Author of Hansons Marathon Method, professional runner for Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, and owner of Hansons Coaching Services.
Writing training plans is a great way to generate income, find and retain athletes and can help you save time.
Relevant to this time of year, offering an off season plan that keeps athletes connected to you will greatly increase your retention rate. The added benefit is that the athlete will be less likely to put on weight or lose too much fitness in the off season. Just as now is the dreaming season for athletes, now is the time for you to dream of where you want to take your business in 2015. Mike Ricci, USAT Coach of the Year, is the owner and founder of the D3 Multisport coaching group, through which he coaches all levels of athletes from beginner to elite. There are endless plan variations you can come up with, or you can simply use what you’ve already created and repurpose it for use in a plan.
Coaches can get reports to see who purchased their plans, so they can follow up with the athlete during the plan or afterwards. How many athletes take a month or two off, with the plan of coming back, but end up never signing on again?
Endurance athletes, typically being such Type A individuals, are usually going to hurt themselves if left to their own devices, either by under resting or by really under resting (read: doing nothing). For instance, let’s say you had an 8 week Half Ironman build that works really well for a busy executive, who trains on limited time.
Building up your library of plans can happen quickly and you have to name your plans so they are easy to find and access.

For all of the reasons listed above, creating and using plans can help you grow and be a more efficient coach. Mike is also the former head coach of the 2013 National Champion CU Triathlon Team, and guided them to 4 consecutive collegiate National Championship titles from 2010-2013. My philosophy is based on the Hanson's training method- which is based heavily on the philosophies of Arthur Lydiard. This is essentially generating leads for clients that have already used your services and are more likely to sign on for one on one coaching. In order to keep your athletes connected to you as a coach, you can and should offer a training plan to bridge the gap between the end of the season and the start of the new season. Imagine if you coached an athlete to a great season, lots of Personal Bests and then when you picked back up with that athlete in January, they were 12 pounds overweight?
If you create a generic plan, you can then customize for your specific athlete or group of athletes. I like to start with number of weeks, distance of plan, ability level, and then any special notes. Use your extra down time to brainstorm ideas around plans to sell and go through past athlete schedules and see which blocks of training you can pick out to copy and paste to a plan to use in the future. Mike has written training plans for Team USA several times, is a USAT Level III Elite coach, and has helped many athletes to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona.
You can co-brand your coaching with a local race director to help athletes navigate the training toward his race AND you can help beginners get started by helping them understand how to train.
Now, your coaching is really about working around an overweight athlete and getting them back to last season’s fitness levels, while dodging the landmines known as injuries.

Or, as mentioned in number 5 above, use existing workout schedules as internal plans for other athletes. Plan sales can supplement your income during the busy months, and help generate more sales during the slower months. For an athlete who needs something specific you may want to charge a bit more, but still keep it reasonable price wise. Once you realize what your niche is you’ll attract more and more of those same types of athletes and this just becomes easier and more time efficient as your plans evolve.
TrainingPeaks allows you to control the plan, from the structure to the naming and pricing. Your list of plans can be endless as each athlete you create a plan for could have their own specific situation. If they are logging their workouts, you can even take a peek now and again to see what they are up to! The payoff comes when you copy and paste that plan into the calendar of an athlete that has the same basic tendencies.

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