I ran a little bit in high school and for recreation in college. I had my first swim lesson and purchased my first bike in the same week.
With such a limited background, I became the best student possible. I studied anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, best training practices, sports psychology. I took my degree in secondary education for physical education and health and expanded it to become a NASM and ACSM certified personal trainer. I was my own guinea pig, and I learned about what worked and what was just a training fad. I taught myself enough to improve from the girl who couldn't even put her face in the water without plugging her nose to racing elite amateur and earning a professional license in triathlon.
I have always considered myself a better coach than an athlete. I would say that I lack natural talent/ability; but my determination, passion for knowledge, and hard work allowed me to rise beyond anticipation. I love sharing what I learn with others. Being a teacher/coach defines not only my profession, but my calling.
Ok, I have been hashing this whole training/coaching thing out for a LONG time… Really, long before I started Beyond Tri. And I will continue to hash it out daily as we learn more about exercise physiology and the role the mind plays in competition. Theories are constantly evolving and recycling. I can speak from my own experience both as an athlete and as a personal trainer/coach.
As a triathlete, I had a background of nothing. I did not learn to swim until I was almost 22 years old. I purchased my first road bike at the same time. My running experience was limited to what I learned my junior and senior year of high school. I managed to do pretty decent with guidance from more experienced triathletes at the time. I watched a lot of dvds (yup, it was before youtube) and read a lot of books on proper technique and training. I managed to move up to race as an elite amateur pretty much on my own. Soon, I stopped progressing. I was working under the best coaches in the field. I was training more than ever before. I was training WITH some of the best athletes… and I was losing ground.
I have learned a couple of things since this time:
1. The super good athletes (we are talking the Olympians) are naturally gifted. They have been good from the day they started. While I STRONGLY believe in hard work and training right, not all of us are meant to be top in the world. Heck, do you really think the sub-4 minutes milers were once chubby 15 minute mile middle schoolers? Reality, folks.
2. We all thrive under different philosophies of training. I trained under a former Olympian who coached me the same way that she trained when she was the top of her game. She has coached a number of athletes that I know who have become extremely successful. And I broke. Why did they get faster, and I actually got slower? Because this style did not feed into my strengths… or grow my weaknesses. It simply didn’t work for me. I later received some coaching from another former Olympian. Her training and coaching style was such a better fit for me. She also commented that she would have broke under the other Olympian’s training style. Seriously, to each one their own.
3. Proper movement, proper nutrition, and proper balance are more important than swimming, biking, and running. My strength has always been my strength. This served me very well with the bike. I could power up hills with the best of them. However, I have always been lacking in hip mobility. It has taken years for me to put two and two together. This lack of mobility not only affected my efficiency on the bike; but greatly impacted my run, and I FOUGHT for range of motion with every stride. What if I didn't spend so much dang time in the pool, pushing the pedals, or hitting the pavement (in other words, why just cardio?); and instead I used that time to increase this mobility? Well, you can imagine what I believe about this…
I want to share what I have learned with a small group of athletes. This is not going to look the same even to those of you that I coached in the past. My training methods are not going to be traditional. I cannot coach an athlete who is turning this into a high-mileage pissing contest. I cannot coach an athlete who wants to win an award for most training hours per week. But if you are looking to improve YOURSELF, not just as a triathlete or an endurance athlete, but FEEL the best you’ve ever felt, you’re welcome to contact me.