I got a subscription to Training Peaks and so far I am really impressed. I am still using Garmin Connect to upload my initial data, and do have to say that Garmin Connect is a much "prettier" interface - cleaner and easier to navigate between workouts, etc. However it comes nowhere close to all the graphs, tables and metrics that Training Peaks is able to calculate and display. On top of that, you can track all your nutrition in Training Peaks (normally a difficult process but a little less so here). I am just reading Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes 3rd Edition by Monique Ryan to try and learn basic nutrition strategies - both for the race, and also just day to day. The more weight I can lose, the less I have to carry around the course! Training Peaks will help with not only tracking the overall calories, but also the % of carbs, protein, fat and fibre. There are so many features that I have spent awhile just experimenting. I need to re-read the Triathlete's Training Bible, go over what I should be doing, and plug in an actual plan for the 2013 season.
Speaking of plans and training, I needed to calculate my yearly training hours. They suggest on Training Peaks it is around 500 - 700 hours for a half-ironman. 500 - 700 hours of training for the year. I did 70hrs so far this year. So around 120 hours for the year. Might have to step that up a bit!
I was in contact with a few coaches to see about hiring one, but it's just not in the budget this year. I don't really feel that they are over priced by any means - most seem to average $200 a month. But then that's $2400 a year - which is a lot of triathlon equipment lol! That does scare me though, because I hate to go it alone so-to-speak. And the wealth of information is overwhelming. But I love books and hope to read a bunch and survive next year's Calgary 70.3. I hope in the next few seasons I will be able to get into a club or coaching situation to help me progress even further.