4 Advantages to Having a Coach/Trainer
This article was originally posted by Chris Carmichael from Carmichael Training systems in his weekly email blast. Although his perspective is from an endurance athlete POV, what he says is 100% applicable to motocross. Maybe even more since most motocross athletes are generally not as educated as endurance athletes. - Virtual Trainer
Look, the truth of the matter is that you’re a smart person and endurance training isn’t rocket science (same applies to motocross). And to be perfectly frank, you could probably figure out most subjects if you had the time and motivation to do so. So I understand if you’re looking at a bunch of training manuals, websites, and magazines and figuring you can handle this training thing on your own. But as good as you are on your own, here are 4 important things a coach is better at than you are (in motocross this applies to riding coaches AND trainers).
#1 Holding You Accountable
Even the most self-motivated stickler for structure benefits from accountability. When someone like me is going to ask you why you skipped your workout or bailed on the last interval, you’re more likely to get it done. This shouldn’t be viewed punitively, but rather that we are in this together: I’m using my time and experience to design a pathway that will lead you to success. For it to work I need you to do your part, which means doing the workouts, eating right, going to sleep, and communicating with me. (Something I tell my athletes almost daily).
#2 Remaining Objective
The impact of training changes an athlete’s interpretation of the facts. In other words, being tired from training changes your outlook on what you should do tomorrow, next week, and next month. But your training doesn’t make me tired, so I can remain objective about what aspects or your training need – or don’t need – to be adjusted. Over the years I’ve seen – even with the advent of improved analysis tools – an unbelievable number of athletes derail their training just before they would have seen tremendous results. For endurance athletes, the most important time to stay the course is often the time when the urge to change course is greatest. A critical eye and an objective voice are incredibly valuable at that moment. (One big mistake I see is riders who try to do too much too close to the start of the season or big race. 'Tim, Loretta's is in two weeks, what should I do to make sure I don't get tire....' ).
#3 Seeing the Big Picture
For athletes the Big Picture encompasses events later in the season, the trajectory of your athletic career, the impact of your training on your relationships and job, and your overall happiness. Your commitment to training and goal events is laudable, but sometimes you get so wrapped up in the details of this week that you don’t see potential consequences waiting for you down the road. That’s not a failing on your part; it’s the nature of training. I want you to be focused on right now and the details of the days ahead, and part of my job is to help you see the big picture so you can make decisions that are good for your performance, your relationships, and your career. (Since pro riders in motocross are so young this could not ring any louder. Seeing the big picture is often the achilles' heal of the first few years of a rider's career).
#4 Interpreting the data
Yes, I know you have a Trainingpeaks account and have read a lot of books. I have Turbotax and a bunch of finance books, but that doesn’t make me a CPA. I’m not saying you can’t analyze your data well, I’m saying my coaches and I can interpret your data with more context and experience (Coach Seiji worked for Carmichael Training Systems for 2 years and between the two of us we have over 25 years of combined training experience). We’ve looked at a lot more data over a lot more years and encompassing a lot more athletes. In most areas of your life you seek experience and expertise when it comes to analysis. Think about your choices in doctors, lawyers, accountants, and even auto mechanics. Apply the same rationale to training, especially since it’s something you’re passionate about, invested in, and spending a lot of time and money pursuing (motocross is significantly more expensive than all endurance sports combined so why wouldn't you want to invest in the most important piece of equipment on the track: YOU!).
Do you know the number one response we get from new athletes when we ask, “What made you decide to get a coach now?” They say something to the effect of, “I’ve thought about it several times, but never done anything about it. Now I’m ready to get started.” You’ve probably thought about it, too. It’s time to get off the fence and get started with a coach. Sometime this summer you’ll look back and wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner.
Whether you join the Racer X VT premium training community or hire someone else in the industry, do yourself a favor and invest a little money in you, the rider. You can thank me on the podium!
That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.