I took everyone's advice and have used some of my injury down time to read and plan for my 2009 race season, particularly the Ironman. I've been enjoying the two books I bought last weekend. One is purely for inspiration and the other is a practical look at what to expect when training. The latter got me thinking about how I want to approach my training and when. Something I have been contemplating for quite awhile is whether or not to hire a coach. Coaches can be a big investment, but if you find the right fit, the return is worth it.
Some people think coaches are for inexperienced racers while others think everyone should have a coach. I think the choice is very personal and depends entirely on the goals, personality and training style of the athlete. I am confident I could put together a good training plan with a little research and that I could motivate myself to stick to it for the most part. But after weighing the pros and cons and getting the opinions of several other triathletes, I have decided to hire a coach. This Ironman is a huge commitment for me and it's something I want to enjoy.
Having a coach will take the strain of planning out of my schedule and save an incredible amount of time. Training for an Ironman takes anywhere from 12-20 hours per week so every minute saved becomes precious. A coach will also be there to help me adapt to challenges. I keep thinking about what I would have done if this injury had happened during Ironman training. And most importantly, a coach will keep me from undertraining or overtraining, both of which can ruin my Ironman experience.
The process of finding a coach is pretty complex so I'm getting started now. I've gotten a lot of great recommendations that I'll narrow down to a short list with some research. Then I'll reach out to each one for more information and make a choice. I'm aiming to get started in December after the marathon and my November rest month. I'm looking forward to having someone come along on the journey with me. At least there will be one person who doesn't think I'm crazy (I hope).