Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Many people want to find the coach or the product that is the “secret” or “hidden gem” that will give them an edge on their competition. When they think they may have found this secret, they want to keep it to themselves and not tell others. Part of this may have been true 30 or more years ago when endurance sport science was less known and information wasn't at our disposal within minutes like it is today. The truth is, there are no secrets in training. There are types of training that work best for specific populations and different philosophies of training, but there really are no secrets.
In fact, you may want to be skeptical when talking to someone who isn't open to discussing his or her methods and philosophies on training. Those who are hesitant to disclose what they are doing may be involved in methods outside what is considered ethical and allowable under the athlete code and “fair play”.
We all make the choice as to what products we use, methods of recovery, and coach we select but there are no secrets in the training. You want a coach that is very knowledgeable and constantly immersing themselves in the sport. Outside of this, when selecting a coach you should be selecting them on whether their personality and style can fit yours and whether they can meet your communication needs.
What makes a good coach is not whether they can write killer swim sets or put you into the “Pain Cave” all the time on the bike. Any good coach can write good workouts and design a program based upon sports science. There are no secrets in these things. A really good coach is one that creates a culture of success through effective communication and the ability to adapt and modify training based upon every aspect of the athlete’s life.