Benefits of professional coaching?
There's been a bit of talk here recently about training and coaching which is timely for me given some of the thoughts kicking around in my vacant head. I thought I'd throw open a discussion about the benefits of 'real' coaching as compared to self coaching and at what point would it make sense to assist in achieving your goals.
I can see that a coach could provide two main benefits to a budding rider; the technical knowledge about training programs/structure and the motivation/external discipline to keep a rider honest and on track. The value of each of these would vary depending on the riders natural disposition and motivation but where they aren't inclined to learn the theory or make the sacrifices then a coach would make a big difference. (You could argue that that kind of rider won't ever be a great athelete so why bother but we're talking about amateur rather than elite level atheletes here)
The relevance of this is that I have been wondering what advantages I would see from a real coach. I've set some goals around 24hr Solo racing, in particular to compete at the 2013 National Championships in April, but am struggling to get the momentum started to get there. I'm coming off a slump in motivation, and therefore fitness, and just starting to relight my fire. I'm relatively busy with work and family and can't devote huge amounts of time to training so having an efficient training program (i.e. more fitness per hour of effort) would be very valuable
I find personally that external motivation is quite effective so things like entering an event gives me a shot in the arm. For example something as simple as entering the Fling, and the subsequent fear of failure, will give me that bit more drive to spend an extra session on the trainer rather than copping out. As that's a motivating factor for me I can see that someone keeping me honest would be an advantage but I'm curious to hear other opinions.
Given all of that, how does one find a good MTB coach? Mark Fenner is a logical choice given his profile and specific experience with 24 hrs racing, http://www.ftptraining.com/ , but I'm sure there are others out there worth looking at as well. Does anyone have any recommendations or experience? How much would you typically pay for a coach?
thanks in advance