I’m training hard…now what?

Congratulations! By hiring a professional coach you are taking a positive step towards reaching your goals. Odds are, if left to your own devices and the overwhelming amount of Internet miss-direction; instead of rounding into form for your races and progressing as an athlete – you may instead find yourself hitting plateaus instead of PR’s, wondering what went wrong.

Why take up endurance sports?  Why work so hard for something that your coworkers and friends think is borderline crazy?  Because there is no greater feeling than crossing that finish line, knowing another journey is right around the corner! But training hard will often only take you so far or even lead you to injury.  Even having a coach can leave you stranded on race day because you’ve mentally checked out or failed to utilize all of the tools available to you.

Some athletes want to go to Kona but never address their weak areas.  Instead, they just continue hitting 100 mile rides every week, hoping that they’ve tried enough variations in nutrition to piece a solid day together.  Always look for new ways to re-invent your mental approach, use each session to learn something new!

The “now what” part of this message is the most important question you need to ask yourself.  Should I check with my coach after workouts to see if I’ve executed properly?  Should I read up on how to use Training Peaks or how to analyze power data?  At Tribal Multi-Sport we want you to become the most intelligent athlete possible.  This means you must ask questions!  We don’t want you to be a triathlon robot that will seize up at the slightest disruption. Knowledge is infinitely powerful and the more you know about your sport and; most importantly yourself, the more prepared you will be to handle adversity given the difficult situations that will inevitably present themselves.

Demand more from yourself and ask more of your coach!

What are you doing that has been possibly been holding you back?  A coach; although expected to be able to accomplish a plethora taks, is completely limited if you aren’t trying hard enough.  However, what if you’re trying as hard as you can, day in and day out and the desired goal seems further and further away.  As an athlete, you have a thousand ways to shoot yourself in the foot.  Are you really talking with your coach, understanding the purpose of each workout, or are you just going through the motions?  Tribal Coaches have been working with the busiest people; fine tuning their training stress to cohesively blend with their life stress.

Why hire a coach?  The trend seems to lean towards “accountability” and “knowledge.”  These reasons obviously come with a broad definition, varying from athlete to athlete, which is why a coach needs to really understand individual needs. Each athlete must define to their coach what they need, what they lack and what they want to get out of the coach / athlete relationship. The more we understand about where YOU are versus where YOU want to be – the better, and more quickly we can do our job. Our job is very simply defined – help you achieve your goals using our proven, efficient methods.

As stated before, the coach is the line that connects the dots among all of your hard workouts.  We maintain the birds-eye view of your big game plan, doing our best to balance stress with the often-limited feedback we receive.  The goal is to give your coach as much detail and conversation as possible. How else do we know if your workouts have been horrible, amazing, or amazingly horrible?  Valuable data can usually indicate trends but the mental aspect and human element of training is not so clearly seen without your insight.

Have you really explored your limits?  Have you spent enough time above race effort, holding on for 1 more second, then 1 more…so on and so forth?  How can you begin to define your limiting factors unless you’ve taken yourself to the edge?  A coach can give you the work, (the 5%) but you’ve got to earn the grit (95%).  Again, are you truly doing enough to get every ounce out of your paid coaching fee?  You should ask yourself often.  If not, it’s time you have a different type of conversation with your coach.  Point being, don’t hire a coach and then blame the process when you’ve only given 50% mental effort.  At Tribal Multi-Sport we dedicate precious time and energy to your progress and we expect you to give us (and yourself) the same in return.  Don’t show up if you’re not ready to work, grow and fully engage in this process. And as always, it’s never about your ability – it’s always about your effort…

Hopefully, by now you have a direction and the beginnings of your “now what” answer.  It’s normally an obvious self-induced limiter, requiring frequent adaptation and patience.