|2010 USAT Halfmax Champs: first time racing on aero wheels.|
|2010 USAT Halfmax Champs: finish line.|
|The many faces of GoSonja!|
Fortuitously, I read lots of blogs, and the author of one of those blogs just happened to post about this same time that she would be starting to coach in 2011, and was accepting a few athletes-slash-guinea pigs. I nervously wrote an email, trying to strike the right balance between tenacious and teachable, and sent it off. We traded some emails, mostly with me wondering HOW this was gonna work, but in the end Sonja's positive attitude, appreciation for the off-road side of me, and general bad-assery won me over and I signed up.
|Ya know, just a little run on the Lost Coast. From http://gosonja.com/?p=5767|
Signed up for what? Well, I was soon to learn (like many of her athletes do) that, in training, more is not better except when it is under MAF, faster is not better except when it's in the pool, and total health (body + mind) is the name of the game. Was I freaking out when I had HR caps in my workouts that limited my run speed to 13-minute miles? And dudes in basketball shorts were passing me? You betcha, but I kept telling myself "you paid this woman, now you follow her instructions". And follow them I did.
What do I think of coaching now? Well, I've signed up again with Sonja for 2012, so that should tell you all you need to know. In general, if you have the resources and can connect with a coach who you believe in and most importantly believes in YOU, then absolutely go for it. Having a coach released a gigantic amount of stress I didn't even know I was placing on myself. Being uncoached, I was always wondering...is it enough? Did I ride far enough today? Did I run fast enough up that hill? Did I do enough 100s in the pool? Training was never really...OVER...because I could always be convinced (by other people or myself) that I wasn't doing enough and maybe I really should sneak in that last fast run.
|The beloved colored boxes of TrainingPeaks. Not my schedule though! Those "secrets" shall not be revealed! From http://www.trainstravels.co.uk/coaching/triathlon-coaching-package/|
Some people have commented to me that they don't want a coach because they don't want stress about another person telling them what to do every day. I couldn't agree less. Having a coach that provides you with daily workouts REDUCES so much stress, it's great. I just execute what the little colored boxes in TrainingPeaks tell me, then I go to sleep. Easy. Done. No extra thinking required (except when writing my post-workout comments, and that's a GOOD think) and I am confident that it's finally enough. Good coaches know how to integrate enough training into your life schedule. That's why you pay them, and if your coach is putting too much on your plate, speak up!!
|Now that's one full plate. Gross, eh? From http://www.nbcphillysandwichmom.com/?paged=2|
Being coached as also opened up my mind to a whole new philosophy on training. I am more grounded in the development of aerobic capacity. Training has become much more personal: I do what's important for ME on THAT DAY, and everyone else can take their let's-race-to-the-top-of-that-there-hill and shove it (unless, of course, that's what on my "schedule" and I feel good, then game on). I have learned the value of recovery and many different ways to encourage it. And...bottom line...I AM FASTER.
|Eloquence, defined! From http://chuckiev.blogspot.com/|
Still isn't enough for you? Check out some much more eloquent words on coaching, from my former grand-coach, here.