Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Newbies

So I'm faced with a new challenge that is quite exciting...

You know, you gotta love Facebook for the way it connects you with old friends. I've found a bunch of my old teammates from my high school swim team and it's been fun catching up with them and seeing pictures of their families, etc. I don't think a ton of them are terribly interested in the things I post about my training and racing, but apparently a couple of them actually are.

So the other day I got an email from one of my old high school teammates and he tells me that he and his wife are completely out of shape but have been inspired and are ready to change their lives. How are they going to do it? They're going to do a sprint triathlon! And they want my help. He asks if I'm ready to take on the challenge of helping them get ready for it... Um, YES!

But truthfully, this is a whole new challenge for me. Taking someone from couch potato to sprint triathlon is a much different ballgame than taking someone who has a basic understanding of training to the next competitive level. I mean, I got an email today that said, "Last time I rode a bike I was 12 and it had a basket and flowers..."

Ok then. Let's get started!

I find myself thinking hard about how to help them get started... how to develop a plan that will challenge them without hurting them... how to integrate some swim/bike/run into their lives without overwhelming them since they are not (yet, anyway!) training obsessed like so many of us... This is going to take some careful thought and planning and a lot of feedback from both of them about how things are going (since they are in Kentucky).

It takes me back to my first race... oh my... 15 years ago! It was 1995. I was 21 years old. I had my bike for a few weeks and had ridden it a couple of times but was still scared of my aero bars. The swim was in a cold lake and I scrambled to buy a wetsuit online that arrived the day before the race. Looking back, I should have just suffered through the swim without one because they gave away a prize of a new wetsuit to the first male and female out of the water without one, but honestly, the water was 59 degrees and had I done the swim without one it might have been my last triathlon ever. If my memory serves me right, I had a good swim, a decent bike, and a horribly hard 5K run. The course was so hilly... it seemed like the hills would never end! I was so glad to be done running that I don't even remember being especially happy at the finish line. But I think I got 3rd on my age group and, um, I was hooked. ;)

So I'll have to call on some of those memories to train my old teammate and his wife this summer... It'll be a new challenge for me, but I'm up for it... and I can't wait to see their finish pictures from their race in August!

15 comments:

Rebecca DeWire said...

I have helped 2 of my friends basically go from the couch to the finish line of a sprint tri and it was a rewarding experience. Reading about your first triathlon brought back so many memories of my own. Your friends are lucky to have you as their coach to help them.

Beth said...

Oh how fun!! I bet the questions you will get are a lot different than the ones you usually get as a coach. ;) But what a difference in their lives you will make!

Mary IronMatron said...

Totally different type of coaching! I have several newbies... and I must admit, I think it is very cool, and very challenging--more challenging than coaching the already seasoned --but looking for more guidance type.

Kim said...

so exciting! i remembering being a total newbie and not knowing ANYTHING my coach wrote on my training schedule. so cool! have fun with them!

X-Country2 said...

What a fun challenge! They sound really motivated, and that's most of the battle.

cherelli said...

Hey at least you know that with even a little consistent work in even small quantities these guys are going to be happy knowing they have completed their first Sprint. No goal times, just a desire to finish...nice to get the newbie experience under your belt so early in your coaching, I'm sure this won't be the last time you inspire others to start from scratch!

Regina said...

My memories are fresher than that! My first tri was last June. Terrifying really. Like you, I did ok on the swim, killed the bike and then got killed on the 5k run. Live and learn.

How exciting though, a new challenge! FWIW, when I started running I did the C25K, it was a great way to start.

cat. said...

i'm facing the *exact* same thing with two new athletes. i woke up thinking about it in the middle of the night ... when someone isn't even running much yet it's a totally different ball of wax. i'm excited (for both of us!)

Katie A. said...

I always get excited with new athletes! Their enthusiasm can be contagious! Good luck and have fun!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

No that is just cool, taking someone, fresh, no triathlon related bad habits, and help getting them to the starting line. I am excited for them and you. I hope you are able to write a followup post about them later and how they did.

Angela and David Kidd said...

I bet you learn so much that will actually help you with your elite athletes. I bet most newbies have a much healthier perspective on things than those of us that are a bit obsessed (not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything).

Trigirlpink said...

Ahhhhh Fresh blood.. you don't have to worry about being second-guessed after they read something in Triathlete Magazine or heard it from one of their tri-friends. Just a ball of clay to mold and watch blossom into an athlete with the flower basket replaced by a bento-box!!!

jessithompson said...

Great challenge! Very rewarding!

Xavi Garcia said...

...I am a newbie too from last year still not even 1 year of training!!

Cheers from Hong Kong!

"XTB" Xavi.

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

I'm sure it will be a little more challenging then what you're used to, but you'll figure it out and it will be great for them! I think it's awesome that they called on you to help them change their lives! Go you!