Monday, May 14, 2018

Triathlon: coach athlete relationship

I appreciate my athlete's, whether they are in a group or train individually with me. They sacrifice their time to train with OnTrack Fitness. They change schedules for months or years on end to meet up for a training session. Week after week they do this, and it's not always meeting for a fun filled jolly time. 

Don't get me wrong, we have a lot of fun. But I ask them to push their boundaries, make new comfort levels and do things they don't think they can do. Mentally tough! There's physical suffering that happens too. Sometimes they don't much like me, I know this and I get it. 
Hitting my own milestone -
my first marathon

We train smart but there are times that a training session extends their endurance levels or pushes them to work just a bit harder than they can keep up with. It's how we get stronger and fitter. Oftentimes the only thing they go off of to do this effort is the trust they have in me that yes they can indeed do this! 

This training deal is personal. We work on these big, crazy goals. Goals that are close to the heart. The kind that you're afraid to say aloud. That's scary! Yet they come to me to get it accomplished. There's a moment every athletes has that they must let go & take a leap of faith when coach says do something they think impossible. There's something really special about the give and take of coach & athlete that stems from that very big, scary goal. Working on that goal day in and day out for months or years. It's a big deal. I take it seriously & I take their faith in my coaching seriously. 
I've been there! This is me at my
first Honolulu Triathlon

Sometimes I'm the only one in the bunch that really knows how much this means. Simply stated, I can stand back & see their dedication, drive, faith. I know what it takes to reach this goal. I specifically know what they are doing, the effort level it takes & how far they've come. I know not everyone has the drive to get it done, and not everyone has the ability in the moment to say "I don't think I can, but I will believe you if you say I can." Wow! 

I've been there. I know the fears, frustrations, disappointments, sacrifices, and joys that come from training and reaching a goal like triathlon, half or full marathon.  It's painful and it's thrilling. It's scary and it's exhilarating! There are milestones hit that once seemed ludicrous. Now they're warmups. Simply amazing.

To my athlete's I want to say thank you. Your goals are my goals. Your disappointments, frustrations, milestones and joys - I feel them too! When you see me excited about what you're doing it's real. When you're disappointed I feel your pain & I'm here to help put things into perspective. I am beyond proud of you, thankful for you and ready to help you reach your next goal! 

Written by Coach Emily, certified triathlon coach, Ironman Certified Coach, endurance coach & ACE certified personal trainer

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Triathlon training and goals

As triathletes our focus is always on gaining speed. How can we get faster, better, stronger? It makes sense. After all we're training hard for a race and want to see results.

What if instead of always focusing on tougher, harder training sessions we shift our outlook? Let me suggest that there is more to being a triathlete than an intense training session. 

For myself because of my health, I don't see much in terms of gaining speed. It can be...annoying to put it nicely. So I've readjusted my focus and taken a look at my stats to see what I can improve instead of looking at what doesn't (& may never) improve. Let me share what I'm improving upon. You can take part in it too. 

  •  Stroke rate. Mine is lower than I want & lower than it should be.
    FYI - In hip driven swimming, which is what I believe is best for triathlon, the stroke rate will be lower than shoulder driven, which can be 70-90 strokes per minute. I'm working with my tempo trainer to increase stroke rate.
  • Balance. My balance is way better than it used to be. But I'm not satisfied with it & know I can improve.
  • Head position. Again, it's not bad, per se. But I find myself sometimes moving my head or lifting it up a bit more than I want. So, down it goes & that's definitely something that can improve.
    What a great place to train!
  • SLD. Single leg drills on trainer for full use of pedal stroke. 
  • Pedaling. Focusing on quick, even pressure of pedal during rides & especially on hills 
  • Less is more. For me, guilt free less cycling because I don't enjoy the pain. My scoliosis & cycling don't like each other.
  • Ground contact time (GCT). It's too high! I've actually been having fun working on quicker, lighter steps.
  • Cadence. My legs tend to want to go slow. Kind of goes along with GCT.
  • Form. My form is good, but by paying very close attention to it as I run, I can tweak for the absolute best technique.
  • Hills. Short quick hills to build fitness but not to tire me out.

  • Heavier weight less reps. This is fun, which motivates me to do it!
  • More sets on days I feel good. On days I'm not feeling well, still do it but less. Keeps things consistent.
  • A third day on appropriate weeks. Which I'm loving!
Many of these have stats attached to them that I can clearly see progress on. 

My challenge for you is to instead of feeling discouraged about your progress, shift your focus and keep moving. You will see results, you might even find a renewed love of the sport!