Training 2.0 Download PDF
Web-based coaches are out to hook everyday athletes with pumped-up new features. Should we take the bait?
Last summer I took up kiteboarding—a sport not unlike windsurfing, only the board is smaller and the sail is a parabolic kite you fly from 65-foot lines. After my first few sessions, I learned that (a.) head-to-toe lactic-acid paralysis strikes even those athletes whose primary concern is staying upright and (b.) if I wanted to survive a week-long kiting trip in Mexico, I needed help getting up to speed.
Online coaching sites have been around since the late 1990s, but until recently they’ve mainly targeted hard-core triathletes and marathoners looking to better their personal records. Today, however, sites such as GymAmerica.com and Carmichael Training Systems (www.trainright.com) are rolling out streaming video, personalized nutrition analysis, and increased “human contact” to lure average folks with tight schedules and diverse interests. For me, a travel junkie, going virtual is a no-brainer—the Web is everywhere, and so, too, will be my trainer. I just hope I won’t be stuck with a one-size-fits-all program that keeps me on the losing end of a tug-of-war with my kite. Continue reading