I had the opportunity to attend TrainingPeaks University this past weekend, a seminar for coaches held at the TrainingPeaks HQ in Boulder CO. The course was designed to appeal to broad range of knowledge and experience levels and covered a number of topics including:
During the discussions there was also an opportunity to contribute new ideas and to understand the drivers for development priorities and where they were going at a "hands on" level with the tool sets. The major theme in forward looking items was further expansion in prediction via additional data analysis and data streams. One of the more interesting "gee whiz" items was the potential for power meters for runners to be a practical option soon. It will be interesting to see if they are accepted by the culture and impact running and multisport coaching and athlete preparation as much as they have in cycling.
I felt I knew my way around the existing applications pretty well going in, but there were definitely some new tricks and capabilities that came to light during the session that were great to learn about It was good to have some focused "hands on" time to move around the tools in a classroom setting and explore some of the capabilities you may not have had the need or time to work with before. Also, it was beneficial to exchange notes with other coaches and help answer questions with issues others maybe having and vice versa. In addition, it was fantastic to hear about the history of the company and how it has evolved, and to meet and hear training lectures directly from both Joe and Dirk Friel who have been so influential in the direction of cycling and multisport training over the past 2 decades.
I think the most beneficial aspect for me personally, was meeting a lot of the people who work at TrainingPeaks, many of whom I have worked with on the phone or via help desk emails on occasion, and seeing the facility. Seeing a motivated, passionate and genuinely helpful team gives me a lot of faith in the company, its products and philosophies. As a former information technology professional, it was great to see a vibrant culture behind the scenes.
Overall it was a great experience, earth shattering, no, but it really wasn't meant to be. I think most coaches would find it as review and/or building upon a base of knowledge they have already established. It was more of a way to "sharpen the saw" for any of you old school Covey folks out there. I am definitely glad I attended and picked up some new knowledge that I will apply to current and future clients. Overall I felt it was well worth the investment.