A Holistic Approach to Training with Beyond the Line Head Coach Olivier Baillet – EP016

 In Podcast

Most of us are looking to build a strong relationship with our coach. We want someone who is accessible, someone who listens and adapts our training program to the constraints of our lives. While you may think that an online coaching program is not conducive to building that kind of rapport, Olivier Baillet of Beyond the Line Coaching leverages technology to both measure performance and establish an open line of communication with his athlete clients. His holistic approach to coaching allows him to design very personal training plans adapted to each individual.




Olivier has been a competitive athlete most of his life; he started squad swimming at the age of seven. He has been a competitive runner for 25 years, and he has 15 years of racing experience as a triathlete, competing in the Ironman World Championship three times. He spent nearly 20 years in the banking industry, training for races while working full-time in risk management. After a mid-life crisis, an investment in a business coach, and a lot of self-reflection, Olivier realized that his strengths lie in teaching – and the idea to start a coaching business began to take shape.

Olivier earned his master’s in sports management and a certification as a Triathlon Development Coach in preparation for the transition from banking to entrepreneurship. Today explains how he tailors training programs for busy executives, his approach to communication in an online coaching model, and the significance of strength training for endurance athletes. Listen and learn how his holistic approach to integrates nutrition and sleep, and what he considers the most rewarding part of his new career.

Topics Covered

[1:02] What inspired Olivier to quit his job in banking and become an online coach

  • Self-reflection with help of business coach
  • Realized love of teaching newcomers in role at bank
  • Father passed, didn’t want to wonder what if?
[5:50] Why Olivier chose to further his education before establishing a coaching business

  • Wanted time to breathe in transition from corporate world
  • Choose master’s program with emphasis on entrepreneurship
  • Allowed teachers, other students to review and reassure as he built online model
[9:20] Olivier’s approach to training for busy executives who travel for work

  • Appreciate tremendous constraints (can’t control food, sleep, jetlag)
  • Adapt program during difficult times
  • Design ideal training program, then adjust to reality
  • Push to grow, but remain flexible
[13:03] Olivier’s coaching style

  • Open communication to build relationship (accessibility)
  • Wants client to enjoy, stay in sport for years to come
  • Remain flexible and align training with personal contraints
[15:14] How communication works with Olivier’s online coaching model

  • Send training plan through TrainingPeaks app
  • Clients have full access via WhatsApp, by phone or Skype
  • Responds within 12-24 hours
  • Local clients can meet, have coffee
[17:57] How Olivier leverages technology to measure results and offer feedback

  • Client uploads data from Garmin, Polar or Suunto
  • Compares base, distance, heartrate, power meters
  • Uses TrainingPeaks Performance Management Chart to determine level of fatigue
  • Designs program to ensure client in optimum shape for race
  • Looking to add HRV
  • Employs Joe Friel self-assessment as tool to anticipate illness, prevent injury (incorporates state of mind)
[25:37] How Olivier incorporates recovery into his programs

  • Some people given freedom to take day off when necessary
  • Clients with more structured lives have specific days off scheduled
  • Encourage clients to communicate when tired, struggling
[29:02] How Olivier approaches communication with new clients

  • Open to differences (some open up right away, others take time)
  • Allow client to write or talk, depending upon what makes them comfortable
[30:34] The importance of strength training

  • Includes strength training in personal program once/week
  • Better to eliminate hour of running, spend at gym
  • Works with network of personal trainers who understand constraints of endurance training
  • Encourages body pump, kettle bell classes
[33:29] Olivier’s take on the difference between health and fitness

  • High-level athletes are not necessarily healthy
  • Holistic approach to coaching integrates nutrition and sleep
  • Though limited by online model, can raise questions
  • Sometimes recommends nutritionist, life coach
[36:43] How Olivier’s own training has changed since he transitioned to coaching

  • Flexibility to train any time of day
  • Has regained enjoyment of sport
  • Less focus on competitive aspect
  • Focus on discovering new sports beyond triathlon
[40:42] The most rewarding part of his job as an online coach

  • Brings joy, fulfillment to athletes
  • In position to give back (i.e.: charity events)

Learn More About Olivier Baillet

Beyond the Line Endurance Coaching and Consulting

Resources Mentioned






TrainingPeaks PMC

The Triathlete’s Training Diary: Your Ultimate Tool for Faster, Stronger Racing  by Joe Friel




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