Sunday, September 24

Wanted: coach, must have experience and gsoh

It's ironic that a few days after wondering on this Blog, "Is the magic in the coach, the schedule, or the runner?", I find myself with no coach, no schedule and not running.

Gabino decided it was time for me to "graduate" from his group, having taken me as far as he could. So far that although I was in a group, I had been running most of my workouts on my own because of the pace I needed to hit. He gave me two leaving presents: the promise of an expenses-paid invitation from the organisers of the Carlsbad 5000, the world-class 5k road race held every year in April in California; and a referral to Steve Jones, the former world record-holder in the marathon, and one of Gabino's own coaches.

Living in Boulder you'd think that finding a coach would be easy enough. Not so. Even assuming I can get hold of Jonesie for a chat, his group may be way too fast for me. And although Boulder is swimming in coaches, most of them are ex-elite athletes who know what worked for them and work that system. They are almost all marathon-orientated. Those that have the know-how to tune in the speed for a super-fast 5k don't know anything about preparing for the mile. Those who do, don't have groups.

So meanwhile, no schedule. I've been corresponding with Tony Benson, the "Run with the Best" coach in Australia (see links) who runs a mentoring and long-distance coaching scheme. The problem there is that he wants me to provide my year-long program so that he can offer advice and tweak as the year goes on. A year's schedule? I've been working week to week. I had a funny exchange with Dwight about that. We have such different motivational styles -- me being an "options" type, and he being "procedural". Dwight likes to see the whole year laid out so he knows exactly what he's doing day by day: it adds detail to the vision and makes it more real to him. Me -- it fills me with dread and stifles me. I want to keep my options open.

I do like to have very clearly defined goals, then an overview of how I am going to get them (the big picture). I deal with the details in smaller chunks. If I know I am going to be doing a phase of highly-specific pre-race training in, say, March 2007, I really don't need to know right now what specific workout I am going to be running on March 12.

The not-running is Bobby's fault. I was complaining at Drills last week that my groin and adductors felt completely seized up. Well, I should have mentioned it earlier, shouldn't I? The mystery, niggling, not-quite-an-injury that has been bothering me for months -- Mr McGee diagnosed the cause in two minutes flat and immediately recommended time off to let it heal -- the groin being a tricky area to deal with.

So. No coach. No schedule. No running. Yes, at some level it feels liberating. But I am finding the less I do, the more tired I feel. As for finding a coach, well it doesn't feel urgent any more. What's going to be more important is finding people to run with through a winter of base-building.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When Tony Benson was running competitively (~1968-1972), he clocked a best road 10km (6.2 mile) time of 27:37 and 5km time of 13:36. If you want to go fast, he can help!