I feel to be at your best, a coach is definitely needed… A coach supplies you with motivation and a training plan that fits you with regards to how fit you are, how you feeling and what your set goals are for the season.
I was looking into getting a coach for the 2017 season but decided to skip it and to possibly look for one for the 2018 season, as I’ve made this year my learning curve year partaking in marathons and stage races which is very new to me. Once I have gained enough confidence and learnt a few tricks from the top rider’s I’ll commit to a coach to get me ready to compete in 2018.
At the moment I use an online based ‘coach’ called FitTrack. FitTrack allows me to choose a training plan that trains me to peak for set race days, but doesn’t allow for any changes depending on how I’m feeling or whatever.
For the past two season’s it has definitely helped to get my fitness and endurance levels up, which allowed me to compete for top 10 spots in half marathons but now that I’ve jumped to marathons and stage racing I feel I need to move onto something more like a ‘hands-on coach’ who tests and provides me with training plans that suit how I feel and that work with my set goals… but that will all be thought through closer to the beginning of base training just after the last race of 2017.