This might surprise some of you, but I don't train myself.
I also don't have a trainer.
I have outsourced almost all my training to machines.
Specifically, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. I'm probably not the first, but I have a running AI and a strength AI plan and plot my training so that I don't have to worry about either.
For the most part, I open an app in my browser or on my phone and follow along with whatever I find waiting for me.
So far? It's all been going just fine. Well, depending on your metrics for success. Let's just say that nobody has died, me included, as a result of letting an AI or two decide my day to day training. In many ways, training programs from AI have actually been kinder and gentler to me than I ever was to myself. That, at the very least, has to count for something.
The traditionalists out there are going to say that a coach is a must-have for any serious athlete, but I'm not so sure about that. Most coaches and trainers are, to put it charitably, full of shit. There is more guesswork going on with your average coach or trainer than there is at a psychic fair and the results? About the same.
Personal training isn't exactly the most well regulated industry and coaches tend to be of the "most available" variety, not the "most qualified" type. Let's be serious: the good coaches, who are few and far between, are working with teams of elite athletes. They're not working as learn-to-run coaches in a shoe store or at some big box gym.
Don't get me wrong, those roles need to be filled. I just don't want to hire any of them for my training. Enter AI training algorithms.
Currently, I rely on two primary apps that take care of my running and my strength training. I've done three ultra events (with a half marathon on the horizon) and two powerlifting events (one being a national level competition), and all of it was accomplished with AI.
No people. No fuss. No guesses.
Just me and an algorithm.
You could make this work for yourself, too. Ditch the cookie cutter program you found online or downloaded from Training Peaks, research AI training and machine learning, and find yourself embracing technology that will help you reach your goals.
The only downside to AI training programs is that you are far more accountable than you would otherwise be to another human or whatever. You don't really get to blame your trainer when your trainer is the combined knowledge of every input it receives across hundreds, if not thousands, of athletes and all it requires from you is effort.
You're on the hook when things fall apart and, if they do, you're probably to blame and it's more than likely because you didn't work hard enough. 100% effort on a mediocre program will always net better results than 50% effort on a perfect program, but they haven't made an AI yet that will convince people of that.
Maybe one day.