Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer Update- Adding a Coach!

So far it has been a pretty great summer. I took a work trip to Spain/Morocco for the first 6 weeks which worked out pretty well being it was right after Ironman Texas. I didn't take any time off from training, but I scaled the volume way back. Being I didn't have my bike or regular access to a pool, I got quite a few long runs in some beautiful scenery in the mountains in both countries. I came back not knowing exactly where my fitness was, but Ironman 70.3 Racine showed me I was right on track.

Shortly after Ironman Racine, I started to think a lot about gearing up for Kona and moving forward into competing as a pro in the 2014 season. I started thinking about the possibility of adding a coach. This was a big step for me being I have always been "self coached." Although I've used a few plans other people have written for a framework or starting point, I have always set my own intensities for each workout. I also was traveling a lot so I would change the plans around to fit that schedule.

I've had some pretty good results so far this year, but I have come to realize that there is only so far that you can take yourself without some help. As volumes get high, it is always good to have another set (or two!) of eyes looking at your workouts. It is also important to have someone in your corner who has worked with professional triathletes before and helped them develop a high level of success to help structure and manage your workouts, race season, mental aspects, and even the nutrition plan. Also, one thing I really need help on is swim technique. That was something that was extremely important to me as I began the process of looking for a coach.

I spent quite a bit of time on the phone talking with perspective coaches. I was looking for a coach who understood the human body, understood the sport, and obviously was going to be a good fit for me. I also needed a coach who understands my work schedule and was willing to work with that while allowing me to maintain my personal life (i.e. stay married!). I wanted a coach who has worked with other professional triathletes and had a solid record of helping them reach their potential. I also needed a coach who could help me improve in the water so I wasn't trying to bridge a gap from the moment I hopped onto the bike when I make the next step. After numerous hours on the phone with different people, I think I have found exactly what I am looking for. I am thrilled to be working with Michelle LeBlanc of OutRival Racing and Tim Floyd from Magnolia Masters.

I first heard of OutRival Racing from watching the Ironman Texas course preview videos on youtube. I also had a chance to stop by their booth at the pre-race expo and chat with them and meet a few of their athletes.I chatted with one of their athletes after Racine about his experiences with the team as well. I had a great impression of their group from my first interaction and Michelle was my first call when it came to looking for a coach. After numerous phone calls and e-mails, I knew that working with Michelle and OutRival Racing was going to be a great fit. I appreciated Michelle's experience as a triathlete herself. I also liked her bluntness and to-the-point mentality when it came to coaching. She is research and data driven which should fit very well with how I like to train. I also got the impression that she cared about my progression as an athlete and truly wanted to help me reach my goals.

Michelle guided me to Tim Floyd of Magnolia Masters who works with swimmers who specifically focus on open water swimming. Obviously, that means he works with quite a few triathletes. He has a partnership with OutRival Racing and works with a few of their athlete's for the swim portion. Again, I really appreciated Tim's coaching philosophy and high level of communication. He is extremely knowledgeable about swimming, especially swimming in triathlons. He will work with me on technique (something I desperately need) and helping structure each swim workout to maximize my time in the water.

I am really excited to get to work with both OutRival Racing and Magnolia Masters. I am positive Michelle and Tim will help get me to where I want to be during the 2014 season and beyond!  

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