Once upon a time, athletes were forced to use coaching resources close to home. They read what they could, and perhaps blended a little bit of advice from the local swim, bike and run coaches. Today, the Internet connects people like never before and enables athletes to make their coaching choices without regard to physical location. And many age-group athletes, from beginner to advanced, are starting to realize that professional coaching is not just for professional athletes. A good program will take into account your work schedule, family obligations, key events and availability of any local group workouts you can take part in. There are a lot of options out there—finding the right coach for your goals and budget means having a game plan when you start your research.
A coaching contract should be a personal relationship. You want to make sure you find the right fit—but also understand that, like with many relationships, time will build and enhance that connection. Before going into the interview process, really think about what you want from a coach outside of the actual swim-bike-run guidance. If you need lots of emotional support and help with goal setting, make sure to mention that.