Tuesday, 16 February 2010

(nearly) a year of everyday training

i've just finalized our order for a batch of EverydayTraining cycle kit, and feel quite pleased with myself - i really like the design and it's going to be great to have our own look and the athletes that we work with wearing it around the UK - and in america too. yes, we have an international clientele!!

It was just under a year ago when steven was approached by our first triathlete in request of coaching, at the time i was writing training plans for my sister's london marathon preparation. we agreed it would be great fun to help out some of the people we knew at tri london, an soon word got around and interest began to grow.

When i first took on a coach, Richard Hobson, it seemed that relatively few age group triathletes were doing so - just those who were beating me, and/or heading to world champs races. I took coaching because my competition was - and i think that is perhaps how it has now come to be the case that coaching is so much more common amongst age group triathletes.

Personally, I really found that have a coach really transformed my training. I don't necessarily believe that it was the detail of the session that he set which helped (though it did make it a lot more interesting) but that someone else had thought about my program, had provided a plan for each day and was taking an interest in my training, well-being and success was a great motivator. We worked together for 2 years until into my first season of Ironman racing when, i started to develop some training ideas and philosophy of my own (strongly influenced by steven, who i had just met and started training with). So, I self- coached for the following year using a lot of reference from the guys at endurance corner/epic camp and other great on-line resources. This was a great time for me, and fruited some of my best race results ...but it seemed was only headed in one direction, BIG VOLUME and that road would run out eventually! I was delighted that Scott Molina agreed to work with me in at the start of 2009 and guide me through the tricky process of getting off that top-of-age group plateau and into the slopes of professional standard racing.

And i believe that's how we help others. There is so much information about training available out there now, much of it confusing and the more you read, seemingly contradictory it's easy to get lost in half understood principles, commonly repeated beliefs and inappropriate levels of detail that are banded around the changing rooms, club chat sites and internet forums. There are myriad methods of cat-skinning, just look at the varied regimes that have been followed by different athletes to success over the past decades. the newest scientific ideas are not necessarily superior to traditional methods, especially if the latest methods are imperfectly implemented. at the end of the day, for the vast majority of us, the vats majority of the time, we are better off just getting on with some training than worrying about the minute details of the training that we do. That's Everyday Training. consistency. and for consistency, we must have life balance and enjoymnet. motivation and encouragement helps. The name EverydayTraining is intended to reflect this - though we were concerned initially that everyday implied 'just ordinary', we settled on it because it sounds right and does have the right sort of connotations for what we stand for. we are coaching age group athletes who want to get the best out of themselves - not high performance necessarily but BETTER performance according to the time that they have and are willing to contribute to their goals, whatever the goals may be. We are lucky that we really do have a great cross section of people to work with, from experienced ironman athletes reaching for Kona slots, to novice triathletes wanting to not be last anymore, and even non triatheles working to achieve the endurance required for a polar expedition! For all of them, our emphasis is on consistency and blending the training with everyday life. A successful athlete is a happy athlete - and vice versa!!

EverydayTraining is both Steven and I together and we each look after our ‘own’ clients based on who they approached, clients do tend to get a feel for our different personalities, training and coaching approaches when they read our blogs, or get to know us in person. They are not vastly different, and have teh underlying emphasis on consistency and repeatability but we are very different people. The fact that we are almost polar opposites when it comes to working has made for an interesting year indeed. Frustrating at times, but we have done a lot of learning how to make the most of one another's skills and overlook the habits which seem plain 'wrong' to our own minds. Steven being from a mathmatical/computing background is systematic, organized, logical to the extreme, whilst i bring the creative, personal, instinctive, sometimes chaotic elements. We are also both people used to leading our own projects and taking responsibility and control, but i think we have found just about the right amount of overlap. Of course, we also spend a lot of time discussing training ideas because we both love it, pooling our resources and experience with our own clients and sharing excitement when things work out for them.

in the few days it has taken me to finish this blog in spare moments, i've had another enquiry about coaching....its almost frightening. Steven did a little work to the website last week, listing our current athletes. it is already out of date - we have 3 more names to list! this is pretty close to having apart -time job, and we are realizing that we are going to have to treat it as such - dedicating a day or 2 a week each to sitting at the computer and coaching, rather than a few hours a day (or night!) whenever a schedule needs updating comes up or an enquiry needs responding to. This will make it easier for us to be more productive and hopeful mean that the laptop is not in constant demand between the pair of us in the time that we might otherwise be having conversations, or doing other couple oriented things! It may also mean that i don't have to go back to sitting in an engineer's office - ever!!

tiem for me to get on with MY everydaytraining!

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