I signed up with an online coach with the fallback plan of using fink if it wasn't working out after 3months. Plan was to use them to get through one IM, and then be done with all this sport stuff. 3+ years later and I'm still using them! I learned loads the first two years about structuring training, but also just knowing that there's someone giving you a plan/occasionally reviewing what you're doing is a huge help for me. I'm always busy with work/family etc., and I tend to work on whatever the next big priority thing is.... if I did that for IM training, I'd skip most of it and use the time for work/other things. I'd also spend all my time running and never get on the bike (not so good for triathlon ). Knowing I'm wasting someone elses time (and my money!) if I do that with a coach helps to keep me honest. It took me a long time to convince myself to use a coach because of the cost, and because I'm not some amazing athlete, but its worked out really well for me.
I'm going to give it a go this year, it's been on the bucket list for a while How well marked/marshalled is the run course do you know? I hoped to get a chance to see it before the race weekend but that didn't happen, and they've lots of rules about bringing maps and stuff with you on their website :/ ..
Great report Pingu, I couldn't believe how calm you were when I bumped into you in transition and you told me you'd just racked a rental bike! Seriously impressed with how you didnt let it phase you on the day. Well done!