Let’s be real, 2020 has pretty much been a dumpster fire when it comes to endurance sports. Some races have tried to hang on to the bitter end, but for the most part it has been train wreck city when it comes to competing.
According to Running USA, 92% of events were cancelled after the pandemic hit in March. For many of us that is the majority of our season. So it is not surprising that the question arises:
Why do I need a coach?
I think many of us have wrestled with this thought more than once since March. As coaches, we want to provide value, we WANT races to happen, and for you to accomplish your goals. So this year has created a lot of Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C options, which have consistently been reworked and rewritten.
What is the value in coaching?
If there are no races; why is coaching still important? Racing will come back eventually. We don’t know exactly when that will be. When racing does return it will be really clear are the athletes that stuck it out during this time — the ones that were consistent, engaged, and dedicated to pivoting their goals and their mindsets.
I would argue that for many athletes now is the perfect time to have a coach:
- In a world of uncertain times, the stability of a schedule and consistent training is both beneficial for physical and mental health;
- The pause is racing allows for a broader experience in endurance sport and time to work on weaknesses;
- Getting objective feedback when there is no looming deadline of a race or immediate need to train through an injury can lead to long term performance gains;
- A team atmosphere and taking this journey with “people like me” allows for support and engagement when races are no longer on the table; and
- Insight from an outsider, such as a coach, can be key in allowing growth in areas of weakness and preventing over/under training in uncertain times.
Athletes need to feel value in the services that they are receiving even if there are no races. The pandemic requires that coaches move outside the box of training for specificity. Arguably, some athletes will come out of this year with significant improvements that will lead them to be better prepared with racing resumes.