Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Swimming Dilemma

I had to get home and turn on my iTunes right away this morning... I just needed a new song in my head. For the past several hours I've been caught in "Elmo's Song" Hell and just have not been able to shake the 'La la la la, La la la la, Elmo's Song'... The perils of having a toddler who is obsessed with Elmo are endless, aren't they?

Anyway, like posted on FB, I got pelted with sideways rain while riding this AM... had to have been the worst weather I've ridden through all year... and I swear to you the Elmo's Song in my head was the absolute worst part.

Moving on! Nalani and I had a great swim workout this morning... I'll share it here because I actually poached it from Gordo. It's his Matrix 100's set and it goes like this:

24 x 100's- We defined T-pace as the fastest pace we can hold for an ALL OUT timed 500.
1 @ T-pace +15
1 @ T-pace +10
1 @ T-pace + 5
1 @ T-pace
2 @ T-pace +15
2 @ T-pace +10
2 @ T-pace + 5
2 @ T-pace
3 @ T-pace +15
3 @ T-pace +10
3 @ T-pace + 5
3 @ T-pace

Turns out it wasn't nearly as hard to do the math to figure out the intervals as we thought it would be, and it was a really nice mix of hard swimming and recovery. The first 4 go by really fast, then you get to recover a little, but you don't really need the recovery quite yet... after the 2 x 100's @ t-pace that come after 1000M, you need those 3 easy ones, then you build the pace again and by the last 3 you're killing yourself to get to the wall in time to turn around and GO again. But to hit T-pace at the end of a 2400M set (at the end of a 4000M workout) made me feel pretty satisfied this morning. This was definitely one of those workouts that I had a little rational fear of, but we nailed it and it wasn't nearly as hard as we thought it would be. But still hard enough... :)

Ok, so I need your advice here on this one... please chime in with your thoughts...

Nalani and I swim pretty consistently every M-W-F morning at 7:00. We're almost always doing some good solid workout that is specific to the race we're training for... we mix up sprints with threshold with easy with drills and pulling and kicking and you get the picture. I spend a lot of time coming up with these workouts and as Nalani is one of my athletes I make sure that all the details are there for her. She knows the workout ahead of time of course because I send it to her, and we try not to waste any time at all once we get started. The pool doors open at 7:00 and we're changed and in the water at 7:02 and working on getting as many meters in as we can until I have to get out and get home to Moana so Scott can go to work. All this is just to set the scene for you...

So lately there's this guy who has figured out our schedule and now shows up at the pool at the same time as us and always asks what we're doing. It didn't bother me at first when he was coming once a week or so and wanted to jump in, but now it's every time. So I find myself trying to explain the set to him (which can be complicated- see above) which takes time and then since his pace is a bit slower than ours- he can't actually make our intervals if we're doing threshold stuff- I find the coach in me trying to adjust the intervals for him and give him suggestions on how he might change up the set so he can get the most out of it... Do you see where I'm going with this? Essentially, I am coaching this guy. He knows that I am actually a coach and running a little business here, yet apparently does not have any issue with obtaining my services for free. Of course, I have been offering them up, though admittedly only because he asks... I'm not sure if I'm just being a petty bitch about this (I really don't want to be a petty bitch!) or if I have a genuine right to not tell him our workouts? Really, how could I possibly not tell him our workout when he's right there and asking what we're doing?? It's really no skin off my back because we're doing what we're doing anyway and we don't adjust our own intervals so he can make them... though I will admit that the extra few minutes I spend explaining sets to him causes me to be late coming home some mornings... GAH! I hate this dilemma. He's a nice enough guy- I do not have anything against him personally. And if I had not started this business and was just making up swim workouts off the cuff like I used to do, I don't think I would have a problem with this. I'm so non-confrontational (I bet you didn't know that about me, did you?) so I'm not really comfortable with directly confronting him and telling him to make up his own damn workouts or start paying me for mine, though that's what I'm thinking.

Am I being a petty bitch?

18 comments:

The Chapples said...

NOT petty. I would be irritated. I have a friend who has been asking about my workouts (that I pay you for!) and it's started to bother me that she's getting them for free. So I can imagine that it would REALLY bother you, the creator of the workouts, that someone is essentially being coached for free. I would say maybe slide in a, "Hey, if you're ever interested in a swim coach, I'd be happy to help," and then next time he's taking up your time, say politely that you hate that you don't have to time to explain the workout, but you are in a hurry to get back home. Maybe he'll get the hint?!?!?

Jennifer Harrison said...

HA! I can answer that b/c i have no issue with confrontation...this is a huge issue with me (as you know) since my workouts are my livliehood (sp?). Tell him he owes you $5.00 for each swim workout he does with you. OK...that won't go over very well.

I would not share it with him. We have the same issue here on Friday mornings. There are 3 of us that swim together and I bring the workout and 4-5 guys ask to swim with us. WHAT IS UP WITH MEN? (don't answer that, ha)....but I would just tell him that you work hard at the swim workouts each week and if he is intersted in a swim coach or you writing the workouts for him - you would be happy to help him. tell him you are there for N. and that she is paying you for your time. (white lie or not).

lalalallalalala

DC Running Mama said...

Oooh, I like the white lie approach and the "I would love to coach you if you like." Stick to the sh*t sandwich...
--something nice
--the smack down
--something nice

Good luck. I hate confrontation, but it gets easier as you do it more often.

Beth said...

I don't think you are being petty at all! I'm not a coach but I do notice this dilemma some in my own business - you certainly want to help people out as much as possible but some people just go overboard and take advantage! I think especially because you don't really know this guy personally and aren't really friends per se you can be up front. And if you have trouble doing that, just call Jen and she'll do it. HAHAHA!! (ps I've wanted to do that before :)

elizabeth said...

