I try not to pimp any products or services on this site unless I truly believe in them. This is a perfect example of a service I believe in. Tim O'Shea has recently started his own coaching business.
Many people have put up a shingle, taken a test and declared themselves a coach. It doesn't take much quite frankly. With that said, Tim is the real deal.
I've written about the benefits of being coached on a few occasions. In short, a structured training program provides FAR more value than new wheels, a carbon frame, or the latest gizmo. Getting dropped while rolling on new Zipp's is not cool. Trust me, I know. In a perfect world, get the wheels and hire a coach. In an imperfect world, hire the coach first and get the wheels/frame/gizmo's later.
Many may already be aware of Tim's racing credentials. Cat 1 Road racer, kicked Lance Armstrong's ass by over a minute in the NYC Marathon by running a 2:45:20, sub 10 hour Ironman at Lake Placid, 6th place in the Vermont 100 running race AFTER making a wrong turn. He races, road, MTB, CX, runs and swims. I've known Tim since 5th or 6th grade, and despite being one of the smaller kids, he routinely held his own arm wrestling the biggest kid in our class. As an aside, I was the second smallest kid in our entire school. Thankfully there was at least a Filipino girl that was smaller than me, although I'm pretty sure she could have kicked my ass. In sixth grade, Tim would run to and from school carrying his books under his arm. It was probably 6-8 miles round trip. I digress though, because I'm not selling Paul Bunyan. Tim also knows what it's like to suffer and get dropped. You don't become a success without knowing what it's like to fail.
Racing credentials and experience are nice, but that's only half of the package. Being fast doesn't qualify one to be a coach, and being a good coach doesn't mean that you need to be fast. In Tim's case he is well positioned to address every side of the equation.
I've spent countless hours training with, car pooling with, eating with and sharing hotel rooms with Tim. If you spend enough time with someone, you really start to get a sense of what makes them tick and their core values. Tim is built for coaching. He's fascinated by the data, the process, the diet and most importantly the psychology of a racer.
Without harping on the technical side of coaching, which Tim clearly understands, I'd like to address the psychological aspects of training. I think this aspect of coaching is largely ignored, and I think this is what really sets Tim apart from the average coach. Watts, max heart rate, resting heart rate, blah, blah, blah. It all means nothing if you're head isn't on straight. When things are going well, we train. Sometimes over train. When a race goes bad, it's easy to get in a funk and lose a few days of training or lose interest in bikes and racing all together. I've experienced all of this first hand. Tim has a knack for helping to keep everything in perspective. Additionally, he does a great job of explaining things in real world terms using spot on analogies that anyone can relate to.
The bottom line is that Tim spends at least as much time thinking as he does training. I've purposely taken some time off from fully structured training, but I've been reaping the benefits of Tim's dietary knowledge and "attitude" support. If you've ever thought of working with a coach, or if you've worked with a coach that only provides data for work outs, but little else, get a hold of Tim.
You can call him at 315-655-4620 or e-mail him at cxnationals5 (at) gmail.com
As I said last time . . . Love to Ride Your Bike.