March 23, 2009

The Coaching Difference

When I started this Ironman journey, one of the biggest choices I made was whether or not to hire a coach. I questioned my ability to make the right training decisions. I thought about the possibility of getting injured again and wondered how I'd train through it. But most of all I was worried about the time commitment of planning my training on top of balancing it with a demanding work schedule. The only reason not to hire a coach, in my opinion, is financial. It's a luxury for many athletes. Yet when you think about the other gadgets and activities an athlete is willing to spend decent, and sometimes obscene, amounts of money on, the investment doesn't feel as big.

I did the research, got the recommendations and ended up talking to three out of a list of five prospects. I never made it past the third, Will Kirousis from Tri-Hard Endurance Sports, because I knew I wanted to hire him after our talk. We connected, he understood my goals and I liked his background and approach. This would turn out to be the best decision I've made since joining this sport.

The time I spend training is so much more focused and valuable. I've been able to see actual improvements in how I feel and perform in a really short period of time. And most of all, I actually push myself now that I have specific goals where as in the past, I might have completed the miles, but at an effort level that wasn't helping me advance. I also got sick recently and Will helped me adjust my schedule and train through it appropriately while giving my body a chance to recover. I value that real-time advice more than anything.

So for anyone on the fence about coaching, if you can afford it, do it. It's completely worth the investment. You don't need to be training for an Ironman, you just need to want to improve.

Today was a rest day and I got out of work at a decent hour as well. It rarely gets better than that!

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