Better Triathlete is a triathlon coaching platform that helps athletes match with an Ironman coach who can best meet their training and racing goals.
The rigors that long-course triathlon training and racing can be demanding on an athlete in many ways. The support of a qualified Ironman coach can be immensely valuable in navigating one’s journey.
Whether through in-person or online coaching dynamics, we help athletes find the right resources for Ironman triathlon coaching. As an athlete, you can inquire about connecting with an experienced Ironman coach. Or if you’re a coach, you can reach out about joining our program and connecting with new athletes.
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Featured Ironman Coaches
Better Triathlete is a global community of Ironman coaches located all over the world. While most coaches are based in the U.S., we’re able to serve triathletes abroad with online coaching services.
Jeff Lukich is an experienced Ironman coach who specializes in coaching long-course multisport athletes, ultra runners, and marathoners, as well as cyclists and athletes with unique events, such as double Ironman, staged races, swim-run events, etc. He’s completed over 25 half-Ironman events and 9 full Ironman-distance races. Jeff leads the coach match program for Better Triathlete and owns Drive Multisport based in Georgia. Learn more about Jeff
Maria Simone is an endurance coach who leads No Limits Endurance, an inclusive triathlon and running coach platform based in Colorado. Maria specializes in coaching long-course athletes, especially non-traditional ultra distances as well as data analysis. She works with athletes through online, in-person, and group coaching dynamics. Through No Limits Endurance, she provides virtual coaching services for a wide spectrum of athletes. Learn more about Maria
The Ironman Coaching Dynamic
More and more Ironman triathletes are opting for online triathlon coaching to help program their training and racing season. While there are both positive and negative aspects of Ironman triathlon coaching online, the decision generally depends on the athlete’s lifestyle, personal preferences, and location in which they’re based.
As an online community for triathlon and endurance sports, we support athletes who are interested in web-based coaching dynamics. Below we share a few reasons why online triathlon coaching can be a win for Ironman.
1. Personalized Programming for Ironman Training
While there’s an abundance of community in the triathlon world, many athletes appreciate and embrace the individualized nature of training and racing. For some athletes, joining triathlon clubs, master’s swims, and other training groups is not an option. And for others, getting involved in group training is an important and meaningful connection to the sport.
While some individuals prefer to have training buddies or riding groups, almost all competitive triathletes will respect the personalized nature of training alone from time to time. In fact, most triathlon coaches will agree that a combination of individual and group training is a good thing. Most Ironman distance athletes are naturally very disciplined, independent, and focused. In turn, such athletes can leverage significantly more options for high-caliber triathlon coaching and training help online.
2. Access Professional and Experienced Triathlon Coaches
Some athletes desire the same elite-level Ironman triathlon coaching as the pros (but without the personal attention that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars per month.) Some of the most advanced and experienced Ironman triathlon coaches offer training programs and coaching services online.
If you have a specific Ironman coach in mind, then go for it. But if you’re searching around for potential triathlon coaches online, make sure to clearly understand the level of coaching that you’ll be receiving.
Some reputable Ironman coaches provide online training programs to new or online athletes. While some of these training programs may be personalized to the athlete, this investment may or may not include direct communication with the coach.
3. Break Local Barriers with Online Ironman Coaching
Although the sport of triathlon has gone through waves of rapid growth and decline in the past couple of decades, the demand for Ironman coaching exceeds the supply of qualified triathlon coaches.
Unless you live in a metropolitan area or city with a strong triathlete community, it can be hard to find a coach who is experienced in Ironman distance training (let alone find fellow athletes to train with.)
In short, Ironman triathlon coaching online opens the door to a plethora of qualified coaches. For many triathletes living in rural, cold, and dry areas that lack a thriving tri community, online Ironman coaching may be the only option.
What to Look for in an Ironman Coach
The following are important considerations when evaluating potential Ironman coaches, whether online or local. Consider these qualities when interviewing prospective online triathlon coaches.
It’s important to ask potential triathlon coaches exactly how available they are to athletes. Most Ironman coaches will make these details clear on their websites by mentioning how many emails, Skype sessions, phone calls, etc. an athlete can expect to receive.
During your initial conversation with the triathlon coach, make sure that the level of accessibility the coach offers is a reasonable amount of contact for you and your needs. This also includes how often the coach wants to hear from you as the athlete. Most online Ironman coaches like to connect with their athletes on weekly basis. However, this frequency will depend based on the individual and his or her lifestyle.
An effective online triathlon coach must be flexible in how he or she programs and administers workouts. As an athlete, it’s crucial to ask questions the coach’s framework and process on how he or she can design and adapt a training program to suit your needs.
Consider a few what if’s, like what’s the protocol if a training session is missed? Will the triathlon coach implement modifications based on what feels more natural to you as your triathlon training progresses?
Many Ironman triathlon coaches online might think they have the best approach to programming and training an athlete. However, without the willingness and professional capabilities to adapt their approach to fit the individual needs of the triathlete, there will most likely be roadblocks in the progression of one’s training season.
Especially for those planning to do an Ironman, athletes need to reconcile and modify their day-to-day life to incorporate structured triathlon training. For this reason, it’s vital for an online Ironman coach to consider your work schedule, family, and social life when constructing a triathlon training plan.
In short, the triathlon coach is willing to modify training sessions based on the big picture of your life. Like mentioned above, it will go a long way to ask questions during your initial consultation or interview with online triathlon coaches. This will help you avoid feeling frustrated and overwhelmed if the online coaching dynamic doesn’t meet your expectations.
Research your online triathlon coaching candidates well enough to be confident in their experience and qualifications as your coach. If you’re reaching out and interviewing triathlon coaches online, you can ask to speak to current or past client athletes.
While for some triathletes it’s not necessary for the coach to be a Kona-qualified triathlete or former Ironman pro, pinpointing a triathlon coach online with some competition-specific experience is a good benchmark for a competitive athlete seeking coaching services. For instance, if you’re planning to race a 70.3 half-Ironman, then your coach should have experience racing that distance.
At the very least, your prospective coaches should hold some kind of certification (i.e. personal training, running, cycling, and/or swimming) or have attained a Level 1 USAT Coaches Certification. It also helps that your prospective triathlon coaches have completed a few Iron-distance races.
Regardless of how experienced, smart, or high-profile an Ironman triathlon coach is, the coaching will not be very effective if your personalities are not fully compatible. Prior to the interview process, outline the goals of your upcoming triathlon season. Next, be real with yourself and determine what it is you need (both in yourself and in your triathlon coach) to achieve those goals.
Will your tri coach be the motivator you need to push you through your triathlon training program? Or will this individual serve as more of a guide and resource? Some triathletes make the conclusion that it’s usually a combination of both, depending on the depth of the training program, intensity of the season, and distance of the race(s). By undergoing this self-analysis process, you can better narrow and pinpoint the ideal online Ironman triathlon coaches who will help you actualize a successful and fulfilling season.
Find The Best Ironman Triathlon Coach for You
Are you planning on doing an Iron-distance race? Do you need help designing your Ironman training program?
Work with some of the best online triathlon coaches to help you realize your best season. At BetterTriathlete.com, we match both experienced and aspiring Ironman athletes with qualified and accredited coaches. If you’re interested in pinpointing a local triathlon coach in your area, click here. To inquire about online triathlon coaching and connect with some of the best coaches online, contact us.