Coaching highs and lows

Anyone who has ever coached an athlete knows the coach goes through the highs and lows with an athlete. It is very stressful to watch athletes compete and know you can do nothing to help them, except cheer if you happen to be on course. Sitting at home following them online can be euphoric or agonizing, that is if there is online tracking.

Around race day, I tend to do another analysis of their past several weeks and months and really analyze how the preparation went. Are they ready? What went well? What could we have done differently? What uncontrollable circumstances occurred that may affect the outcome? This doesn’t mean a coach isn’t confident, but rather they are willing to critically look at themselves and the athlete to determine what could be done better and to make a educated estimation of performance. Yesterday was a perfect example.

One of my athletes, who has been with me the longest, was racing Ironman Lake Tahoe. Her preparation heading into the race was spectacular. No injuries, consistent training and high motivation, had brought her to the start line in the best shape she has ever been in and well prepped for a PB. So, what happened?….Weather. Snow, frigid temperatures and all around misery for the athletes lead to over 1100 dnf’s or dns’s (about 40% attrition). Throughout the day, as I watched times get slower and slower, I knew the PB was not going to happen. When I saw she had finished though and stuck out a brutal day of racing, that made me very proud.

No, this race didn’t lead to the time we were hoping of. Yes, there were things that could have gone better on race day. However, there are still some major positives to take away. First, she made it to the start line. This is one of the greatest feats because it requires a commitment to a lifestyle and preparation. Anyone can sign up for a race, show up and compete. It take a lot more to meticulously prepare for this race and to alter your lifestyle to a healthy, active one. Second, nothing is more gratifying for a coach than to see their athlete fight for what they want. Starting that race, she knew the time was going to be slow, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be a positive experience. I love a fighter. Third, set goals and be willing to throw them out the window on race day. The night before during our discussion, I was blown away at the relaxed, calm athlete on the other end of the line. When life throws you a major loop, make sure you’re willing to go with the flow. Preparation and routine are great, but you need to have fun and be flexible to.

At the end of the day racing is fun. Yes, it’s incredibly painful and nerve racking, but totally worth it. Whatever or wherever your next race is. Embrace the highs and lows that go along with it and have a blast. A happy athlete is a fast athlete!

 

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Centaur Subaru Clinics 2012

 

Centaur Subaru – Triathlon Clinic Weekend

Day 1 – Swim & Bike

Cottage Country -Ghost Lake – Saturday June 2, 2012 – 10:00am

 

Centaur Subaru is proud to support grassroots triathlon in Calgary for the third straight year with day one. Both beginner and intermediate triathletes are invited to attend a free clinic put on by Canadian professional triathetes Jon Bird and Grant Burwash. The first part of the morning will have us test out Ghost lake. We will focus on skills and tips for swimming in a lake, including sighting, entering and exiting the water, swimming straight, pack swimming dynamics and wetsuit information. Following the swim we will dry off and warm up with some goodies from fresh kitchen then hope on the bike. The bike-handling course will focus on skills and tips for bike handling, pack riding, climbing, basic bike maintenance and road safety.  This course is limited to the first 35 people that RSVP, each participant will receive a free catered lunch, water bottle and some PowerBar products. All participants are required to have an Alberta Triathlon Association membership to participate.

Itinerary:

 

10:00am: Arrival and get into your wetsuit

10:00 – 10:15: Brief chat from Grant and Jon about what to expect

10:15 – 10:45: Swim for as long as you can comfortably

10:45 – 11:30: Warm up and get changed – ‘ what to expect on the bike’

11:30 – 1:00: work on drafting bike handling and gearing

1:00 pm: lunch and PowerBar samples and talk on bike mechanics by Speed Theory

 

What you need to bring:

Bike, Helmet, warm clothing, wetsuit, towel, toque, gloves, riding jacket

 
View Centaur Subaru Clinic Day 1 in a larger mapiew Centaur Subaru Clinic Day 1 in a larger map

 

Centaur Subaru – Triathlon Clinic Weekend

Day 2 – Run Clinic

North Glenmore Park – Sunday June 3, 2012 – 10:00am

 

Centaur Subaru is proud to support grassroots triathlon in Calgary with the second day of our weekend triathlon clinic. Both beginner and intermediate and advanced triathletes are invited to attend a free clinic put on by Jon Bird and Grant Burwash of Talisman Centre’s Endurance Training Systems. This run clinic will focus on skills and tips for Calgary 70.3 including race nutrition, staying cool, fast transitions, running form and a preview of the 70.3 run course. This course is limited to the first 35 people that RSVP, each participant will receive a free catered lunch, water bottle and some PowerBar products. All participants are required to have an Alberta Triathlon Association membership to participate.

Itinerary:

 

9:45am: Arrival and light warm up

10:00am: Begin 21 km run preview of 70.3 course (you don’t have to run the full 21km)

11:45 – 12:00: Running school with focus on technical running form

12:00 – 12:15: lunch and talk on transitions and nutrition

 

What you need to bring:

Running shoes, appropriate running gear, warm down gear for post run

 

View Centaur Run Clinic in a larger map

 

Grant Burwash – grantburwash@gmail.com

Cost – FREE * requires a ATA license