into running with no idea what I was doing.  I did a ton o’ research mixed with trial and error.  I think I’ve been pretty “successful” in my endeavor. By successful, I mean I’ve trained for many races, have lived to tell about it, and am still running.  Not to mention, I want more.  Yeah, that’s success in my book.

Like I said, previously I’ve always turned to the Internet for guidance on training.  I’ve used a variety of different training plans and have been happy.  I’ve also used basic common sense.  This time around I think I need to kick it up a notch.  I think it’s time to put some money on the table. What do I mean?  I think A-I need to purchase a training plan. Or B-I need a coach.  What?!  Yeah, little ol’ me.  I think it may be time.  Never in my mind did I ever think I’d consider having a coach let alone follow through with it. 

I’ve had a few recommend just going through BeginnerTriathlete.com.  I’ve also had a local triathlete recommend their coach who is also local.  To be honest, I have no idea where to start, what questions to ask, etc.

I’m looking for your input! 

A little bit about my history and goals….

I’ve been running since 2007.  I’m not fast. I do it for enjoyment, exercise, and the challenge.  My main focus has been on 5ks, although I completed the Cleveland Half Marathon on 2008.  Since then I had some health issues, which lead to medical bills, meaning I cut back on my races.  I still stuck with my running. 

I did my first sprint triathlon in 2011.  Obviously my first Half Rev is planned for late summer 2012.  My goal: prepare myself physically and mentally to complete the Half Ironman distance, preferably in a respectable amount of time.  Right now I’m trying to not only make a training plan but also a race schedule for 2012.  I’m thinking a half marathon in early spring followed by several sprint/oly triathlons leading up to the Half Rev. Although I’ve had other “big” races this would be my first year of actually planning a race schedule per se.

So, help a sista out.  Where and what should I do?



  1. Hey! Lots and lots of great coaching options out there….including on your own team! Both MB and several of the age groupers are coaches. I wrote a series about coaching on my blog as well….I’ve got it up as a free downloadable ebook. Have at it. There’s LOTS that goes into picking the right coach, but can be a SUPER thing if you take the right approach.


  2. I wish I had some tips for you, but as of now, I’ve only done a handful of sprints myself. Just wanted to say, good luck on your training journey! I think having a coach (even a virtual one) is a great idea and something I would do if it was in the budget. Good luck!!

  3. I highly recommend hiring a coach for your first half-iron. If nothing else, it’ll let you focus on just doing the workouts rather than figuring out what to do. Working with a coach will also allow you to adjust your plan as you progress, do you’re not over or undertraining.

    Whether you opt for local or online is up to you. It depends on how much you want to spend and how much contact you’ll want with them. Most online coaches offer unlimited email contact, but won’t be able to meet up with you in person for key workouts and form/skill assessments.

    I’ll put it a plug for myself as I’m a tri coach that offers online coaching. You can find details and pricing at http:// runningatdawn.com/coaching. I’d love to help you out, but only if it’s going to be a good fit for you.

    Good luck!

  4. Make sure you interview lots of coaches AND their athletes. You’ll inevitably get slightly different stories from each that will give you a different perspective.

    Decide how important it is to have a local coach. Do you need someone to help you with your swim stroke or running form? Can someone coach you just as well through the internet?

    USAT certification doesn’t mean anything. Just because they are certified, doesn’t mean a damn thing.

    Ask how “hands on” they are. Will you be able to call, text or email them any day of the week to chat? Communication is probably more important than anything else. Make sure you are signing up for plenty of it.

  5. Congrats on committing to your first half ironman – awesome! I’m a little biased, but I think coaching is well worth the cost and really helps as you’re getting your legs under you and jumping onto long-distance triathlons. A coach keeps you honest, helps motivate you to no slack off, or to take a break when you need it – an objective helper. Good luck!!

  6. I think you will have to be the best judge of that, like some of the others have said, I think it depends how “hands on” you want. If you think you will need input from someone physically being there… then that may be the way to go. But you can also find great advice from local training groups and friends etc. I also think it depends if you want to be competitive with yourself time wise, or are just aiming to finish standing up and not puking 🙂 I am diving into the tri world this year and have pondering both ideas as well… keep us posted what you decide to do! It’s going to be a life changing experience no matter what! congrats to you for signing up & going for it!

  7. Lots of great coaches out there. I’ve always been self coached and it’s worked for me BUT if I could afford it I would SOOOOOO hire a coach.

    I can’t wait to read about your training for Cedar Point. Yay Rev3!

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