It was a big week for me. It started with the decision to get a coach. Being new to the sport of triathlon, I feel like I have done a decent job self-coaching. My training program has consisted of rotating the sports, setting up a plan of action and following through with my goals. I have felt myself get stronger and have increased my distance and speed. It was time to ask myself, what is my goal? I spent a lot of time thinking through the answer. After a couple of months, I feel like my self-coaching has guided me nicely along a path but lacks clear objectives tied to attainable short and long-term goals. I hit a wall, a plateau or just that uneasy feeling you get when you don’t have all the answers, listen/read many opinions and just need someone to trust and guide you in the right direction. I had just finished a book called “You are an Ironman” by Jacques Steinberg, and the story is about six weekend warriors (everyday people who have jobs and families) who signed up for Ironman Arizona. I had a lot in common with the characters, so it was an exciting time to define my objectives and still make them attainable and reasonably time-bound. After reading the book, I must admit it would be pretty amazing to hear Mike Reilly announce my name. But, for right now I defined by goals as:
Complete my first triathlon – this summer √ DONE
Become a better swimmer – this summer
Develop a plan to add strength training, better stretching, etc. – this summer
Get through swim portion of North Park Tri with more confidence and less anxiety – this summer
Take an open water swim (sounds easy but I dislike fish, scared of them – have never even snorkeled) – next summer
Compete in an Olympic Distance Tri – next two years
Complete an Ironman 70.3 before I turn 41 – within three years
Yes, the goals are a bit of a reach, but I know they are not out of sight. I have also defined my biggest hurdle, the swim.
When I looked at my goals, I quickly realized that I need help if I want to be successful accomplishing them. So how did I find a coach? I did a lot of research on the subject of coaching online but mostly talked to other triathlete’s, learned how they have been successful and asked for advice. I looked for consistencies in what I heard, and I was able to narrow my focus rather quickly. I wanted a coach that is an excellent swimmer has a long experience competing, wins at a level beyond my goals, and is in relatively proximity. I know the “wins” definition sounds a bit obnoxious but I believe triathletes have to be very strong mentally not just physically, and the right coach for me must have successfully conquered how to push themselves to win. They must have successfully pushed the boundaries beyond their comfort zone to help push me through mine. Confidence is contagious.
I am one week into my new training program and having a coach thanks to Jeremy Cornman, Cornman Multisport Coaching and honestly already know I am many steps closer to reaching my goals. I have confidence in my training plan, I have someone to ask questions too, and I have a built-in support system along side my journey. I made more improvements in my swim this week than I have in the last two months of training. I look forward to learning more about multisport, how to make myself stronger both mentally and physically and gaining confidence in all three sports along the way.