For those of you who haven’t been reading my athlete blog, you’ve probably missed the announcement that I will be returning to elite level racing in 2010. I thought it would be good to share on my coaching blog how I, as a coach and elite triathlete, choose my coach. (http://ironmanexpedition.blogspot.com)
After discussing things with my wife, and making the decision, it became time to decide who I would recruit to help me on this journey, specifically, “who will coach me?” For some, this sounds like a crazy irony, because I myself am a coach. Shouldn’t I know everything I need to know in order to coach myself? Certainly I don’t lack the knowledge to coach myself, but I’m not ignorant to the fact I don’t know everything. I was able to coach myself to some incredible fitness in late 2008, with Joe Friel’s consulting, and even coached myself to the 2005 ITU World Age Group Championship for Men 25-29.
The problem is mostly objectivity that I tend to lack. Though I know myself, I know I can find it tough to stay objective and not fall to peer pressure in many of the decisions I have to make regarding training and racing. When I start to feel good, I tend to want to poor on the volume and intensity, and conversely, when I feel tired or bad, I want to back off way too much. The roller coaster was very taxing mentally and emotionally. Injuries would add to the mix, and I would be in dire straits.
I also would make decisions which in the past were based on things which weren’t important to me in the bigger picture, but I got caught up in short-term thinking. So after recognizing my weaknesses in my past training, I knew that I needed someone who simply could bring balance and structure to my training. I had to let someone else take the responsibility, and hold me responsible to it.
After coming to TrainingBible Coaching, I have become much more of a scientist, and really embrace technology and objectivity, to keep me balanced and my training more effective. I knew I needed a coach who would embrace science, even if it wasn’t in the same ways which I had in the past.
The coaches I have had in the past directly working with me have been Greg Welch, Cliff English, (briefly at the US Olympic Training Center), Peter Reid, and Joe Friel, which is an ALL-STAR cast! I knew my standards have been quite high, and that standard must be maintained.
Sometimes as a coach and athlete, we get stuck into thinking there is a specific routine to training, and we almost find ourselves in a rut, forgetting some of the things we’ve learned in the past, or even move away from experimentation in training. I have always searched for ways to do things better, and learn new things. As an Ironman-focused elite for the past few years, clearly my biggest weakness is speed and high-intensity. I needed a coach who would bring a different background of experience and perspective, to help me reach my goals for 2010 and beyond.
I always want to learn some new things to try with some of my athletes, and continue to provide a top level service to them, being a coach at the forefront of the industry. Certainly, a coach who would bring all these things to the table for me would help me not only as an athlete, but as a coach as well.
I had a short list of coaches, and did some research on them, and continued to ask myself again what was most important to me for learning, helping me become a better athlete, and advancing my career as a coach. I kept coming back to one name which I liked and provided me everything I was looking for, and then some. That name was Bob Seebohar.
Bob has been the nutritionist on staff with the US Olympic Training Center and the Florida Gators. He has successfully coached two of the top female ITU triathletes for the US, Sarah Haskins and Jasmine Onieck. Sarah went to the Olympics this year, and Jasmine won the US Elite Championship.
I will be his lone long course guy, but we will do some short-course racing as well, trying to do some different things and balancing the training for maximium performance preparation. Being his one guy in this arena is exciting and a great opportunity for me.
Bob has already taught me a lot, and I am looking forward to this relationship continuing for awhile. Should be exciting, stay tuned!