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· No Crybabies
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How important is it to customize training plans based upon the individual cyclist?

I've worked with three different coaches over the last 7 years. My goals have varied as much as training for RAAM qualifiers and potentially RAAM, to road racing, and time trialing. None of the coaches have asked me to do any sort of power profile testing.

Here is my concern. From what I have read, which seems to correlate with my observations, individuals can vary quite a bit in their genetic predisposition for power, speed, and endurance. Along with other attributes, for example, muscle fiber type can predispose someone to being good at sprinting or good at endurance. Also, much of the research is finding that muscle fibers can be trained to convert, on a continuum, from one to another type, from type IIb to IIa, and lesser from IIa to I, for example.

So, it seems that for someone who historically has been a natural sprinter, you'd want to determine or confirm that, then desing a training plan that may emphasize endurance more than for someone who has natural endurance, if the goal is to be good at endurance. Why ask someone who can easily output 1200 watts to do strength and speed training, if the goal is time trialing and then ultra endurance events?

My history is that I was never beaten in a sprint when I was young, but had a hard time making even one lap around a 440 yard track. Ran 48 seconds in the 400 meters in college -- while not great for a varsity division I athlete, it's barely off the women's world record. Can win just about any head's up sprint on a bike. Yet, endurance comes with much, much difficulty, including diffuculty associate with what seems to be poor efficiency in utilizing oxygen and fat stores on long rides.

So, it seems to me that if a coach has this information, and the short term goal is 1 hour or less time trials, with long term goal of ultra marathon races, doing lots of squats and muscle tension type work would not seem to be an appropriate emphasis, as opposed to endurance, tempo, and threshold work.

What do you all think? Does good coaching necessarily involve power profiling and customization of training plans? Or, are most riders, despite individual differences, still close enough in abilities and responses to training that testing and customization is not necessary? Thanks.
 

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not customizing the plan based on the client's strengths, weaknesses and stated goals = bad (or cheap) coach. If you are paying for personal contact and a tailored plan, then yes, it should reflect your strengths, weaknesses, and goals.

Whether the coach might have you do some strength work even given your particular history and stated goals is another matter entirely. For masters racers strength training can have other benefits, even if not directly translated to the bike, and it may be worth adding it as a goal. But that's a different discussion.
 

· Cycling Coach
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Fixed said:
What do you all think? Does good coaching necessarily involve power profiling and customization of training plans? Or, are most riders, despite individual differences, still close enough in abilities and responses to training that testing and customization is not necessary? Thanks.
Even an average coach should conduct an assessment of a rider's unique physiological characteristics, training history, specific goals, training time available etc etc.

If a coach doesn't, they ain't necessarily bad, they just ain't coaching.

Performance measurement is very important.

At least with a power meter, you have two way accountability:
- The athlete is doing the training
- The coach is having a positive impact on performance
 

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If you don't get individualized coaching, then what exactly are you paying for?

When it comes to coaching, I say buyer beware. I'm starting to sense that the majority of coaches for hire are guys who like to race bikes, want to augment their income without too much effort, and are more concerned with their own palmares than those of their clients.
 

· No Crybabies
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
$50

triple b said:
how much did you pay for the coaching?
$50 per month. However, regardless of the cost, doesn't seem it takes that much time to tell me what to do for a power profile test, then look at the results.

This coach is a seasoned masters racer.
 

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If he/she doesn't have a back round in Exercise(degree) or a USACycling(not a level3)coaching cert or a cert from a nationaly(or internationaly ) recognized organization then they are not a trainer or a coach. you get what you pay fro and $50/month is pretty cheap
 

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reikisport said:
If he/she doesn't have a back round in Exercise(degree) or a USACycling(not a level3)coaching cert or a cert from a nationaly(or internationaly ) recognized organization then they are not a trainer or a coach. you get what you pay fro and $50/month is pretty cheap
IMO track record is more important than credentials, YMMV. If I were going to hire a coach, I would certainly want to have a long chat with a current client before plunking down $$$.
 

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Seems to me that you could buy the "Training and Racing with Power" book and do it yourself or just buy one of the pre-built "power" plans through Training Peaks.
Lou.
 
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