“You have to take a long view and train on all aspects of development through a systematic program. It's a lot of hard work for five, six or seven years. There's no secret formula. There's no shortcut…” ~Arthur Lydiard
Arthur Lydiard is a coach I learned about early on when studying Exercise Physiology and he is still often referred to in the world of coaching. The quote above is one that has stuck with me over the years for several reasons.
As has often been said in the triathlon world and coaching world at large, coaching is both an art and a science. At first, athletes don’t understand what I mean when I say this, but truly it is this challenge of this dichotomy that keeps me coming back for more training adventures myself and really keeps me engaged in coaching.
The science is the well-known, studied, researched text book type information. The art is what we as coaches do with this to apply it to each of our athletes and ourselves. Everyone is different and has different goals. Everyone faces issues that derail training at times so in my mind there is never one training plan that will apply to all. Even if three athletes are aiming for the same goal event, aspects of their lives are different and thus the plans will be slightly different. This is the art.
Helping athletes navigate through the myriad choices that go into a balanced training plan that works for them, their jobs, social lives and family is what makes coaching so interesting!
As a coach of over 20 years, I have had the privilege to work with many fun, interesting and talented athletes. I have worked with many over a period of years and this has given us the time to really learn how to create a plan that works for them, how to communicate with each other and how their bodies respond to the training. For me, it has kept coaching alive to continually see how the new findings in the science and technology will affect these athletes, how the years of training are adding up and how with the multitude of changes in their lives we can adapt the training to keep them reaching their goals, learning and having fun.
Recently, a more in-depth blog about CLA Team Member Jeff's experience at Ironman Arizona was featured on TrainingPeaks.