Frequently Asked Questions
Is TriForce an online team? Do you train together?
TriForce is an online team with athletes all over the the world. We gather in the TF online community. However, about half of our team is located in the SF Bay Area and we sometimes get together for workouts, clinics, training camps and races. We also have a decent number of athletes who work at Google and who sometimes bike and run together on campus in Mountain View.
Am I fast enough to join TriForce?
We don't care how fast you are right now-- it's OUR job to make you faster. We enjoy coaching athletes (a) who love the sport of triathlon and (b) who are willing to (mostly) follow their training plans! If that sounds like you, then join the Force!
Do you coach beginners?
Most people who come to us have some triathlon experience or some solid experience in single sport racing, so they are familiar with the concept of intervals and following a training plan, etc. However, we do coach some beginners as well. For a customized, detailed training plan that gets you ready for a race, online coaching is outstanding. However, for other beginner needs (e.g. learning to swim from scratch, bike skills, figuring out where to ride and run, how to change a flat tire) your coach can provide some help, but you'll want to take advantage of local resources (tri club, swim instructors, bike shop, etc. ) for best results.
Is there a minimum commitment?
NO! You can quit at any time if you feel TriForce isn't a good fit for you. Most of our clients end up staying on for years, but it's not a fit for some people. No hard feelings-- we're happy you gave us a try. I really don't understand coaching companies that have a minimum commitment-- do they really want to lock in athletes who aren't 100% happy and fired up? That's not our idea of fun.
I'm considering joining but I'm on the fence. I've done pretty well as a self coached athlete. What do you think?
Take the leap! We have an almost 100% record of our clients hitting personal bests after joining the team, as long as they comply well with their training plan. (We even have people in their 50s beating times from their 30s!). Most self coached athletes have a TONS of room to improve their training.
Give it a shot! You can quit at any time (no hard feelings) if you feel like it's not a good fit for you.
Which coaching package do you recommend?
SHORT ANSWER: I recommend the "Gold" coaching package. That provides all the support needed to achieve any goals including qualifying for Kona. Most of our athletes who have qualified for Kona have been on this plan. (It includes a fully customized plan, unlimited email, weekly in depth review of logs.)
I recommend the more expensive "Platinum" package for athletes who won't be stretching their budget to pay for it. Yes, it's "better" than Gold (it includes daily feedback to logged workouts as opposed to weekly for Gold), but it isn't necessary for most athletes.
I recommend the cheaper "Silver" package for athletes who can't afford the "Gold" package. This was created as a way to allow people to get coaching on a budget. We still have a weekly feedback loop (provided you check in!) but the review of your training (and adjustment of the training plan) isn't as in depth as with Gold. We've gotten more consistent results with athletes on the Gold Plan, but diligent athletes on the Silver Plan have had success as well.
I recommend the "advisor" package for an athlete who mostly wants to be self coached, but who wants a semi customized plan leading up to their key races and who also wants to have question and answer access to a coach. As with all packages you are a full member of the TriForce community with all benefits.
What types of events and races do you coach? Running? Sprint distance triathlon? Ironman?
Most of our athletes train for Ironman and Half Ironman. However, we coach people for all triathlon distances-- sprint distance, olympic distance, Half IM, Ironman and everything in between.
We also coach runners, including some ultramarathoners. We've had 3 athletes complete a 100 mile ultramarathon race.
Do you coach with power? heart rate? GPS? By feel?
Yes, all of the above. If you have no gadgets we can train fully by feel (in fact, that's how some of the best coaches in the world coach). But if you have power and GPS it can be a big help with (a) pacing in races and training and (b) making sure you are improving. Your coach can guide you in helping you decide which gadgets you want to buy (and with any triathlon related purchase).
If you are data oriented we can keep an eye on your FTP, CTL, ATL, TSB and all the other acronyms. If you aren't, don't worry, they aren't necessary. (Most of those numbers take care of themselves if you follow your plan!)
What does coaching entail?
Coaching entails (in part):
(a) Your coach gives you a schedule on Trainingpeaks. Your schedule is based on your time and energy available to train, their past history, your "athlete type," psychology, recovery ability, etc, geared toward crushing it in their goal events. The more your coach learns about you, the better their ability to give you the best training (see "b")
(b) ** Observing your response to the training and adjusting and fine tuning their schedule. Your coach review your training to see how you are responding. This is the real art of coaching and why it's important to keep good logs with good notes. If your coach sees your performance trending higher and you are bouncing back from workouts, all is well. If you are tired, grumpy and stagnating, then adjustments need to be made. Over time, your coach will learn how quickly you can ramp, how much recovery needs to be built into your schedule, what kind of taper suits you, etc, etc., which should lead to better and better performances.
(c) staying on top of you to make sure you check all the boxes for your goal performance. A triathlon peak performance (especially long course at the level of qualifying for Kona) can be a big project involving much more than training. For example: bike fit, fat loss, gear, aerodynamics, race day nutrition, race pacing, etc, etc. The coach needs to stay on top of the athlete to make sure all the boxes are checked. (Beginners, don't worry. We can keep it simple!)
(d) supporting you as a lifelong athlete. Your coach should keep you engaged and enjoying the sport and life over time and help you adjust and set new goals when your life changes (new job, baby). Your coach should change up your training over the course of the year (and years) to keep you mentally fresh and engaged.