Ironman in 2014 – Coach or no Coach?

IMAZRapstar I went to Arizona to volunteer at the Ironman in hopes of getting a spot in the race for 2014.  I got my spot! So now starts the year of prep. I am trying to decide what level of commitment I want to  make to this race.  Do I just want to finish better than I did in St. George in 2012?  Or do I really want to do the best race I can do? As a result  I am seriously considering getting a coach.  I would love to hear your experiences with having a coach.


  1. a dude way smarter than me wrote this:

    I worked with felog this year to train for a marathon. He was great and the plan was pretty awesome but other ‘stuff’ got in the way this year so I didn’t get the results I wanted. I was looking for a coach to point the way forward and felog did that in spades but it was my own damn fault I wandered off the path. My .02 – Look at what you want out of this Ironman and see what it will take to get you there.

  2. If you are doing this with Stuart, then I think you don’t need a coach. You have a training partner, and accountability partner. You guys can tweak the plan for your growth and strength, and hold each other accountable. And You could, if you need, spend a couple of hundred bucks on a plan from Training Peaks, etc. That’s the role of a coach. Save your money and spend it on gear.

    1. Stuart isn’t doing the race but he will be doing a lot of training with me (possible yelling at me; he already got a megaphone). That is a valid argument and one I am taking into consideration. Luckily, there isn’t much I need at this point. I need a better helmet and my bike needs an upgrade. Other than that I am pretty well set. The cost is a big concern for me.

      1. You should chat with Megan Storms about this. She has had some very interesting experiences with people you would assume were perfect coaches. They were far from it. Forget the credential. Forget the advertising. Forget what others say. This decision has to be perfect for YOU and YOU only. Don’t be lured by the public pressure you get. Make your own mind up. And do not ever be afraid to FIRE a coach. This is a transaction. If they don’t give you what you really need (and decide what you REALLY need from a coach before taking another step), then dump them. They are adults. They will get over it. Sorry to go so long. But I could tell you stories. And if you wanna here them, let me know and we can chat

  3. I was coached by felog for a good amount of time. It was only after I reached burn out and needed to disconnect that I stopped using him. I totally miss our training talks!

    Since Scott and I are both racing IM Lou next year I am going back and forth with this same question. I want to do the best possible and push my limits and Scott wants to enjoy and just finish. So I am feeling guilty spending money on a coach for just me knowing what next year will cost. Hard call!

  4. Be 110% you want someone to boss you around for a year. I was coached my husband was not and we had VERY different workouts getting ready for IMFL…..we NEVER trained together as a result. For me, it was essential. It saved me from me, but he would’ve NEVER been able to do it. 3-4 guys here that did FL with us payed for a coached but never followed their instructions. They did fine, but it just struck me as odd to have one and basically ignore the advice/suggestions. I’m still being coached, but I’m willing to turn it over 100% and trust the process…..even if I don’t always agree with it. It’s VERY hard b/c we want results yesterday and this isn’t an instant gratification sport.
    Good luck with your decision….I can’t wait to watch you do it again!!

    1. Thanks Jenn! I was waiting for you to weigh in. There are a couple different scenarios of how to approach next year. I need help on the bike. And I need to make it to the run with out IT issues again. I got the swim covered… With that in mind we are weighing our options.

  5. The decision to get a coach or go it alone is a pretty big one, for sure. I’ve done IM without a coach, and I’ve used coaches for specific portions of my training – but never for all of it. I did write a blog series called the TriMadness Coaching Series ( Feel free to read or download – might help with your decision process. Regardless of which way you go, CONGRATS on getting your slot for IMAZ and good luck with training!

  6. I used to have a coach and I miss him SO much. 😦 Unfortunately, my pocketbook won’t allow me to afford one right now. I think if you want to do the best you can, go for it & get a coach. It’ll be worth it.

  7. Get a coach 🙂 mine got me through my first 70.3 this Sept and working towards ironmanUK next year, my first. Someone with experience & knowledge, support & advice is amazing

  8. I did my first three on my own. I am registered for Chattanooga next Fall and am going to hire a coach. I know I can get to the finish line self coaching but am interested to see what I can do with the help of a coach. To be honest, I couldn’t afford one the first couple of times around so the decision was easy. I would say if you think you want to crank it up a notch or maybe just want some extra accountability coaching would be the way to go.

  9. I am planning my first 70.3 in July 2013 and have spent a bit of time contemplating coach or not. Still haven’t decided. Certainly different costs for coaches, do you get what you pay for? Is distance coaching as effective as in person? I also don’t know what training plan to use and so badly want to stay healthy without injury so there just seems like such a need for a coach. How do you base your decision?

  10. I was there a few weeks ago as well…..and there again Monday morning at 5:00. See you next year, it will be here before we know it! I’m still a TRI rookie so I just started sessions with a swimming coach. I think it will help me significantly. Good luck!!!!

  11. Hi,

    A bit of a late reply …

    I’m currently using a coach for the second time for IM Lanzarote. I think having a coach is almost a necessity, like having a good saddle or a bike fit.

    At some point during my IM training I was injured from running and if it was up to me I would have cancelled my race. My coach changed my training plan to compensate the running with the cycling and as a result I was able to complete my IM, although my running was not great I managed to complete my first IM. He just took the worry and the disbelief away.


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