I have been training faithfully over the last three months, since starting the training plan with my coaches. As you know, the training hasn't always gone very well, particularly the running. I tried to work things out with my coaches but it was hard to negotiate a different approach to running and, although my one coach did "allow" me to do some water running, I was still running five days a week, which was just not working for me. As well, I was starting to worry about my swimming volume (or lack thereof). Swim training has focused on technique, which has been excellent, but it has been at the expense of distance. Some weeks, I was swimming a grand total of 1200 metres and I was starting to think that maybe I should pick that up a bit. My coach just told me not to worry. More and more it seemed like we just weren't seeing eye to eye completely. They were very kind and positive and I know they have a lot of knowledge but there was just a disconnection philosophically. So, two weeks ago, I very kindly thanked them for what they had done for me and told them that I was going to launch out on my own.
It was the right decision and I don't regret it but for these last two weeks, I have felt a little bit lost, unsure of how to fill in my training plan. I looked at a few plans, got some ideas in my mind, and continued to work out but I felt I was floundering a little. Then a wonderful thing happened....
My friend from my triathlon club, who has done seven Ironmans, and her friend, who has done two, decided they wanted to support and guide me through my training. They won't be official coaches but they will be my cheerleaders and gurus and they will provide me with a training plan and some answers to the questions that will inevitably arise as I go along. I asked them why they wanted to do this for me (for free) and they said it was because they cared about me and just wanted to see me do this.
We met over coffee today and talked about how I should structure my week as far as workouts go. For now, I will swim three times a week with the swim training group that is offered through the City. I'll spin twice a week with the triathlon club and I'll run three times a week on my own, scaling back a bit to allow myself to recover from all the running I did this fall and then gradually building back up. Eventually I will do more than this but this is how it will look for December and into January. Their philosophy is that I should focus more on the swim and bike than the run so I can get out of the water feeling good and gain some time on the bike course so I have plenty of time for the run. This makes sense to me and it is the opposite of what I have been doing, which was to run and run and run and then fall apart! They expressed confidence in my ability to complete this crazy race and reminded me, when I seemed uncertain, that my training has only just begun and that I will feel strong and confident by the time I'm standing on that beach.
I feel good about this. With them, I have some support and structure and also some flexibility and understanding. I am motivated to do this training and I have a basic idea of how to get it done but it'll be great to have guidance and a sounding board and some experience to tap into for this first time through.