In the lead up to my first Boston Marathon I spent hours poring over running training plans. I would take elements of each plan and change my own plans for the next day, week and month. Sounds like good, adaptive, evidence informed work, right? Yeah, but no, but…
This constant adaptation became over-complicated, obsessive and wasteful. The need to adapt stemmed from my tendency to over-think things, and the need to know that I was doing the right training. The problem was that I simply didn’t know. I didn’t know what was right for me and couldn’t distinguish the advice, supposed evidence and opinion from the thousands of resources available through Dr. Google. I was paralysed with too much information and wasted a lot of valuable time and energy worrying about it.
In general, we are mostly time poor these days, so to spend an hour each day effectively over-thinking and ‘faffing’ (I love this word!) with my training plan, wasn’t constructive. I was placing my energies in the wrong place. How about putting the energy into my running or my recovery?
In the end, I got a PB in Boston but just missed my goal of 3 hours, by 26 seconds. I was exhausted from the race and the months of training, but more so mentally. I had invested so much energy in ‘perfecting’ my plan that I decided the main area I could improve for next time would be my planning and that I would use a qualified coach.
Getting a coach (Xavier Coppock, TEAM Tri Coaching) changed my perspective on training and training plans. Having someone by your side, at the end of the phone, or an email away to help construct and implement a plan that is catered to me, has been a revelation. I have re-gained time in the day for my training and life, and have massively reduced my time wasting and stressful planning antics. Now, I trust that my plan is right for me and I have no need to faff (there’s that word again…) with it constantly. I work with my coach to adapt it if necessary but that is a rare event by comparison.
This change has been empowering, but it all depends on one key word, “TRUST.” I trust my coach’s judgment and experience, I trust that my monthly plan is catered to me, my lifestyle and my goals. I trust that if I follow it, I will get results. I trust that my coach knows what they are doing and finally I trust that my coach has my best interests at heart. Without trust, the power of the plan is eroded.
So far my trust is being repaid. Under Xavier, I have achieved personal best times in half marathon, marathon and half ironman distances, as well as completing an Ironman for the first time. I can now swim (ish) and am optimistic that my best is still to come. I am also delighted and honoured that others are trusting in me as a running and triathlon coach to help them improve. I have a feeling that this could be the most rewarding trust of all.
If you would like more information on TEAM Tri Coaching, see the website: http://teamtricoaching.com/
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