Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Welcome To The Program

'Tis the season... to pick a new coach!

Yep, January 1 is right around the corner... this is a fun time of year since we get to dream all about our goals for next year and then figure out a plan to achieve them.

As a coach, I am excited about having picked up a few new athletes for next year... getting to know them and what makes them tick... good stuff.

As an athlete, I've found myself insanely quite jealous of some of you out there who have announced your plans to train with new coaches... and I was inspired... for lots of reasons. I don't even know if I could go into all of them here, but I found myself overwhelmingly curious about what a good coach would do with me in 2011. I had sketched out a general plan of how I was going to train myself for IMCdA and was excited to implement it, but then just couldn't stop thinking about what differences there would be if someone else was doing the planning...

Picking a coach of course is a challenge. I knew I needed one who I respected, and I wanted one who knows running. And who knows Ironman. And one who wanted to take me on as a little project. Long story short (thanks to Kerrie for the recommendation!) right before the marathon, I contacted my potential new coach. We agreed to talk the following week.

After the marathon I got a very short email from him. All it said was, "3:56 on Sunday? You need to be much better at CDA."



Ok. Put your big girls pants on, Michelle. You need this. I replied, "Yes. I know. This is why I want to talk to you."

I was nervous to talk to him on the phone after that email but turns out he's not nearly as blunt when talking live. He's actually really nice. But he was still blunt. Which is good. I need that. We communicated a bit about what I have done in the past both training and racing and what I want to do in the future. At one point he said, "I think I know what your mistake has been and I know how to fix it."

Say no more. You're hired.

Can I just say that sharing your Training Peaks account with someone is akin to giving your diary to your mother?

Anyway, we just got started but already I can see plenty of differences in what he is telling me to do vs what I would have been doing with myself. Mostly (so far) it involves an intensity level that is far below what I have (ever) done. But he doesn't screw around with volume. This should be fun.

Given how easy my bike and run workouts have been, I was quite surprised to see the swim workout for this morning. It included the words hard effort, max effort, uncomfortable and then some more max effort. Really? Wow. Ok. Seriously, I think every meter after the w/u was quality work. Looking at the whole workout, I did a bit of math in my head and counted 4200M. So apparently while we are building my bike and run fitness from the ground up, we're not going to be letting go of the swim fitness I built this fall. Perfect.

I dragged Nalani out this morning to accompany me for my swim (actually, she gladly agreed to come when I asked her). She saw the workout and was like, is this supposed to be an easy one? This doesn't look easy. Nope. I told her I think it's his way of saying Welcome To The Program. Lol.

So I'm feeling really excited about this new element I have added back into my training. I really enjoyed working with a coach in the past and didn't realize how much I missed it until I brought one back in.


mmmonyka said...

That's great! I hope it works out well.
Having a coach is so much easier and probably more effective because I think that no matter what, when you (by you I mean everybody) coach yourself you are inevitably biased creating your plan.

Jennifer said...

Nice!! Funny, I'd just started following his blog last week. It's so great that you'll get some new ideas/strategies/etc.

And agree on your note... I definitely need to get through a 70.3 first :-) Good news is I CAN'T WAIT to start training! Looking forward to seeing what this body can do.

Beth said...

I'm so excited for you Michelle! Can't wait to read all about your experiences!

Running and living said...

Awesome, I am so happy for you. I used to be all about intensity and low volume, but I am now understanding the importance of volume, and I actually love volume. I am so excited to follow your training. And I am also getting a little jealous about your new coach:)

E.L.F. said...

Good luck with the new coach!

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that athletes have is the idea that you need to run fast to go fast, train hard to make any progress. While there is a time for that type of training, the work that really counts is where you go easy enough that you can build up the fitness and efficiency to allow you to go faster while also staying injury-free. Once you accept that, you open yourself up to becoming a better athlete. But few are patient enough to trust that or actually do it.

Sounds like you're ready to embrace it. Good for you! You'll do great with the new coach, Michelle!

Elizabeth A. Rich said...

How fun - a new coach!! I know you've been curious of what a coach would do with you... can't wait to follow along this year. :))

Kim said...

so exciting michelle! cant wait to read all about your new coach!

Molly said...

How exciting! It will be great to see what this does for your year!

Rebecca DeWire said...

So excited for you and can't wait to follow your upcoming season! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

kerrie said...

i'm also quite anxious to see how this pans out lol....i'm also wondering at this point, as i sit on my fat ass, when i should get back to some serious training cause i'm already worried about how hard you are going to make me work coming out of T2.
have a great christmas!

Kiet said...

Way to keep things fresh and yes, a blunt coach, with some tact, is a good coach. And whoa, you're doing IMCdA? I'm doing IMCdA! Right on! Happy Holidays Michelle!

Alicia Parr said...

What ELF said. Run lots. To do that, don't be afraid to run easy. Really easy. It's not unusual for a swimmer to not really know what really easy really means. I've been there.

Regina said...

So does this mean you will be building your athletes from the ground up as well? No objections here. This is exciting, hoping there is a trickle down effect. Good stuff!