Friday, February 10, 2012

I Need To Work Harder & THIS Is Why I Have A Coach

After Lake Placid, and now that I have kicked my knee injury, I have developed a bad habit, or probably more correctly, a bad attitude. I call it the "Eeeeehhhhhhhh, I can do it" attitude, meaning I feel confident that "I GOTS IT!" since I have already done it before (finished an Ironman). Meaning I haven't been putting the 110% effort into some workouts because, "I know I can do it..........later."

How has this fared? I am WAY behind in the pool compared to last year. I am not going to panic about this since it is only early February, but! consider the compounding effect of ground (or is it water?) that I need to make up if I want to achieve certain goals this season.

My coach really lit a fire under my ass the other day when he sent me my next weekly training schedule after reviewing the report I sent him. He wrote this:
"First, great PR on Sunday! The very exciting part is that we really haven’t done much intensity yet running wise. I believe that we can get you under 6 min/mile for a 5K race this spring. In fact, I know it.
Second, you sandbagged the interval run session a bit last Wed. You are racing a 4 mile race at 6:15 pace, which means your 45 sec quick intervals should be at the very least at 6 min/mile pace. Jon, I want you to stop viewing yourself as a mid-pack athlete and begin to have the mindset that you are a front of the packer."
This is why I have a coach! I can write up a pretty nice training plan, coach myself, but then I won't have anyone looking over my shoulder keeping me accountable.

This was our email conversation:
Me: Regarding Wednesday's run: I guess I still didn't have a good feeling for how hard I should have been going for the 45 second pickups. I think now that I have done the 10K at a 7 min pace and now a 4 miler @ 6:17 pace, I now have a perspective and some bearings on where my running legs are now. I can go a LOT faster for these types of intervals.

Him: You are at another level. Most of the time, that term is quite cliché. Not this time Jon. When we first began, I told you I had big plans for you. I think you are beginning to see the bigger picture of what you are capable of.

Me: I'd seriously like to make a sub 40 min 10K a goal this Fall.

Him: Fall? Try spring.


So I found a few 10K's the 2nd and 3rd weekends of April to go after this new goal.

Even if I come up short, the training involved in accomplishing this is totally going to contribute to the overall mission of this season, so I think its a win-win no matter how things unfold.

This is why I have a coach: He has that outside perspective and he is the one pushing me beyond what I think I am capable of.


  1. Ha, this is funny because I've basically been having a similar back and forth with my coach for the past couple of weeks. Except that she just states "You'll be going from 9min/mi to 8:30min/mi over the course of the mile repeats." As if it is fact.

    (But, then it happens, so maybe it's not all bad)

  2. That is awesome! A good coach is a great asset to have and it sounds like you have just that in your coach!

  3. I find having a coach gives me permission to train where I should, both in terms of going faster and slower. Before I ran with CAR, I did everything at one pace. I was afraid that taking it easy on easy days was somehow an indicator that I wasn't capable of running the distance at the pace I thought I could do. I was also unsure how hard I could actually push it on the hard days without blowing up. Having a coach helped me make sense of it, and then also helps me define what's realistic so that I can center all of my training around that.

  4. Nice!
    what a great coach ... you're in for a great year!

  5. Here is your flat, fast, MI 10k:

    Or perhaps the super flat course that I was on target for a sub-40 at last year. It is part of the Tulip Time festival so bust out your wooden shoes and join the Klompen Dancers.

  6. That is awesome. I agree with you on the I've done it before. I just had this conversation yesterday with my training partner that I looked at the Vegas Marathon as not that big a deal because I've run marathons before. I began to look at 70.3 Puerto Rico as not a big deal b/c I've done it before and have caught myself to say 'great, you've done it before but now do it faster and push yourself.'

    I admire those that put together their own training plans and can stick to them but like you I need that outside perspective every once in a while to tell me where I'm at (good or bad.)

    Great conversation by the way. You can do the 40min doubt.

  7. More jon-speed workouts ahead!

    I feel like I'm being just the opposite with my coach. Shouldn't I be working harder? It all feels so easy!!!

  8. what amy said, up there. yes. and yes to your this.

  9. That is awesome. I think I need to start thinking about getting a coach too! You are going to have a great season!

  10. Your coach is right, with your ability, you are a front of the packer. Running a 4 mile race at 6:15 pace is pretty nuts. And like your coach says, you haven't been doing as much run specific training it seems like. So yea, I definitely think you can do sub 40 right now for a 10K. 6:27 pace for 6.2 miles will be tough, but I think you can do it.

  11. I think this is the kind of thought process I went through in the fall when I was pretty sure I would always run long distances at well over a 10 minute pace. My mind slowly caught up to my legs and I certainly hope that I can keep moving forward. It is hard to know how hard to push and that's why it's great that you have a coach who is going to hold you accountable and help you do great things!

  12. Dude you got served by the coach!! Pretty awesome actually to have someone to kick you in the tail every now and again.

    I have a 10k on Sunday and know I can do sub-40 but will already have 65mi on my legs for the week. I am afraid of the pain this race could cause! Plan right now is to casually jog at marathon pace - this post has me thinking twice about this so-called "jog".

  13. A good coach is so key. It sounds like yours is very committed to maximizing your potential! Awesome!!!

    Training with a coach is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I don't worry about over training or under training anymore. I follow her plans for me and everything works out. Goals are met and I feel better physically, than I ever have. Like you said too, it's also really nice to have someone with that outside perspective to push you to what you are really capable of!

    Look forward to hearing of your speedy races!!!!!!

  14. It sounds like your coach is great and makes me wish I had one for myself.

  15. Even though your coach is really pushing you hard, it is obvious that he knows how to encourage at the same time. He really said some awesome compliments to you. Keep up the good work!

  16. Yea, I was shocked at how empty the slopes were at Tahoe when I went. Probably the most empty I've ever seen them when I've been to the slopes. Awesome to basically have no one around most of the day. The snow was hard packed, but I've definitely snowboarded on worse snow before, so people shouldn't have been staying away simply because of the snow.

    This has probably been the driest winter I've ever experienced in CA. It's seriously only rained like 5 days so far this winter. Today it is finally raining again (which means snow in Tahoe), but this "winter" has been really bizarre. I'd say last year was the wettest winter I've ever experienced, so these last 2 years are really odd! Not sure if it's global warming or El Nino or La Nina, but crazy stuff!


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