Thursday, August 09, 2007

Well....It's Complicated

Warning: Totally undeserved and somewhat entitled rant ahead. Read at your own risk.

Many relationships are complicated. Romantic relationships, family relationships, friendships - all have their share of occasional (or frequent) drama, punctuated by things as mundane as grumbling to yourself or more invidious like silent seething, or the out-and-out battle of wit and will.

But a relationship with a coach? Now, that's supposed to be simple. You tell your coach your goals, you work together on the big plan, the coach sets out the details like the workouts and taper, you do it, and you go fast. Right? Right.


Now, let me preface all this by saying that I know I'm not the easiest person to work with, especially when I'm stressed. Speedy is a saint (a fact that my family likes to note on a fairly regular basis). I've been very surprised by how my relationship with my coach has formed. After going back and forth with the idea of working with a coach for a little while, and then using a one-size-fits-all online training plan, I connected with a young local coach who was just getting his coaching business going. I figured this was perfect - I didn't mind that he didn't have a ton of experience, I liked his coaching philosophies, and his prices were very good.

And so it went. I love not having to plan my own workouts, and I love getting faster. But, um . . . I don't like being told what to do. Yes, I know that this is fundamentally inconsistent with the fact that I pay a coach to tell me what to do. It generally works out okay, until I have a crappy week of workouts, or I 'feel slow' (how's that for an arbitrary and nebulous description?) or I don't race well.

My last few weeks have been rough, tri-wise. The week before the bar, I was tapering for a sprint. The week of, I took the testing days off. Last week, I was recovering from that 'hit by a truck' feeling, and had a bad race. This week I am finally feeling better, and getting back into speedwork. But I can't shake the feeling that there's an element missing, like my coach and I are not connected in a way that we need to be.

It's ridiculous, I know. I've been really busy and extraordinarily stressed out, and he has tried very hard to accommodate me by setting out doable workouts. Not only that, but my focus had been a Half-Iron, and is now a sprint, which makes my weekend workouts a good bit different. And what do I do? I bitch. And grumble. And silently seethe.

Fortunately, cooler heads (aka Speedy) prevail, and remind me that:
  • stress,
  • a significantly changed focus,
  • generally good race results, and
  • an overall increase in speed
mean that really, my coach is serving me quite well, and I'm misdirecting my bad-race frustration at a totally undeserving target. Fortunately, rather than shooting myself in the foot (now that would ruin my season) by having this conversation with my coach, I have a top-notch sounding board in Speedy, who (more often that I would like to admit) keeps me from doing something stupid. So instead, I grumble to myself while doing 1000 repeats around the track, since that's what my coach told me to do. (The repeats part. He didn't tell me to grumble while doing it.)

Sigh. I thought this was supposed to be easy.


Dan Seifring said...
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Jason said...

If it was easy, then it just wouldn't be as much fun.