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How Triathlon Coaches Work


Certain coaches design intensive one-on-one programs that are individualized for each of their trainees. Others prefer to work with groups of people who share the same needs and goals.
Certain coaches design intensive one-on-one programs that are individualized for each of their trainees. Others prefer to work with groups of people who share the same needs and goals.
Ryan McVay/Thinkstock

People who set out to compete in triathlons tend to be both physically fit and highly motivated. The idea of swimming, biking and running all in one day is just too much for the slouches among us to endure.

However, because of their impressive self-motivation and competitive nature, triathletes may be reluctant to hire a coach to help them prepare for the big day. This is particularly true when you consider that many perceptions are based on high school gym class, where the coach may have been a foul-tempered, overweight smoker.

But triathlon coaches are a far cry from the dodge-ball tormentors of your high school years. Today, a growing number of novice and experienced athletes are enlisting the help of these experts in their quest for triathlon glory.

For those who may not be aware, a triathlon is a competitive endurance sport comprising swimming, cycling and running. Athletes who set out to train for a triathlon may be accustomed to working with personal trainers in their past efforts to slim down or bulk up.

Participating in a triathlon takes a special set of athletic skills, and it helps to be coached by someone with experience in the sport. It also helps if that person is a former triathlon winner who has coached others toward that coveted title. And since the sport has been around for several decades, there are quite a few experienced triathletes available to coach newcomers and anyone looking to elevate his or her game.

In the next section, we'll explore the science and strategies of triathlon coaching.


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