ARGH, that would get on my nerve regardless of who designed the workout. If I am trying to do MY workout please do not bother me or my friend/athlete :). I like the white lie that JH proposed sandwiched in between two nice things, followed by your offering to coach or whatever and then another nice thing. And if you need me to, just call me and have him chat with me, I'll set him straight for you! HAHAHA... I REALLY would! I don't have an issue with confrontation either.

Kathy said...

I had this one stuck in my head last week in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LEYwoooVfw&feature=channel

Aggh.

Sorry about your coaching dilemma. I wouldn't feel bad at all about suggesting that he pay you for your time if he is there EVERY time (or even most) & you are spending time helping him.

Running and living said...

OK, so I am not a coach but this is my opinion. It seems to me that the issue is that you have to explain the workout to him. SO I would not. I would tell him that you are in a rush and that you need to hurry back home to your daughter. If you have the workout written up, I would tell him he can look it over, but that you really can't explain things to him. I would also tell him that you are a triathlon couch but you also coach athletes and design swim workouts specific for each individual, and you can, for a fee, design some for him, based on his individual needs. This way, you are clearly giving him the message that it is not cool to take advantage of your workouts, while at the same time you don't develop a reputation at the pool. Who knows, he might take you up on your offer and then spread the word about you!

Clare said...

do you have a business card? handing him that (umm, i guess you can't exactly pull it out of your pocket at the pool though...) and letting him know you've started a business (and i like the idea of saying nalani is paying you so you don't have time to explain the workout to him) could work. of course, he might be a blockhead and not get the hint, but...i think you can nicely say no without at all coming across as a petty bitch! he's pretty ballsy for doing what he's doing, so you need to expect he won't get anything besides a pretty direct NO. direct, but nice!

Scott Skalny said...

i find this always works...tell him how you feel :) ...maybe he'll asked to be coached, or maybe he'll back off. either way, knowing from my experience, or lack there of, i would love to see someone at my pool who is actually working specific sets and wouldn't hesitate to lean over and ask if i could tag along. can you tell that i swim at a pool with next to no one actually TRAINING?? the problem here is 1) he feels entitled and 2) you have to explain things. beggers can't be choosers!

DR said...

no way. anyone that does anything to take time away from your sacred free time or makes you be late for your family is asking for it. that's what i think.
you should just give him a simple workout -- maybe he'll get the drift. or just be up front and tell him -- if he wants your advice then sign up!

X-Country2 said...

I love the sh*t sandwich approach! Def not petty.

Rebecca DeWire said...

That is so gutsy of that guy! And you are in a difficult position because you don't want to come across as rude just in case he is interested in swim coaching. I 2nd what Running and Living said, I think she had really good advice.

Angela and David Kidd said...

Oh I feel your pain. I am SO non-confrontational. I actually almost had two house cleaners because I was just dreading confronting the other to tell her we didn't need her anymore (and then she of course was like "no problem. thanks for letting me know" - all that dread for nothing). Family members and friends are always asking for free legal advice - luckily I really know nothing about how to get out of a speeding ticket or about estate planning so I can truthfully plead ignorance. Anyway, I like Running and Living's advice as well. I don't envy your position!

Lizzie said...

I am the absolute WORST at confrontation. However I relayed your dilemma to my husband (who isn't afraid of confrontation!) and he said not petty and this guy needs to start paying! Of course, he didn't say HOW to do that, so probably not much help. But you seem like someone who would figure out the most appropriate way to broach the subject . . . I do like the idea of having Nalani as a 'paying client' :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Its not petty at all, its a tough situation based on your business. Maybe just print off what you are doing and place it on a kick board in his lane, that way he feels involved and you can just swim.

I love Gordo, when on BT, they had a mentor program and he was a mentor. THis was when I brand new to the sport and I had NO CLUE who he was. I just signed up because he had slots open on his team. Later on, I see people posting how lucky we were, so I googled him and found out who he is. Gordo Byrn was my coach and trained me and a group of others to their first triathlon.

Chris said...

You are not being petty at all! And to make yourself feel better about confroting him, think of it this way - he is taking advantage of you right now and doesn't seem to mind it! If he knows that you started a business/are a coach he prob already realizes that you charge for this stuff and tried out asking you for it for free to see what you would do. Since you keep giving him what he wants, he has no reason to stop. You should def bust out a shit sandwich abut make it clear that your workouts are not for free. Def be nice, but firm. I am sure he keeps asking b/c he thinks you are too nice to say no. And if he is truly just unaware, then maybe he would have the decency to be embarassed that he has been getting free workouts that others are paying for. Either way, you should speak up! Your time is worth it!

Regina said...

You could explain to him that you are there to train and coach Nalani and that the time you have to take to explain the drills to him takes away the time you have to coach her as a paying client. That you would be more than happy to assist him in his swimming, but you really would have to take him on as a client since it is unfair that Nalani is paying for the same info he is getting for free. If he acts like an asshole about it, then at least (presumably) he will be out of your hair for good, or you'll have another paying athlete on your hands.

About those drills.....you never saw them, they don't exist, you will forget them, you will never use them on your athletes....it's all becoming a distant memory.....

and thanks for the Elmo earworm, $@%*!

Angela said...

That is your business and you have every right to tell him that you wouldn't mind providing workouts he wanted to hire you as a coach. I'm sure there's a more political or cordial way to state it, but seriously this is your business now. You could just tell him that you could provide him with "X" number of workouts/week for a certain amount of money...or ask if he's training for a certain event and you could provide him with specific workouts to help him along for a certain price. "You know, I am a coach" Drop that bomb and protect your business. You work hard at what you do and deserve to be compensated.

All that being said, I completely understand the need to be "nice" about it as to not draw negative attention.