Check out our new Directory!   Serving 4,000+ members  
Triathlon Training for Beginners

We have a New Site!  If you have entered through a page other then the 'home' page, please go to...



Great Beginner Articles:                              

Choosing a Coach   

Texas Triathlon Camp      




See the Entire Coaching/Camps Archives



Advantages/disadvantages of getting a coach and the three types.

by Daniel Clout,


Starting with this article I want to focus on some main issues each month where you can considerably enhance your performance and experience the thrill of triathlon to itís fullest. I confess I am definitely no expert in triathlon. I am still learning each day, yet I am a lot wiser these days and feel I can now help others by teaching them some good training principles, racing skills and tactics.

If you take good measures towards structured training under some guidance that helps educate you to understand the reasons and values of what you are doing and why it is specific to you then you will dramatically make your training time and effort efficient and take some of the struggle out of racing.

I have accumulated a vast array of knowledge through learning from my own mistakes, watching the professional Triathletes, Duathletes and Ironman races closely and having a thirst for reading triathlon information The biggest impact on me has been finally finding the right coach who best suits my needs. Michael Jacques is constantly teaching and giving me the best training that is optimal to my requirements and desires in reaching my full potential.

The single biggest advice I can give you is to find a coach and to be picky. Who doesnít want to go faster? This is the easiest way to take a step forward to becoming a better triathlete in my opinion. In finding a coach, the first thing is to get a record of their history, success rate as a coach and their philosophy is of utmost importance too.

The most remarkable thing I have noted is how most coaches have a style of their own which encompasses completely different practices of training methods. When comparing two different coaches it can be confusing to know whoís right when they contradict each other, but both sound very convincing. There are three types I have encountered: Putting it quite simplistically, first - the ones who believe in quality training, second - the one who trains athletes collectively in squads and lastly, there are the coaches who believe in quantity. I will give you a basic outlook with the pros and cons on each and let you decided which is most suitable for your needs.

Quality Coaches


1) Gets you going faster in a short period of time.
2) Time efficient, easily accomplished if you have a busy lifestyle where you can get on with other things.
3) Racing fresh for every race.

1) You will never reach your full potential in my opinion
2) Lack endurance and strength. Because your aerobic fitness will suffer, concentrating mostly on becoming anaerobically fit (such as lots of track work) wonít have much of a pay off in an endurance race. Example - poor ability to race through fatigue.
3) Likely to get injured due to sudden stress on the body.

Squad Coaches

1) Fun to train with others.
2) Not much thinking required, just follow everyone else and do as the coach orders.
3) Easy way to become fit.

1) Not at all specific for the individual so unlikely to peak well for an event.
2) Monotonous in the way training can be the same structure week in week out.
3) These coaches tend to be great at getting a group of athletes together
but not always good at helping athletes one-on-one.

Quantity Coaches

1) You will get extremely fit by developing strong cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
2) Increase your chances of reaching your full potential.
3) Less likely to become injured. Because when it comes to speed work, the body will be well strengthen and conditioned which will put less stress on the tendons, ligaments, muscles etc.

1) Time consuming, so could be detrimental to other priorities such as your family, work etc.
2) Could be considered boring if you donít enjoy training and because it can lack variety where the paramount requirement is to do the miles - so mostly done at the same speed.

Well there you have it. Now itís up to you to put your perspective on finding a coach who is most appropriate for yourself to attain to your specific goals and ability. However a good coach should also know a vast array of knowledge in every aspect of the sport. Nothing beats experience so someone who has actually raced competitively and had plenty of coaching experience will definitely surpass anybody else and prove to be a deadly combination. One more important aspect is finding a coach with the right personality who you can get along with and especially one who has enthusiasm and passion for the sport and coaching other than incentives to becoming rich from coaching. So be sure to ask your coach plenty of questions, especially to grasp an understanding of what the purpose of
every session is. A good coach is only too happy to teach and educate you, as that way your training will be enhanced through your comprehension, hence better gains through doing it correctly and with a purpose.

Daniel Clout (Kiwi fella who speaks his mind!)

Daniels Articles

Why Triathlon Train

Why I am Choosing America Over New Zealand

My Optimistic Outlook for 2004

Triathlon World Champs 2004

Choosing a Coach



BT Thanks the following for all of their support:


15% Off All Purchases


10% off with 'begtri' code





 All Content Unless Otherwise Noted © 2003-2004 and Beginner Triathlete, LLC

Your use of this site constitutes your acceptance of the RESTRICTIONS AND TERMS OF USE