Thursday, May 5, 2016
It's been a few weeks now since my coach let us know that he would not be able to continue coaching his athletes for this season due to some unforeseen health issues. My roommates and I (all under the same coach) spent about a week trying to figure out what our approach should be to the season - get a new coach, coach ourselves, find someone to consult on our plan, etc. I think we have sort of settled on coaching ourselves, which I think will be a fun adventure. The group is very talented, with diverse athletic backgrounds. We have last year's plan to work off of, though in my case, I had a different coach last year, so I'm modeling my plan on a modified version of what they did last year. We may still find someone to consult periodically, e.g., in advance of races or more generally, but for now, we are on our own.
Here are a few thoughts that I've had over the last few weeks:
- I had been following a plan based on the principles of Phil Maffetone. Unfortunately, I hadn't progressed that far past the initial phase of training at my MAF heart rate. This means that I will have to figure out how and when to bring back the speed into my training.
- There are a ton of great coaches in Ottawa (and beyond)! Every coach has their own style and focus though, and it's tough to navigate who might be a good fit.
- Though there are many great coaches out there, it just didn't feel right to get a new coach. The coach-athlete relationship is a very important one and one that takes time to develop. In mid-April, it just felt too close to the start of the season to find a new coach.
- Even before losing my coach, I had been feeling a bit different about this season. I wouldn't call it unmotivated, but it was close to something like that. The solution for me has been to focus on the "fun" and on training with friends. Not that having a coach takes the fun out of training, but it certainly makes it harder to train with friends and it makes everything seem a bit more "serious."
- I love to learn about triathlon. Coaching myself will give me an opportunity to learn a lot and to experiment with what works for me.
- Accountability has always been one of the main reasons that I liked having a coach. However, I'm going to take this opportunity to work on my personal accountability and my own motivation to train and race.
So, there you have it. Along with my tri-sisters, I am coaching myself (with their help of course, because they have tons of expertise and experience to bring to bear). I don't know if this is a permanent move, though I am excited to just see how it goes. It will require me to be accountable to my plan, honest about how my body and mind are feeling, and open to learning new things along the way!