How to become your own Coach

You may have the best progressive Training Plan but how you perceive to use it can be done in many different ways.

An interval set of TZ 1-2min, TZ 4-3 min, TZ 2 5 min, TZ 4-1 min, looks very straight forward to me but if your not Communicating it correctly, using Constraint and performing Consistency in your training then the level of progression is slowed and you will fall into a Maintenance Training State (MTS).

Some understanding of training adaption needs to be present to get the most out of each session and value for time on the water.

Without going into a long winded explanation of why Volume and Intensity is key to Progression in each and every Training session for any athlete to develop increased Stamina, strength and speed, I will use the example of the gears of a 5 speed Manual car.

You can’t drive the car very far in Gear 1 and you can’t climb a hill in Gear 5 but you need the Gears between 1 and 5 to get to the hill before you can climb it.

Just like a manual car, paddling is a manual exercise and to train in all conditions and efficiently you need those 5 Gears or Training Zones as we call them.


They say is a two way thing, well it is and more, 1st you need to communicate a Progressive Training plan from somewhere or someone but then you need to communicate this to yourself and understand what you are capable of and how best to develop these 5 GEARS /TRAINING ZONES.

Some smaller cars only have 4 Gears and years ago some only had 3 gears but as the cars become more elite they have 6 Gears and go a lot faster and further on a lot less fuel then many other cars, this we call efficiency or a well oiled machine.

If you want to become Elite you need to get the communication between Training Intensity and Training volume right before you can develop those 5 Gears to becoming a well oiled machine.


When planning a progressive Training Plan a lot of Constraint needs to be taken into account and through years of trial and error, experience and success in competition over longevity, constraint has become one of the 3 keys to a successful Training Plan.

So what is Constrain?

 It comes down to a few things, from settling on the time you have each week to train which will set the Training Volume, to your personal Training Intensity in each TZ and having some Constraint when training within a group and not trying to keep up with a trainer that is at a higher level then you maybe at and then failing to meet the balance between Intensity and Volume that you settled on when starting out with your Training Plan.

This I see as one of the main restriction on Training Adaption.


To have Consistency you first have to have a Goal to strive towards and the athletes that achieve or surpass their goals are the ones who consistently follow their plan, and tick the boxes of each session to the best of their abilities.

It’s also important to stay consistently focused on your personal Goals, rather than getting distracted by your rivals or training partners on the start line or Training track.

Consistency does not always mean a 100% completion rate—sometimes you have to settle with nailing the key sessions.

So if you are looking for 3 Key points that will improve your Quality of Training, and in my personal opinion it’s the Training Quality that is lacking inmost athletes trying to break out of the Maintenance Training State (MTS), Communication, Constraints and Consistency are all clearly intertwined and somewhat sequential in nature. If you want to maximize what you or you as the coach can achieve this season, just remember it’s as simple as Communicating the Goal of the session to yourself before starting, Constrain from letting your ego force the Training Intensity and reduce the volume of Quality in the session and Consistently focus on your Goal and follow the Plan and tick all the boxes each session and each week on your way to your personal best Performance.