As coaches, we know the value of time management and we preach it to the athletes we work with daily. Coaches also know the value of managing their time, especially in this climate of constant distraction and access via social media and instant messaging!
As a coach, I like to plan. My plans are flexible and adaptable and often change on a day-to-day basis, but they are plans and overarching guidelines nonetheless. I also like organization, in terms of knowing when an athlete has time to train, knowing how a session went or what aspect of fitness we need to work on specifically in an upcoming training block.
For me, the Training Peaks calendar is such a great tool to achieve this. Let’s discuss some ways of maximizing your use of the calendar as a coach!
Target events, training events, life events, whatever! Adding events into the calendar provides you insight into what exactly you or your athlete is training for, how many weeks you still have remaining, a description of what it is and the ability to add goals within this event tab. Adding events will help you get a clear sense of timing and as a result, will help you gauge exactly what your athlete needs to focus on at a given time.
Use the Goal Function
Adding weekly/ monthly/ quarterly goals into the calendar and ticking them off is an excellent way to ensure coherence within a plan and sustain motivation. As a coach, you can also add training goals into the mix here to bring your athlete closer to the process and increase engagement.
Maximize the Post Activity Comment Function
This is up there at number one for me. Post-session feedback is crucial to the training process and when working with athletes remotely, this is often neglected. Jotting comments into the workout is invaluable to our understanding as coaches on how a session went. Request your athletes to do this after the majority of their sessions.
Make Use of the ‘Other’ or ‘Custom’ Profiles
For me, I use these profiles quite a lot. I add various notes on training response, what we’re focusing on, specific days the athlete can’t train and a multitude of other details. You can utilize the ‘hide’ function if you do not want the athlete to see notes that you are jotting down. Alternatively, if it serves you, you can add notes that let the athlete know they need to do something like “check resting pulse this morning,” or suggest best practice for a long haul travel day!
I also use ‘Other’ and ‘Custom’ profiles to add external links such as weekly feedback forms through Google Forms or Youtube links on how I want a strength and conditioning exercise performed. You are only limited by your imagination here and I have seen some excellent use of this strategy as a means to improve coach-athlete feedback.
Files can be attached to workout tabs; this is very helpful when wanting to upload something like a strength and conditioning program via spreadsheet, or adding in extensive notes after a block of training or racing.
Teach Your Athletes How to Use the Calendar
As coaches, we should strive to make athletes independent thinkers and ensure they are autonomous in their actions. We understand the training process needs to be moldable and flexible. In the real world, athletes simply do not hit every single workout perfectly every single time. Teaching them how to use the Training Peaks calendar (how to move workouts/add workouts add goals etc.) is an excellent way to help them respond and adapt to a missed session or a tough day. It can also cut down on your workload too!
The above are a few strategies I implement with the Training Peaks calendar as both a coach and an athlete, while this is not an exhaustive list these are what I have found helpful for maximizing time management and aiding in the coach-athlete relationship!