If you’re a coached athlete you know this cycle well. Your coach writes you a workout or a block of training in TrainingPeaks (TP), which you upload after completing (or you forget, but at least you did the workout, right?). Your coach reviews the training gives you some feedback and writes the next block of training. And on and on the cycle goes.
While the GPS data gives insight into paces, distance and the quantitative side of training, it often only tells part of the story. What about the fact that you were running on four hours of sleep, or got a killer cramp on the second repeat? The point is, your post-workout communication is an important piece of the puzzle and there is a lot of qualitative information that makes the coaching experience far more complete. Without context, we only have half the story.
In our experience as coaches and athletes, communication, or lack thereof, is often the number one factor in injury and poor performance.
Post workout communication is one of the keys to making the coach-athlete relationship successful, keeping you injury free and progressing towards your goals.
Post-activity comments are an awesome communication tool that allows you to tell the story of your training. With each workout, long run, or pre-race nervous breakdown, your post-activity comments weave the pieces of your training journey together.
So, what are we looking for in your comments?
1. Be yourself
We want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly from your workouts. The more real information you are willing to share, the easier it will be for us to get to know you and build a strong coach-athlete relationship. Similarly, don’t try to twist the story to “impress” your coach. We won’t judge you for missing your paces or calling it quits on a bad day. This is all valuable information for us to use in planning your training.
2. Be consistent
You don’t need to write something every day, but a comment once a week tells a much better story than 3 comments one week and none for the next 3 weeks. The hard workout and long run days are most important. So if nothing else, give us something to work with on those days.
3. Be concise
You don’t have to write 3 paragraphs after a 30-minute easy run. A couple of quick thoughts go a long way, or you can use the scale in 1-10 scale in Training Peaks to describe your effort and how you felt. This is quick and easy to use and provides a whole lot more information to your coach than you might think.
Leaving comments in TrainingPeaks can also serve as your personal training log. These can be helpful later on when you wonder how you felt the last time you did a specific workout or what went well in your last marathon build up.
Finally, these comments reflect your personality and help us get to know you as a person. Whether it’s something funny that happened on a run or a humorous reflection of the pain that the workout put you through. These can be equally as important to building a strong relationship with your coach because at the core running is a journey that we all enjoy and we want to be able to share those unique memories with someone who can relate.