Our Coaching Philosophy
When being vetted by potential new athletes, a common question I field is: "what is your coaching philosophy?"
I think that many of these athletes are looking for an answer like: "More is more, less is less" or "I believe in quality over quantity."
If you're looking for this kind of approach, you've already placed limitations on what you're going to get out of a coach. You might as well buy a training plan from a website or magazine.
The fact of the matter is that I don't have one methodology that I apply to all of my athletes. Some athletes have more time to train than others. Some have very limited hours with which to train. Some athletes would rather spend more time on things other than training for triathlon with their free time. Most however, are looking to compete to the best of their ability, often having the goal of qualifying for a national or world championship event.
So my "philosophy" is to get athletes as fast as possible given their available time commitment and their unique athlete profile. I will say however, that there is no substitute for consistent training from year to year and that yes, generally speaking, more is more - given the appropriate progression and skill development process for each athlete. More is more, until it's too much.
By having a "philosophy" of not swimming during the winter, or a setting a specific limit of hours for all of your athletes, the coach not only limits the scope of their practice, but also limits the development of their athletes. I would rather take every athlete as an individual, communicate regularly with them, continuously analyze their training data, workout execution and find out about their "regular" life and how it affects their "triathlon life" and vice versa and then apply the next appropriate step to their training plan. If they can only train 8 hours a week, I'll give them eight hours a week of training that will suit their specific athlete profile. If the athlete can train 20 hours a week, I'm not going to say "you only need to train 8 hours a week". We're going to maximize the amount of hours available to the athlete and have a long term development plan in mind.
It takes time (ie: hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc.) to develop the skills and systems that you need to perform at your genetic ability (if that is indeed your goal). There is no silver bullet, no magical minimalist program, no cutting-corners approach that can substitute for a multi-year development that includes all levels of intensities given at the appropriate dosages across all disciplines to get the athlete to be competing at their highest level. That there is my philosophy, folks. Do work, do it well, do it consistently, continuously develop your triathlon skill set and don't place arbitrary limits on what it's going to take to get the job done.