The start of any month for me as a focused individual personal coach and trainer is the time to review, analyse and feedback to my athletes. I see this as an integral part of the process. Coaching and development, in any field, be it sport, business or life is a 2 way process. It amazes me the amount of people i speak to, or new and potential new clients talking about ‘personalised coaching’ who have been used to little or no feedback, limited contact per month and massive monthly fees. For me true personalisation is being there for your athletes whenever you can (*within reason guys!) , reacting, listening and providing a TOTAL service not just one way ‘download’ of set training sessions
- Training sessions from the coach
- Completion and feedback from the athlete
- Daily and weekly analysis
- Adjustment from the coach based on feedback and insight into sessions
- Goals – are they still relevant
- Progress against key milestones
- Agreement – between athlete and coach on the focus for the next month
- New goals?
- Changing direction based on metrics
- Development targets
So today has been all about building my athletes monthly feedback, This includes an individualised feedback document with a complete suite of analysis, starting with basic absolute metrics compared month on month, e.g.: CTL (fitness), completed sessions, critical numbers & athlete specific targets.
There has been much commentary from various coaches I follow on different ‘test’ metrics and how it appears some methods seem to focus on getting the best in the tests and NOT the overall goal of the athlete (!).
Monthly we use a suite of ‘standard’ tests to judge progress as these are great compared over time – BUT we also focus on key metrics for that athlete… For an Ironman triathlete we may have been focussing on run economy and long run length in the last month, so the 5km ‘test’ may or may not tell us or ‘show’ an improvement – but that’s fine – IF we are seeing development in the key areas of focus. In this specific example we saw a very small progression in the 5km test – BUT an increase in 40% long run length. We have increased the athletes endurance base & maintained their top end. THIS IS A RESULT specific to that athlete.
For my cyclists much of February has been about a consistent build, such as the below from a new client shows.
Without doubt this athlete is tired, their feedback has been telling me that as do the numbers, but we have stuck to a plan as we are seeing it deliver. We are now backing off, consolidating and looking to build again.
What is interesting in teh above is comments from the athlete such as ‘I’ve lost my oompf’. they may feel like that, but the tiredness is masking the performance. If we look at Powers achieved we see top 3 performances across all time slots in the month – not bad on tired legs’ after a sustained build!
This is where the mentoring and feedback role of a coach is truly important and why I strive to offer that to everyone within Peaks.
Thanks for reading!
Now off for Zwift session 2 or a play in the snow!