Meet Triathlon Coach Sergio Borges
This week, I talked to triathlon coach Sergio Borges, owner of Sergio Borges X Training, about his training philosophy. For full disclosure, Sergio was my first triathlon coach back in 2004. I returned to his program last year and had my fastest half Ironman race at the tough Wildflower 70.3 distance (2nd place age-group win in 5:30:36 hrs.).
With Sergio’s expert advice, I hope for more highlights this year.
Here is what he had to say about finding a coach and about his own program:
What are five key things to look for in a coach?
Besides the certification like USA Triathlon, it's important to look for a coach with experience in coaching (not as an athlete). When you have been coaching for many years, you know how to understand athletes better. Coaches that have experience with athletes of different levels and ages understand your needs better
What makes you unique as a coach?
I'm never satisfied with my current knowledge. I'm always looking for what's best for my athletes and have no ego or pride to admit that there's something out there that can work better than what I do now.
In a nutshell, what is your training philosophy based on?
Developing the proper foundation of triathlon training with technique/motor skills, strength, speed and lastly endurance while keeping a "Healthy Environment" (balance between work, family, stress, sleep, nutrition and training) is important.
How many clients do you currently have and do you have a cap to be able to serve the needs of your clients?
I coach about 35 athletes, plus a team of 65 athletes. I think the cap will depend on the level of assistance you offer. For example, 75% of my coaching is done online. That does not require as much time as training my local athletes with group workouts. Also, I'm a full-time coach and my focus is 100% on coaching.
What are some red flags when shopping for a coach?
Inexperience! I see a lot of former elite athletes getting into coaching. Being an elite athlete does not necessarily mean that you know how to coach or have any experience besides your own athletic career.
Are some coaches better equipped to serve short-distance athletes vs. long-distance athletes?
I don't think so. Maybe some coaches specialize in ITU (non-draft racing) more than others. But I believe all coaches should be capable of coaching any distance.
How do you assess clients that don't live in San Diego and know how to progress them to the next level?
It's all about communication. I can read my athletes’ needs and after developing a relationship with them, I can even tell how they feel by the way they write an email. Every athlete is different and has different needs. You have to find a way to communicate with the athlete to find out which approach works best.
What are your strengths as a coach?
I never stop learning and I work a lot on mental strength with my athletes as well.
What types of athletes thrive under your watch?
If you have had great success with YOUR coach, I want to hear your story! Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what makes your coach special....