• Pauline Cound

A Technology Based Approach to Triathlon Coaching

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

The role of the sports coach is one that "enables the athlete to achieve levels of performance to a degree that may not have been possible if left to his/her own endeavours." UK Coaching Strategy (2017).

I believe coaching is more than just offering a one size fits all training program, or only providing instruction of skills and drills. No athlete is identical so there is no “one size fits all” training plan.

My coaching approach is a combination of experience, knowledge, the application of sports science, technology and management philosophies. It is beyond that of physiology and utilizes techniques through the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on performance improvement. Adapting a Six-Sigma methodology as coach I work with an athlete in the following manner

• Define the goals and objectives. • Measure performance. • Analyze the performance to determine poor performance • Improve performance. • Control the improved performance.

Current technologies provide the platforms for the measurement and analysis of the athlete’s performance. Measurements that include heart rate and power can be analyzed to provide metrics. TrainingPeaks is an enabler and translates the raw data into valuable and understandable key performance indicators (KPI’s). These metrics can be used to baseline an athlete’s performance and provide the feedback that enable the coach to adapt the training plan in an iterative manner.

In effect the collection of performance data is the “Internet of Things” in a sporting technology context. The athlete is becoming “connected” to a world of “big data” and a sports coach needs to take advantage of the analytical information that this provides. The data is only one piece of the puzzle and due to the variability and individuality of each athlete the knowledge and experience of the coach determines the outcome.

Therefore, my delivery methodology is developed on delivering programs through TrainingPeaks and I encourage all my athletes to register as premium athletes due to the benefits the analytics provide. The metrics that TrainingPeaks provide drive effective decision making and creates the difference in terms of performance improvement that can mean achievement of the athlete’s objectives.

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