As the new season comes upon us (the Greenville Spring Series is only a bit more than a week away), I find myself encouraged with where I am. Sure, race day performance will really tell the tale, but at least I’m excited with the possibilities. There is one thing to which I have to attribute this new confidence.
There is no way I would be at the fitness I am without the employment of a coach. It isn’t that I have learned something earth shattering. I could most likely have found a training plan online, learned more about the TrainingPeaks software, and gained the knowledge to see progression. It still wouldn’t have made the difference that I am seeing now.
Why? Accountability. All of that stuff has no human interaction. How many times have I climbed on that trainer and completed my drill when I would have rather been somewhere else? How often when in a drill did I feel like cutting a corner here or there to avoid the pain? The powermeter doesn’t lie. I knew my coach was going to see the data and he would know I wasn’t giving my best.
Encouragement. I’m not saying my coach is a slave driver. There have been times when he has sensed a struggle and has adjusted my training to help me over the hump. More than that he has simply been a cheerleader to keep me “trusting in the plan.” When I’m lost in the data, he comes along to explain it in ways that keeps me seeking to improve it. When recently I struggled with team dynamics and frustration with my lack of riding skills, he came along side to teach proper tactics and pull me out of the funk.
Experience. It is one thing to have knowledge. I’m learning quite a bit about the science and equations of training with power. Sometimes I can anticipate what my coach is going to say as he assesses my power data. However, it has been said that wisdom is knowledge with experience. My coach has been there and done that. How does all that information translate into real life? Coach knows.
I’m sure that if you have a coach you think I’m describing yours! These points are not exclusive to just mine. Where ever you are, if you want to move your game up several levels, I encourage you to consider a coach. If you are in the Upstate then you’ve got to consider Jim Cunningham at the Greenville Cycling Center. Even if you aren’t in Greenville, he can coach you — whether you are a beginner or a professional.
Was this a commercial? I’m sure it comes across that way, but it is a sincere testimonial. I was skeptical as I entered the relationship. I knew having a coach could help, but I figured I could probably do nearly as well on my own. Looking back over the last three months, I realize now how naive I was. Wow! Has it only been three months? How much farther can I go in nine more? Jim has me believing! All I have to do is “trust the plan.”