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Self Coaching vs. MOTTIV | MOTTIV

Many triathletes, runners, cyclists, duathletes, and swimrunners don't have the budget for a 1-on-1 coach and are forced to create training plans on their own. From completely self-guided training (creating every aspect of the training plan from scratch) to piecing together endurance, strength, nutrition, and mobility training with different apps there are many different ways athletes can prepare for their race.

However, many athletes don't have the full scope of knowledge or the time to create their own training plans, and cobbling together training with different apps that don't coordinate with each other isn't ideal.

Fortunately, MOTTIV is an excellent option for athletes who don't want or need the direction of a 1-1 coach (see comparison to 1-on-1 coaching here). In this article we'll compare MOTTIV vs. Self-Coaching.


  • If you like constantly studying the science of up-to-date endurance training, have the time to create all encompassing endurance, strength, mobility, nutrition, and recovery plans, and have a $50-100/month budget then self-coaching is for you.
  • If you don’t have the time to understand endurance training science and create your own training plans, and you want an all encompassing training plan at just a $10-20/month budget, then the MōTTIV training app is for you.

MOTTIV Training App Summary

The MOTTIV Training App works on your smartphone or via the web on your computer, 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 of your endurance training, plus the very important aspects of strength training, mobility workouts, and nutrition guidance for each workout.

The MOTTIV app uses information that you provide 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 likes things to be simple, inexpensive, and done for you without a ton of time required on your part, then MOTTIV is for you.

This is a snapshot of what a training plan in the MOTTIV training app looks like (desktop version).

MOTTIV Benefits

The MOTTIV app is perfect for athletes who want an excellent plan at an inexpensive price. It's the only app designed specifically for real people who want to accomplish something amazing in endurance sports. We know how to help amateur athletes reach their goals amidst the challenges of real life.

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

  • Cost is lower
  • Endurance, strength, mobility, and nutrition training co-ordinates with each other instead of piecing it all together from services that aren’t designed to work as a whole
  • Training for multiple different race types and distances is as easy as just entering your race dates; there’s no overlap of competing plans like what happens when athletes purchase several template training plans at a time
  • Nutrition for every single workout coordinates with training plan to enhance the effectiveness of every workout
  • No time is required to understand and stay up to date on training science, we take care of all of that hard work
  • Athletes can be sure their training is designed properly and they’ll be ready for every race they take on

The main drawback that athletes expect to experience with MOTTIV vs. self-coaching is that the flexibility of choosing what to do every single day isn't available. However, we find that people perform better when they're following an objectively designed training plan, and motivation to train every day is easier when athletes only decision is whether or not they'll show up for the day's workout.

The main benefit athletes receive with MOTTIV over self-coaching is that the hard work of designing a proper training plan that's certain to help you reach your goals is all done for you without much time or money required.

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 are notbetter than self-coaching for:

  • Lack of flexibility with what you want to do every single day
  • Ability to change fine details of your training every single day
  • If you like prescribing your own training and not being told what to do, you won’t like MOTTIV

Many people want to train however they want, whenever they want, and getting to a race in the best shape they could be in isn't their main concern. MOTTIV will feel too restrictive for these athletes because it's a structure training plan with prescribed workouts every day.

Athletes who like diving into the science of training, and want to gain knowledge of how to build a well-designed training plan also won't enjoy MOTTIV because the work is done for them. Athletes who join MOTTIV wanting it to reflect their beliefs of training inevitably feel our app isn't right for them.

Mike Knoff is a software engineer who formerly worked for NASA. He has been using the MOTTIV training app for several years to train for 70.3 and IRONMAN distance races.

Self-Coaching Summary

Self-coached athletes can use any number of ways to put together their training. The consistent thing that all self coached athletes have to deal with is that they need to take the time to put together their own training, and have the knowledge to know if that training is actually correct enough to be effective.

Self-coaching is great for athletes who love to dive into training science on NCBI, but these athletes must build in mechanisms in order to be objective with themselves. No self-coached athlete likes to think their training is anything less than great, so it's critical that self-coached athletes have ways to objectively measure if they've designed their training correctly.

Many people don't have the time or knowledge to design their own training plans, so most self-coached athletes tend to piece together training with multiple apps, purchased or downloaded training plans, and a potpourri of information they've found online. Unfortunately, a fragmented training plan tends to create ineffective training that actually costs more than athletes expect, and provides very little success.

Self-Coaching Benefits

Self-Coaching has some benefits, in this section we'll only discuss the clear advantages self-directed athletes have over the MOTTIV app:

  • More flexibility in day to day training
  • Athletes can do the workouts they feel like doing every single day
  • Many people enjoy the process of “figuring out” all the nuances of training, this can be very fulfilling

Self-Coaching Drawbacks

Self-coached athletes have a number of cons that can lead to underperformance, injury, additional costs, and a large time commitment.

  • Cost to piece together plans, apps, and all services required totals $50-100 per month
  • When athletes buy training plans for every race they enter, the cost adds up. This creates the challenge of how to coordinate all the plans with each other
  • When athletes get different services for their endurance, strength, mobility, and workout nutrition planning the services aren’t designed with the holistic strategy in mind
  • Understanding how to design effective training takes a huge amount of time
  • Self-coached athletes have a hard time recognizing when their training isn’t working
  • Apps that are pieced together are rarely designed specifically for endurance athletes. Strength training apps are generic, mobility/yoga apps aren’t designed for the unique imbalances common to endurance athletes, and nutrition apps are designed more for daily eating habits as opposed to workout enhancing nutrition strategies
  • Self-coaching tends to be very hard to stay motivated for because it’s solitary and there are many times that doubt creeps in during normal training, it’s hard to overcome this when you’re training by yourself

MOTTIV vs Self-Coaching Comparison

TRAINING PLANS Running, Triathlon, Duathlon, Cycling, Swimrun Training plans are purchased as needed and don’t coordinate with each other
STRENGTH TRAINING Guided video workouts that coordinate with overall plan Generic and not designed tocomplement the training plan
MOBILITY TRAINING Guided video workouts that coordinate with overall plan Generic and not designed to complement the training plan
NUTRITION GUIDANCE Personalized nutrition for every workout to enhance training. No daily diet nutrition guidance Finding an app that provides endurance workout nutrition plans is almost impossible
TRAINING ZONES We perform regular performance tests to personalize every single interval of every single workout Many template training plans are designed to be so generic they can apply to everyone, but they aren’t customized to anyone
PERFORMANCE TRACKING We show your performance of every workout, and how you’re trending in your total training preparation Understanding performance tracking depends on your understanding of the services you use
COST As low as $14.99/month Understanding performance tracking depends on your understanding of the services you use Averages $50-$100/month

MOTTIV vs Self-Coaching Summary

If you want a training plan that's done for you, excellent, motivating, and inexpensive then the MOTTIV app is perfect for you.

If you have a larger budget, the time to put together a plan, the know-how to do so, and putting your own flair on your training is important to you then self-coaching is right for you.

There's no wrong way to train and people can get excellent performance from self-coaching, 1-on-1 coaching, or something like the MOTTIV app.  It's critical that athletes decide what's right for them based on the factors they feel are important.

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