Friday, January 27, 2012

Changing coaches and believing

You know that I have been looking for new a triathlon coach, although I love love love Michelle and her training philosophy. I also love love love PPC because her training seemed to be working for me.

Because I loved my previous coaches I am little worried about moving to a new coach. On paper, cH seems like the best choice - he went to a special training academy/school with emphasis on triathlon, he is a successfull athlete himself, he has some pretty good athletes, he has ambitious goals for himself and his athletes, he does very well in both short-course and long-course triathlon, he is dedicated to his athletes, his team (it is not a professional team or anything similar, it is more like a triathlon club but with organized practices under cH guidance) has some very good sponsors (like they pay all your triathlon entry fees in Slovakia, some IM entry fees, Kona trip if you qualify, discounts on gear, training camps etc), plus he is much cheaper than American coaches.

But I know that his training will be completely different from what BSC Michelle would make me do in training.
I think that people who have not experienced it cannot fully understand cultural training differences.
When I came to the US I hated the training I was doing there, I did not understand why I should run 60miles/week as a miler and why we were not doing any intervals. But after ~3 years I stopped being a stubborn idiot and I kind of got used to it and started to like high volume.
Therefore I loved the "more is better" tri training I was doing last year.

And I know that cH's training will be very very different. There will not be many 3h bike rides and I would do running drills even in IM training (if I ever train for IM).
He has never coached anyone with powermeter but he said that we would learn together. He sees most of his athletes couple times/week and not once a year. He is all about proper technique and movement economy. He does not know what ITB problem is and thus does not fully understand my problem (which actually might be a good thing. Maybe his "I do not have a clue how to train an athlete with ITB problem" training approach will help me.)

I am little worried that I will not trust his training. But I am more mature than I was at college so I will do whatever he tells me to do with full dedication, but it might take me some time to do it without any second-guessing. That's very bad for an athlete, isn't it? However, it is probably normal to compare present and past when you experience a change. So maybe it is natural to have some doubts especially when you have enjoyed the past.

But what I feel most uncomfortable about is a question of commitment to a person, not letting a person down, whether I should move away from coaches that I really liked and had zero problem with to someone who looks better on paper and is cheaper. I was determined to continue with BSC when my life situation calms down but then I found CH. But I really hate "letting people down" and I do not want to move from one coach to another after they put an effort to help me. You know what I mean? CH is giving me one month of free and no commitment coaching and I can call it quits afterwards (and beg BSC to take me back)...

Ok, I guess that I should do what is best for me and don't worry that it might "hurt" someone. Well, it is not really hurting someone, I am sure that a coach gets over loosing an athete pretty fast so it is not as tragic and I am not a bad person. But still, it is not fair to that other person and I do not like doing it. I am that kind of a person who turns down a job offer that is slightly better only because I have already commited to a different job. It is kind of stupid, but well, I do not like breaking my promises.

However, I have already told CH that I want him to coach me and I am meeting with him and his athletes tonight for a swim and then we will discuss my future tri goals and training plan in more detail. I will let you know how it went and what was decided.

Btw, I have not heard back from Germany yet. So I probably won't start on Feb 1st. Phew:) I just hope that I will start sometime!


  1. Being with someone in person several times a week is a great situation! ESPECIALLY for such a low price (ie free! :) Be confident that there is more than one way to skin a cat... you are smart to trust your coach and your plan. :) Keep us in the loop!

  2. MMmmmonyka this move makes sense on so many levels. let's start with he's local and has a group for you to train with (ok, this may change if you move very soon) but even then he will be in slovakia the country you ultimately want to represent. he knows the system, the bureaucracy... that will help out a ton as an ex-pat who is trying to represent her country. finally consolidating all your training into the hands of one person. i think my running training plans certainly helped you break 19 in the 5 km (though of course your own efforts were the vast majority of the reason) but we also can't ignore the fact that you had 3 (?) IT band syndrome re-occurrences under my plan. maybe they would have happened anyway but maybe this new coach and cultural shift in mentality is exactly what you need to end this streak of injury. the fact that he has never even HEARD of the IT band is very, very encouraging!! it means none of his athletes are complaining about theirs!

  3. Thanks for the encouragements. I should receive my new plan on Monday and eager to see what it looks like.

    @PPC: I had had ITB problem before I started with you, so I believe it wasn't your plan. But maybe a new approach will help:)