Friday, March 14, 2014

Communication

Just over 3 years ago when I first started working with Michelle, I remember getting my first week of training put into TP.  I was at my friend Amanda's house watching the Super Bowl and got an email saying that the first week was up.  I logged in, my eyes wide open seeing a full week of swim, bike, run and then saw the tally on the side of 15+ hours.  There was so much detail! Specific HR goals, and the explanations in the swim workouts were so cool.  OMG, it was like I had died and gone to heaven.  I love DATA!  I love seeing max and average and pace and miles and all that stuff.  Oh, back then I even got some rest days ;)

I loved entering my notes and my data in, but my favorite part was the response and feedback I would get.  With each workout, there would be a response.  It was like being graded (but not really) and encouraged and just fueled my fire to do better!  8 weeks later I was asked to right a "race plan" for my first big race of the season, Oceanside 70.3.  I wrote a few things and sent it away and then got a reply with SO MUCH RED!  I guess I didn't really do the exercise as requested.  She wanted DETAILS.  Like from the time I was going to wake up, to what I was eating to making time to go to the bathroom.  It was meant to be like a bible that I would go over and over until it was embedded in my mind and could be executed to perfection (within my control) on race day.  

One thing that still stands out in my mind was the calorie amount she wanted me to consume on the bike.  Previously I've been a 100-150/hr eating on the bike.  I've also been a 9-11min mile runner off the bike.   She wrote a note basically telling me if I did not nail my nutrition of at least 750 calories on the bike, I would NOT hit my goal run split (1:50).  I'd only done 2 other races at this distance and they were both 6+hours, but this was a big PR for me.  5:25 I think, and I was able to run a few people in my AG down, never feeling bonky (although full), and PR'ing my run at by 10 minutes.  

As the year's have gone on the communication has grown.  My training has been more consistent and strong and the results have shown.  Michelle knows what to tell me to get me to WORK, and what to tell me to make me hold back (we actually have had some of these conversations just this week!).  It's a constant stream of communication and I think we both have grown as athletes and coach(es).

Part of the decision to start coaching is that I love the knowledge sharing.  I love when people ask me questions.  I can go on and on and on about this and that, and experiences.  Mistakes I've made, things I've figured out.   I love giving new ideas about training and also trying to show what can work! (It's not all go go go fast fast fast all the time!!).  When I met one of my athletes in person for the first time, 2 hours later I had to end our meeting to hop on a conference call and I was so bummed.  I could have talked all day long (not sure if that's a good thing)!  I believe in the training that Michelle has taught me, and I love that I am able to pass all of this knowledge and experience on to others.

I've had a couple of really great replies to workouts from my own athletes this week that have just made me smile.  One from one of my new to the sport athletes talking about how much she LOVED using swim paddles, how she could really understand what I was saying in the notes about how to feel the water, etc.  The other from my friend and athlete who did her first set of short hill repeats.  Her comments were something about wanting to cry, puke and then have beer.  THAT was awesome!!

I can't wait to bring on a few more athletes to help, because this journey is just making me so satisfied!  I used to be crazy excited and refresh my TP account all the time waiting to see my own schedule, now I find myself constantly staring at my email waiting for notifications when athletes upload their data and send notes.  

It's just awesome!

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