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1-on-1 Coaching VS MOTTIV Training Plans

Taren Gesell

When amateur triathletes, runners, cyclists, duathletes, and swimrunners are considering taking on a new race challenge, something almost everyone needs is a good training plan. For years, 1-1 personalized coaching was seen as the gold standard; people believed that if you wanted to perform well in your event you had to have a 1-1 coach.

Fortunately this isn't the case anymore. Technology has allowed athletes to save money and get excellent training to reach their goals with tools like the MOTTIV Training App.

Both personalized training and app based training can get you to your race goals, but each option has it's pros and cons that will determine which one is right for you.


  • If you're looking for a single person to talk you through the training process and you aren't concerned about cost, then a 1-1 coach is for you.
  • If you want excellent training that's a fraction the cost of personalized coaching and actually more all encompassing than a 1-1 coach, and you don't feel you need a single person to guide you in your preparation, then MOTTIV is for you.

MOTTIV Training App Summary

The MOTTIV Training App works on your smartphone or desktop, and generates a personalized training plan that is designed for you based on your abilities, your goals, your time availability, your schedule limitations, and your personal performances in training.

The app provides training plans for running races, triathlons, duathlons, cycling events, and swimruns. The training plans are all encompassing and include all your endurance training, in addition to strength training, mobility workouts, and nutrition guidance for each workout.

While the MOTTIV app is at it's core, a template training plan, the app uses information that you provide it  to create a personalized training plan that is just for you. No two training plans are alike. All you have to do is enter your information and be ready to show up willing to work, and follow the plan each day.

If you're the kind of person that does all their banking online and self-directs your finances, then the MOTTIV app is for you.

MOTTIV Benefits

Because training on the MOTTIV app is so well designed and personalized, most athletes who use MOTTIV find that they've left personalized coaching and seen their performances instantly improve.

The main benefits our athletes say MOTTIV has over 1-1 coaching are:

  • Cost is lower
  • Training is designed specifically for real people with busy lives
  • Guided strength workouts matched to perfectly complement endurance training
  • Guided mobility workouts matched to perfectly complement endurance training
  • Workout by workout personalized nutrition plans
  • Expert training for all race disciplines

The main drawback that athletes expect to experience with MOTTIV vs a 1-1 coach is the lack of personalized training; but if you try the app you'll see that MOTTIV personalizes and adjusts training so well that this isn't the case at all.

Athletes also believe that a 1-1 coach is the way to peak performance, just read our customer reviews on our homepage and you'll see that this isn't the case. Many of our athletes have used MOTTIV and a 1-1 coach and they actually achieve their best performances with our app.

MOTTIV Drawbacks

While we think that MOTTIV is the best option out there, we have to be honest and share the things we admit we aren't better than a 1-1 coach for:

  • lack of personal interaction
  • app based training doesn't feel right for some people
  • training plans can't deal with massive shifts in training abilities like during major injuries

For many people, having a sole individual who is in charge of your overall training and being a sounding board to all your training issues is critical. If this is critically important to you, and you can afford the added cost each month then you should certainly get a 1-1 coach.

We believe that instead of 1-1 interaction, many athletes find better motivation from group interaction. So instead of getting guidance from a solo coach, our app provides a social media component where you can get guidance from the thousands of other athletes who are also using the app.

1-1 Coaching Summary

Personalized coaching provides a very engaging experience for athletes. Workouts tend to be updated every 1-4 weeks and athletes have the ability to speak to their coach about issues or concerns that come up.

Coaches are an excellent guide for people who need someone to lean on frequently, while an app can create an excellent plan and personalized workouts, it's very hard to replace the personal connection that happens between an athlete and a coach.

If you're the type of person that likes to go into a bank branch and deal with an account rep for all your services, then 1-1 coaching is for you.

1-1 Coaching Benefits

1-1 Coaching has many benefits, in this section we'll only discuss the clear advantages 1-1 coaches have over the MOTTIV app:

  • coaches act as a guide and mentor to athletes
  • coaches can deal with massive shifts in training like during a major injury
  • coaching is perceived as higher value, athletes get more "bragging rights"

1-1 Coaching Drawbacks

Before we started the MOTTIV app we contemplated starting a 1-1 coaching business. We eventually decided that the model of 1-1 coaching was so difficult to do in a way that was positive for athletes that we would start an app that fixed many pf the problems inherent with 1-1 coaching.

  • Cost ranges from $150-1,500 per month
  • coaches tend to be single sport specialists (ie. run coaches don't know how to create triathlon plans and vice versa)
  • coaches tend to prescribe their methods and plans to athletes instead of the athletes getting a training plan that works for them
  • coaches tend not to include strength training in plans, at most they'll schedule strength workouts but they won't provide strength training that coordinates with the plan
  • coaches very rarely include any mobility training in plans so athletes develop imbalances and injuries
  • very few coaches provide workout by workout nutrition guidance that enhances the effectiveness of every single workout
  • coaches may not use software that let's you know if you're progressing in your training, if they do it may be at an additional cost to the athlete
  • coaches tend to push athletes very hard and only back off once burnout or injury occurs

MOTTIV vs 1-1 Coaches Comparison

FEATUREMōTTIV1-1 coaching
Training plans availableRunning, Triathlon, Duathlon, Cycling, SwimrunDepends on the coach, most are single sport specialists.
STRENGTH TRAININGGuided video workouts that coordinate with overall planAt most coaches only include when strength workouts are scheduled
MOBILITY TRAININGGuided video workouts that coordinate with overall planRarely included
NUTRITION GUIDANCEPersonalized nutrition plan for every workout to enhance trainingRarely included
training zones and intensitiesWe perform regular performance tests to personalize every single interval of every single workoutGood coaches will personalize every workout, some don’t and work more on feel
performance trackingWe show your performance of every workout, and how you’re trending in your total training preparationSome coaches have performance metrics (maybe at an additional cost), others don’t
costAs low as $13.99/monthAverages $200/month

MOTTIV vs 1-1 Coaches Summary

While we feel (and hear from our athletes) that our all encompassing training methods have the advantage over 1-1 coaching, the quality of training plans, workouts, and level of performance you can achieve is the same between MOTTIV and 1-1 Coaching.

If you have the funds that allow to afford a 1-1 coach and you want the guidance of a single person to help you in your training, then a personal coach is the service for you.

If you want excellent training, at an affordable price, you want to dabble between races of all types and distances, and want a single service that provides all your endurance, strength, mobility, and nutrition guidance, but you don't feel the need to have a personal guide then MOTTIV is the right choice for you.

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Taren Gesell
Taren Gesell

"Triathlon Taren" Gesell is founder of MOTTIV and one of the world's top experts on helping adults become endurance athletes later in life. Best known for his YouTube channel and podcast, Taren is the author of the Triathlon Foundations series of books and has been published featured in endurance publications around the world.

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