Actually just a short answer is: no, you dont need to, but if you want to improve and go faster…….
Of course you can find a way to train yourself to do an Ironman. There can be many reasons to have a coach, and not to.
I have a university degree in sports and physics, but I have a coach anyhow. I have grown up in sports, and I have a coach, I eat healthy and dont need to loose weight, and I have a coach.
You must see what you need, what is it, that you cannot do, and see if you find a coach that can do just that for you.
Here is what I get:
– specific traning, that is made for me, to develope me, and to prepare me for ecxatly my race. When I go to train, 95% of my traningsessions, has a meaning, a clear meaning, and I know what to do, and why, I know the value, and so I do it.
– a coach, that tells me to rest when it looks like I need that, and one that tells me to push harder when I dont do that, this is one thing that is very hard to evaluate alone, you will get in doubt.
– a coach, that gives me feedback on my efforts, good and bad. There needs to be a good and honest dialog, and trust between you and your coach I belive.
– a coach, that does not belive, that you can race fast, just by your bodys effort, the food, rest, tecnic, equipment and mental strenght, it is all on the program.
– a coach, that puts structure to my time. With a full job that includes 60-80 traveldays a year, this is very important for me.
and then I have a coach that really belives in me. I feel that.
These are the things that are really important for me, so it fits me really good. Some other things to have in mind, some more important than others, you decide what counts for you:
– traningsmethods (the coach should ask for your sportshistory, training, damages, recover, heartrate zones, bodystate, results, mental state and other stressors, and what motivates you)
– education and reputation. Ask around, and then approch those that you think will fit you needs.
– plan and excecution, things must be clear, and in time. Some coaches take too many athletes, some are a mess, and some just talk. Find one that delivers !
– personal or on-line ? It is many times cheaper on-line, and it can be really good. Most times, it is more standard, than if you pay more, and have a personal coach.
If you pay more, make sure that you get more.
So….define your needs, what is it that the coach schould do for you, ask around, price and reputation, and the have a talk with 2-3, and then decide.
And yes, I would never be where I am now, without the coaches that I have had. But that is just me………………………..see you out there. Kaisa -in off traning mode