When I ran a marathon several years ago, my training plan was just to go for countless long runs. Now that Iโ€™m older and wiser, Iโ€™m going to be more sophisticated in training for Tremblant and that means getting a good coach.

The first question any potential coach has asked is: what is my goal for the race? This is a helpful first sign, since their approach to my training really should be based on my goal. Plus, it has been a good motivator for me to actually share my goal out loud, which helps me think it through.

My goal is to simply finish, while enjoying the race. Iโ€™m not aiming for any podium. Although I know it will be tough โ€” the challenge is part of the point, after all โ€” I want to avoid crawling across the finish line, bruised and battered after a long grind. My broader purpose is to use the event as a good excuse to keep active and try out new things. I hope that Iโ€™ll be doing events like this for the next decade or so. If the training burns me out or causes injuries, in the pursuit of some unattainable ranking at the event, weโ€™ve missed this purpose.

Iโ€™ve also been thinking through what Iโ€™m looking for in a coach. There are lots of potentially valid approaches to coaching. I need to find one that aligns with my needs and expectations. In general, there are three things, in order, that Iโ€™m looking for.

  1. Knowledge: Thereโ€™s so much to learn! As I said at the beginning, thereโ€™s the training plan that mixes all three sports in the right amounts without causing injury. Thereโ€™s also sorting out nutrition for the race to keep energy optimized. And gear (so much gear!) from bikes to wetsuits and apps to goggles. Without good advice, I could waste a lot of money on shiny, unnecessary gadgets. A seasoned coach can help with all of this.
  2. Community: Iโ€™m generally autonomous and would naturally orient towards doing much of my training solo. Despite this, I joined a running group about a month ago and have really enjoyed the camaraderie and support. So, Iโ€™ll be looking to a coach to help get me connected with the local community, especially for the cycling. Long-distance rides will be much better with other people.
  3. Accountability: I think Iโ€™m pretty goal oriented and persistent (some would say stubborn). I donโ€™t yet know if this will persist over 6 months with significantly more training. Having a coach track my progress, adjusting where necessary, will help keep me honest and on target.

Hopefully, not too much to ask for!