Darren is a cycling enthusiast. Because Darren has a demanding career and a family with two young boys, his riding takes a back seat to his other commitments. He typically but rides between 2-4 hours a week although does get some spring/summer weeks up in the 6-8 hour range.
Darren has been riding for five years semi-regularly. His first few years of riding he made significant gains, but for the last few years his progress seems to have stopped.
On group rides with his friends, Darren feels like he is holding everyone back. After today’s ride, he decided he needs to improve. With his tight schedule, Darren he talks to a few of his faster friends but none of it really feels right. He goes to one of their houses and reviews a program called WKO and hears about FTP, CTL, TSB, Power Duration and how he needs a power meter to improve. This all sounds overwhelming. He just wants to get faster he does not want be a cycling metrics expert.
Darren picks up a few books but the time commitment to reading and understanding seems like too much. While reading the books, Darren feels they are suggesting a training plan. They seem to offer a strict training plan on specific days a week. He knows this is not going to work for him.
Darren turns to Google. He finds a lot of websites with similar strict training plans and complex training regiments. Darren decides maybe a coach would be the right option for his time-crunched and unpredictable training schedule. Darren asks around locally, but the only guy that comes with recommendations is a minimum of $350 / month. Back to Google, he sees what online coaches offer.
Darren finds a few websites that look interesting. One site has hundreds of coaches. They talk about a lot of in-depth metrics, it also seems overwhelming. He wants simple coaching advice catered to his goals and commitment level. He thinks maybe he should talk to a few. He finds that most or all coaches charge a consultation fee to speak the first time. He thinks to himself “$50-$100 to find out if the coach will offer me what I want?” Next, he notices that for $125/month the coach does not even review his workouts and the only way he talks to them is via one email a month for this price. Darren decides this coaching is not the right option either.
A few months of some great spring riding goes by, and Darren continues to struggle on his group rides. On Facebook, Darren sees the ad “Virtual Cycling Coach – Guaranteed Results.” He clicks on it. “Simple Adaptive Training Plans and real-time feedback and suggestions.” Hmm, interesting.
Darren reads that a few tops coaches have programmed a virtual coach “The Coach” that will review his rides. The Coach monitors and gives feedback after each ride. To start with a free consultation and 7-day trial, Darren just connects his Strava account and answers a 2-minute initial questionnaire focused on his goals and time constraints.
Next, The Coach mentions he has two methods of communication. Email and his preferred option is chat. Darren connects to Strava. After the two minute questionnaire and a summary of what The Coach sees looking at his strava, The Coach has a recommendation. We suggest you follow this plan and here is why. We do have two additional choices for you. One is more time and the other is more intensity. He goes with the recommended plan.
A month goes by, and Darren has been communicating with his coach just like a real human coach. He gets the occasional message “You took a few days off and tomorrow should be sunny and your calendar is open from 11am-1pm tomorrow are you going on a ride?” He responds. “Yes, what’s next?” Or “Next” for short. He gets back his suggestion for his next ride.
“The Coach” explains to Darren to really maximize his training he needs to get a power meter but promises not to scare him with a lot of metrics. Daren buys and installs one of the recommended power meters. The Coach continues to give great feedback and positive reinforcement and even sends an occasional cycling related joke.
So after a few months of training and the coach showing him how he is progressing he decides to head back out with his friends on their next group ride.
Darren heads out with his friends and finds that keeping up does not pose a problem, and he even leads the pack on a hill and sees some distance between him and the next rider. It’s working, and because the coach inspired him, he could get in an extra 30 minutes to an hour a week, but he was training right for his goals, time availability, and ability. Darren is very happy with The Coach. Between the free 7-day trial and $30/month he feels like he is getting a deal. The coach also says, if you really want to maximize your training we can add in a “Head Coach” which is a real human for another $100 a month and take your training to the next level.
Darren’s friends asks what has gotten into him and he tells them about “The Coach.”