Working with a coach has given me confidence that I'm doing enough to be prepared physically for what I want to do without overdoing it and risking injury. Its meant the sessions I've done have been tailored to my ability, and its saved me time trying to pick my way through the masses of free training plans trying to come up with something appropriate. As an ex-runner coming to this rather later in life as a result of a cycle of training and getting injured, my main goal was to keep injury free and enjoy participating.
Because I'm paying for the service, I'm more inclined to stick to my plan and not do extra stuff or miss sessions for no good reason.
Coaching via the website works really well for me. With my work and family commitments I can do my sessions when I can fit them in around everything else I've got to do, and do them at my own pace. I wouldn't be able to make regular club sessions so it optimises the time I do have to train.
I like that I can access my training plan via my smartphone from pretty much anywhere and I can have a dialogue in much the same way as I'd use social media. I find the videos easy to understand and if I'm not sure, I'm happy to use the portal to ask questions.
The Garmin Connect interface to the portal is pretty impressive and I'm confident the performance data going back gives my coach of full picture of what I'm up to.
I now train so much smarter. I like that I have detailed sessions that I just download and do and I'm confident every one of them is balanced and makes a difference. It's early days to start talking about racing but I certainly arrived very well prepared for my first one! I surprised myself and more than anything, I've completed a full 6 months training, barely missing a session, no niggles and enjoyed pretty much every minute of it.
As an older newbie, I'd like to still be doing this in five years time. That'd be quite an achievement I think. I'd like to see where that journey takes me. Small goals but big for me - just to be physically comfortable participating, enjoying it, and giving a good account of myself.