Improving your performance with the support of a personal coach

Remember Daniel? The ambitious cyclist who appeared to be a pro at time-management and training for the next big race? Let me tell you, things have changed since he started to work with a personal trainer in November last year. Here’s a little insight into his new training strategies.

Thanks for catching up with us again, Daniel.

No problem at all.

We’re curious, why did you start to work with a professional trainer?

I simply wanted to find out whether I had already reached my peak performance last year, or if I could perform even better with the help of a more structured and targeted workout plan. I also have little spare time at the moment, which is why I want my training to be as effective and efficient as possible.

How did you meet your coach?

He was a professional athlete in the past and now coaches some well-known athletes. He is well established in this field. I found out that he trains amateur athletes as well as professionals, so I called him and it worked right away.

Which qualifications where you looking for in your coach?

As I was looking for continuous support, he needed to be easy to reach. Plus I wanted the training to be adapted to my personal situation.

What are your goals?

The most important one was to stay fit throughout the winter season. Now, I’m focusing on fixing all the racing dates and planning my training accordingly. I want to reach peak performance at the races and be better than last year.

How did your training schedule change?

A lot. In the past, I often simply started each training session without any structure. My focus was on successfully accomplishing my training goals. Now things have changed, and each training session is structured and planned according to the other trainings in each month: there are three weeks of hard training followed by a week of resting. I now do interval trainings mixed with basic trainings, which means that each training has a certain intensity that will be adjusted continually.

I’ve noticed a positive change in my motivation over the winter. Especially because cycling on my indoor trainer is not fun. By sending my training statistics to my trainer twice a week, I started to feel a bit of pressure 😉 And receiving my trainer’s feedback is a big motivation to stick to the plan.

Training week in Mallorca

Did you adapt your diet, too?

Yes, I completely changed my diet. The reason was that my body fat rate was relatively high, as we found out in my performance diagnostic in November. After consulting my doctor, it became clear that the main cause was my diet. That’s why my coach put me on a diet plan. The main focus is to reduce carbs and increase protein in my nutrition. According to my training plan, this means that I have to reduce carbs on rest days, especially in the evening. On training days, on the other hand, I’m allowed to have some.

As a result I’m now prepping my lunch for work at home the night before instead of going to the cafeteria.

Did you already feel an effect of this dietary change?

At my last check in March, it turned out I lost 6 kg since starting this new diet in November. I have to point out, though, that it was never a restricted diet intended to lose weight. It just happened naturally by adjusting what I eat.

What’s next?

I’ve just attended a training week in Mallorca. In a next step, I’m going to plan the races that I want to take part in this year in co-ordination with my coach.

Do you think the investment in a coach is a good idea?

For me definitely, yes. I got a lot of motivation for my winter training and I learned that my nutrition is also key for a good performance. I never thought that my body fat ratio would have such a negative effect on my performance and health. A full verdict would only be fair after the end of the racing season, though.

Which races are you planning to participate in?

I’m thinking about the Imster Radmarathon, the Dreiländergiro Nauders, the Engadin Radmarathon, the Arlberg Giro

and the Ötztaler Radmarathon again.

How long are you planning to work with your coach?

Definitely until the end of this season. A coach is really helpful if you have ambitious goals and if you’re willing to train hard, and a lot. So after this season, I will need to reconsider my goals, my motivation, and figure out if a coach is still helpful. Let’s see what the future holds.

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