I started working with my first athlete in January. It's been a fun, interesting and totally huge learning experience. As I sit down every week to write his schedule, I try to think a lot about goals, short term and long, where this person is at in their fitness build and what we need to do to build on that.
With that, I find myself thinking about what I want them to be focusing on for each workout. What would I be doing if I were doing this set: what should my HR be, pacing, all the way down to which routes (locally) would be best. It's fun and I think (at least I hope) it's helpful to the athlete that I am over analyzing and thinking everything right now.
Within the next few weeks I will have 3 athletes I'm coaching. Two with Ironman goals, one a total newbie to the sport, but with ambition and long term goal of doing an Ironman. They each lead very busy lives, and my main goal is to help them fit their training into their lives in the most effective way. I already have files of emails with personal obligations that I will be working into the training plan and am going to have to get super creative with fitting in bike miles and key swim workouts (you can run anywhere!).
As I am building these relationships, I find myself thinking about my own training differently. Each and every workout I'm thinking about the purpose. As I'm swimming, I'm thinking about feedback from athletes. I'm thinking about my advice and literally trying to feel what they are telling me, then tweak it to do it the right way. The other day I was actually sore to the touch in my shoulders because I was trying to replicate the good/bad way of swimming with paddles so I could really explain it.
Another one that I've actually needed some reminders of is the phase of training I'm at right now. While I didn't take a ton of time off, I definitely took some serious down time after AZ. When I started back up I would be lying if I said I wasn't impatient. I wanted to go back to seeing my easy runs with super low HR in the mid 8min miles. I wanted to be able to bust out my T-time continuously in the pool, and jump into my Friday Happy Hour swim group without needing to use my paddles to make the longer sets. But, I know that I'm one month into a 6 month cycle to get my fitness where it needs to be for Ironman CDA, and this weekend was a great reminder that it will come, but it won't come if I go out and hammer fest out of my current fitness. There is plenty of time for that, but right now I'm building, and if that means going out for 4hour rides by myself right now to do what I need to be doing, then that's what will happen. Leave the ego at the door, trust in the plan.
Outside of being overly excited and loving writing training plans and giving advice to my athletes, I think it's also making me a better athlete. Instead of just opening my training peaks and going through the motions, I'm thinking (hopefully not OVER) about what each session is about, and what the goal is. I open up my plan every Thursday for the next week, then open up my work calendar and figure out how I can fit each session in. Some days are more of a challenge than others, but so far I've managed to make it all work. I am using my iphone reminder option on my phone more than ever, and post it's are used frequently around my office.
So far I'm super happy with where I'm at in a lot of places. It's been nearly a year with my new job and I'm finally getting the groove of it all. My house might be a bit (ok, a LOT) less organized than I'm used to, but I'm learning to deal and adjust, and my training is off to a great start. TeamBSC is up and running and I love every thing about it. Our Scottsdale training camp has 8 amazing athletes commited and I'm constantly thinking about how I can make it an amazing experience for everyone! It's going to be an epic long weekend of stringing together some great training and helping people push past their mental blocks and learning that they are stronger than they think. We do still have 2 openings so if you are looking for a big kick start to your 2014 season, come join us!