I mentioned in last week’s workout plan post that my plans may start to look a little different in the near future due to some new things in the works. Well, now it’s official. So I’m excited to share the news that …
I hired a triathlon coach!!!
Actually, I kind of hired TWO coaches in the form of an adorable husband-wife coaching duo. They are both members of the BRM team so they’ll be able to keep a close watch on me in the coming months of training and racing. J is my main gal and I am so excited to work with her. She is a super accomplished triathlete (top 3 in USAT rankings for aqua velo, and that’s just the start of it) so she has incredible experience and wicked knowledge of how to kick Ironman booty. Plus she’s amazingly nice and I can already tell how supportive and encouraging she will be. Part 2 of the duo is J’s husband D, also a super accomplished triathlete (like, Vegas competitor and repeated legit Kona-slot vyer) and mad source of knowledge.
I met with J and D (and their super sweet dog and kitties) yesterday afternoon, and by the second quarter of the Beyonce bowl pre-show I already had an overview of the next 25 weeks of training in my grubby little (digital) hands, plus a detailed plan for this week.
This week I’ll be doing a run test and bike test to determine my heart rate zones, bike power, and all sorts of other things that I don’t even understand but thank goodness J and D know how to turn it into incredibly useful data with which to build the next 25 weeks of my life.
I am beyond jazzed about this. So jazzed that I’ve almost forgotten to complain about how I took 3 days off last week to try to fight this super-annoying-low-grade-but-won’t-go-away-no-matter-what cold thingy that I have.
So anyway, why did I hire a coach? Well, here are the top 5 reasons.
1. The blind self-leading the blind wasn’t going to cut it. Over the past 5 weeks I have realized that I honestly have no idea how to train for an Ironman. In some ways this is a total duh, but in other ways an important recognition.
I’ve read books, blogs, and articles about IM training, and lord knows I’ve asked just about anyone who has a glimmer of info or experience to talk my ear off about it. But the fact is that everyone’s body and mind are different, and an IM is a doozy of a thing to do to either. While I could cobble together a plan (like I had been doing) from any number of off-the-shelf sources, I just wasn’t going to feel like I knew whether it was the right plan for me. Working with a knowledgeable and experienced coach who can personalize a plan for me and for my body, and adjust that plan based on how my body is reacting (not to mention my mental health), is HUGE.
2. Analysis, form and technique work in all 3 disciplines. Let’s face it, I can’t watch myself swim, bike, and run. And even if I could, I wouldn’t know what to do to make it better. A coach can watch me in each discipline and straight up tell me how to improve. Anyone who’s ever watched me run (and perhaps referred to my gait as that of a constipated old lady) can attest to the fact that I can probably use some pointers.
3. The numbers game. There are a LOT of numbers involved in long course triathlon training. Mileage, time, pace, heart rate zones, power, speed, cadence, calories, sodium, protein, etc etc etc. I have neither the time nor the proper brain connections to figure all that stuff out on my own.
But I know that figuring it all out and training/eating/resting within all the right numbers is going to make me feel better, move faster, and recover more efficiently. A coach can help me master the numbers by testing me regularly, expertly analyzing the data, and using it to prescribe a proper training plan and techniques.
4. The cheerleader factor. I like to have people on my side, and cheering me on to my absolute best potential. Who doesn’t?!
5. To do it right! It’s entirely likely that this is the only Ironman distance race that I will ever do. That’s going to be a major life accomplishment. So I’m going to do it right.
While I’m being coached, I’m planning to keep posting some rough sketches of my weekly workout plans, but I won’t get into all the tiny details. Cow, milk, free, etc. I’ll also blog about all the delightful misery caused by my killer workouts, threshold tests, an the like.
I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.