Should your training be entertaining??????
Coaches face many challenges and among them keeping clients engaged, interested, inspired, and free of injury. Into the coaching blender throw a few more ingredients like athletes’ physical and mental health, monitoring training response, addressing sports psychology needs, designing training with real-world time limits, and balancing group training with individual training sessions. And it’s further complicated by this issue: should training be entertaining??
Here are the questions that swirl around in every coach’s brain:
Are fun workouts the best or most optimal for results?
How much of training should feel like work compared to fun?
What’s fun to each athlete and how much?
When athletes mention fun as a primary goal, do they still need a coach?
Entertaining workouts keep athletes smiling but where is the tipping point for fun versus true training value?
The time to make workouts purely fun: Ideally, 4-8 weeks after the final season race. Renewal, rebasing, re-energizing, and breaking the cycle of swim, bike, run, rinse, repeat is the BEST part of any season. Go to spin class and be entertained. Return to martial arts, trail walks, or riding your unicycle. Return to triathlon training only when you feel ready to focus, train with purpose, and to enjoy the journey.
The time that workouts no longer seem entertaining: Usually 4-6 weeks before a distance event during a race-specific build athletes start to fray on the edges. Ironman training is often a six to twelve month undertaking for athletes. And four to six weeks before an event of such magnitude, athletes SHOULD BE sick of training and ready to race. The best part of racing is to finally STOP TRAINING.
Coaches aren’t “entertainers” and workouts aren’t always fun, but there is room for both fun and focus in your season. Just don’t ask us to tap dance!