When to Hire a Coach vs. a Training Plan w/ Coaches Frank, Jake, and Isaiah

Originally published at: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/when-to-hire-a-coach-vs-a-training-plan-w-coaches-frank-jake-and-isaiah/

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The three musketeers of FasCat training plan and coaching design, Frank Overton, Jake Rytlewski, and Isaiah Newkirk stop by the studio to discuss an ever-important topic: should you hire a coach or simply follow a structured training plan? This question is extremely individualized and complex, so the three coaches break it down and talk about the reasoning behind both so you can be better equipped to decide what’s best for you. As 2020 looms, it’s time to start really planning out the details of the season and how you’re going to approach those goals. We hope this helps you FtFP even better next season!

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An interesting podcast thanks, addressing a question I regularly ask myself.

There was a compelling argument at times for a coach based on the things they can do for you like plan changes, workout changes, answer questions, data analysis etc.

But the reality for many considering coaching, is that all they can afford initially is entry level “bronze” coaching which has very little interaction and communication, no data analysis, infrequent plan changes etc… I am not referring to your coaching options, and you might be different to what I have seen.

So that left me thinking another question needed answering - “What level of service from a coach makes it worthwhile considering a coach over a training plan, as opposed to paying for interaction or service that is too infrequent, too generic, to be of additional value”

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This was a great podcast. I’ve been on the fence about it (cost mostly), have a fairly flexible schedule, motivation doesn’t lack, I know my way around WKO at an enthusiast expertise level. I met my goals for the last 2 years and then some by FTFP on the plans. I’ve purchased maybe a dozen of them, used some and even bought some during sales just to to see how they patterned the plan for slightly different goals as education. Obsessively read training papers, bike forums, reading all the blogs from TrainingPeaks, CTS, TrainerRoad, etc.

I tried the coaching subscription to make modifications to the plans when needed but I found I used it more to just ask questions when I pretty much knew what needed to be done.

That said, this fall I went ahead and jumped to coaching with FasCat. I’m 40, I know enough, I have time, but I’ve found it REALLY NICE to know I won’t miss something, get rushed and not optimally train. I don’t want to waste any time in the next few years as middle age slowly but surely twists my arm over this coming decade. If I don’t have time to read the educational materials for a while, it’s ok because Coach Jake will keep me on track and I know the edits when I have “life happenings” will be correct and I don’t need to spend 30-60 minutes looking up the correct response to my plan modification.

All in all, I’m probably one who could keep getting by on plans. But I wanted to experience coaching, I like the feedback and really value the safety net that I won’t make a structuring mistake and cost myself a month of redoing. I don’t really find myself needing to reach out much for extras, it’s been helpful when I had some kneecap pain during weights a few weeks ago. Other weeks it’s just nice to see the feedback that I nailed the workouts, and I know if I drift or start showing precursors to slacking, he’ll notice and bring it to my attention.

It’s great really, yeah it’s a budget item to consider but we have so many years to ride faster and get stronger than the last and I’ll keep with it as long as I can afford or justify it! Just like Coach Frank said, everyone should be self coached once in their lives, I think the opposite is true as well, having a coach once to experience it and get some extra tips for your lifestyle beyond “how much time do you have” and “how tired are you today”.



Great question and thanks for asking.

FasCat does indeed have different coaching levels and that does in general dictate the level of communication, adaptation, and review. However what sets us apart from most coaching companies is our open communication policy. In that way we have office hours with our athletes where we can communicate and we encourage athletes to take advantage of that fully. This does mean that its on the athlete to reach out when they need something, but if the athlete is self promoting and knows when to reach out then the basic “Hunt” level can go a long way.

I would encourage you to check out our coaching levels just to get a better understanding.

Again great question and thanks for bringing that up.

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Thanks Isaiah,

That communication offering sure does stand out compared to other first level coaching plans


Hunt vs chase coaching… what does the WKO4 analysis do that just normal power analysis doesn’t do?


I need to revise that outdated webpage. Its WKO5 nowadays but we use the features in TrainingPeaks primarily.

The biggest thing to consider for Hunt v Chase coaching is communication - that’s what you pay for in Coaching. Chase has more, Hunt has less :slight_smile:

We do have a HUNT Level coaching special going on right now (check your email) but here is the deal, expires January 6th: