But, here’s the problem with just about every single article you can read out there about this-or-that workout, or “Pro X’s Top 10 Tips for Success” – it is all presented either generically or in a vacuum. For example, Pro X swears by a certain workout. Great! But, why? When does Pro X do that workout? How often? What does he/she do in the days leading up to that workout and in the days after that workout? What time of year does he/she do the workout (because it’s not going to be year round, right?)? And so on.
The same goes for “How to” training books. Some are chock full of valuable, over-arching information. A good number just completely suck. What just about all of them is missing is a well-presented blueprint coupled with an overlay of workouts for that blueprint. And every single one of them is missing the contingency plan – how does the plan change when a wrench is thrown into the gears (sickness, injury, a prolonged layoff from training, a goal change, etc.). Age group athletes are starving for guidance. They want the confidence that how they are training will help them achieve their goals. They want to be able to rest at night knowing they are not wasting their time.
So question: Why do so many knowledgeable people avoid going “all in” with their guidance via blog posts, articles and books? It’s simple, really. Either, these purveyors of knowledge are simply receiving a penny for their thoughts (getting paid) to write a few words about some subject; or they are loathe to part with some of their secrets; or they want to provide just enough info to appear credible so that athletes will want more from them. To me, all of these reasons, and more, are all flawed.
As a life-long elite athlete myself, in swimming, then triathlon and now Masters cycling, and as a endurance athlete coach for the past 25 years, like many of my counterparts, I have a huge wealth of knowledge I can share with athletes. And, the athletes are grouped into 2 buckets – those with whom I work; and those with whom I do not work. Regardless, I’ve decided that I’m here to help anyone who has a question. Obviously, my top priority is to the athletes with whom I work. However, I am very happy to sit down with any athlete and help him/her weed through a lot of the head scratching. Because here’s the thing: not every athlete wants or is ready to hire a coach. And that’s OK. My time is valuable as is my body of knowledge and experience. But I refuse to sit in an ivory tower like many coaches do and refuse an athlete meaningful guidance just because he/she is not an ORION Training Systems client. I even talk to other Masters cyclists against whom I compete. Why not, really?
My biggest area of expertise is in helping Masters endurance athletes (40 years old and up) continue to improve as they age or, at the very least, battle valiantly with Father Time. In a number of cases, athletes I work with in their 50s are racing faster than they did a decade or more ago. Why? Because I’m right there with them. I understand how my body absorbs and processes stressors – physical, mental, emotional – and I know when my body starts to bend and even break. I understand how the balance between volume and intensity, hard days and recovery days shifts as we age and move farther away from our prime years. It is with this depth of constantly-updated understanding that I am able to customize programs for athletes so that they can train and race with full confidence.
There are great athletes out there. There are great coaches, too. There are fewer great coaches who were first great athletes. And, there are then even fewer great coaches who were first great athletes and continue to be great athletes. If you or someone you know is looking for a coach for triathlon, running, cycling or ultra events, I invite you to send them my way. Even if those folks just have a couple of questions. I always welcome the dialogue.