So you have done a few local tri’s, ventured out a little further for maybe a long course race or even a 70.3 and you are now dreaming about the big time: an Ironman in some cool location. You set your sites on where you want to head, pulled out the calendar, shelled out the entry fee and start to plan for the big race. Better check the saving account because this is going to pinch a little.
One cannot “just” do an ironman. It takes specialized equipment, lots and lots of training and a big time commitment. Now you can under take this massive task on your own but with the help of a triathlon coaching service that specializes in Ironman training things can go a lot smoother with less of an affect on your wallet or your family life. To be fair an Ironman triathlon coach is not cheap but they bring with them years of experience and training to help you reach your goals. So how does there coaching actually save you money? Let me break down some of the costs and explain further.
The biggest cost, without comparison, is the time you spend training. Athletes hoping to finish in the middle of the pack spend 10 to 15 hours per week training. Want to be in the top 10%? You better be prepared to spend up to 20 hours a week. That’s a part time job! (An unpaid one at that…) What is your time worth? Time you could be spending other things like working, socializing or hanging with the family. What are you going to do with all that training time? You don’t want to waste it … you really need a well though out plan, that is where your triathlon coach comes in. He or she will constantly monitor your efforts and make the best use of your time. The triathlon coach will prioritize your efforts and impart valuable knowledge on how to get the most out of your training. Freeing up wasted training time to do other activities. The last thing you want to do is get to race day, having spent all that time incorrectly training and the failing to reach your goal.
Ironman certified triathlon coaches can also advise you on the equipment and nutritional requirements of an IM. They can match you abilities to your goals and provide you a roadmap of what you should and shouldn’t buy. Triathlon is an EXPENSIVE sport and spending money on unnecessary or unproven equipment can make things even worse. If your goal is to finish your first IM without walking is a power meter really needed? For the race you picked what is the best wheel to buy? For that matter do you need to buy a tri bike or can your rode bike make it happen just as well. You have done an ironman and looking to improve on the swim, should you buy a better wetsuit or pay for some swim lessons? These things could cost you thousands but with a good triathlon coach in your corner, looking objectively at your abilities and goals, the best decisions can be made.
The most forgotten area of Ironman racing is nutrition. Why spend countless hours training and thousands of dollars on equipment just to blow it because you ate too much spam on the bike?! Proper nutrition and hydration is key to finishing and ironman strong. Don’t risk jeopardizing your efforts with improper fueling. Working together with your triathlon coach will give you a leg up on nutrition and integrate it from day one, leaving less to chance come race day. Lastly you can’t put a value on peace of mind. You will be nervous when the cannon goes off but being confident in your training and the race plan you and your triathlon coach devised goes a long way towards a great race day.
So whether your goal is to finish an Ironman or Crush it in Kona the straight path to your goal is through an Ironman certified triathlon coach. Experience, objectivity and knowledge will make your training purposeful and overall have less of an effect on your wallet.