How exciting! I’ve now officially begun the countdown to the Cardiff Olympic distance triathlon, that me and my Equally Inspiring coach have identified as the A race towards which we’re working for the programme.
My coach sent me a detailed plan for March, in it she sets out all the details of my training for the next few weeks.
This is a whole new experience for me and those first steps have been very interesting. One word to summarise these new experiences?
I’m entering my 5th triathlon season and have never been coached, gone to training camps or benefited from professional advice. So there’s been a huge amount of hit and miss in my training regime. In my first year started out small with sprint and olympic distance triathlons that I completed without a real training plan. Then in my second year I graduated to middle distance, for which I trained with the help of a magasine plan. Over the past two years I actually bought training plans with which I completed the Alpe d’Huez long distance triathlon and Challenge Roth. I felt some frustrating gaps in my knowledge, when training for and executing both races but could not afford a coach.
So up to now I only had a training relationship with a piece of paper, which is pretty one dimensional since paper doesn’t write on itself, let alone have an opinion or experience! What a change to have a training relationship with an actual person who’s got experience, insights and who’s a professional at helping you define and reach your goals. The first immediately obvious benefit of the relationship with my coach was that she worked with me to define when and how I could train thus building training sessions so that they integrated smoothly into my timetable. She also took my likes (such as mountain biking) and dislikes (pool training and pushing me to do more) into account as well as incidental information (such as the info that I always bike commute and generally cycle everywhere).
The first weeks of the year were dedicated to “building the habit of training”. Which my in-house observer, Mr Tiger, promptly translated as “the building the precious hobbit of training” no doubt to justify his quest for the ring. Besides adding a lot more swimming sessions than I would have otherwise done at this time of year, my coach sent me some strength exercises I can do at home. Strength is something that had never been built into my training, I started doing these exercises a few weeks ago and I already feel their benefits.
March, being the first month of proper training is dedicated to strength and endurance. I’m really excited about this and can’t wait to see where this is taking us.
Finally, for a French person, relationships always involve food at some point. My coach has already masterfully ticked that box by introducing me to the concept of kale chips. The green curly leaves are now a regular feature in the house.