Tag Archives: Coach

Terrible swim, great chat… Masters

On Monday I got into the pool just after 7am for my regular Monday morning swim session, but to be honest it was hard work. I was still really tired from the previous week’s work and hadn’t managed to catch up fully on my sleep. It really made me realise just how important rest is in regards to all of this training.

I plan to do mini 1km sets at a threshold pace when I’m swimming these sessions. The plan is to keep to a 1:54 / 100m pace (1 minute and 54 seconds for every 100m swum). I managed the first two 1km sets, but setting off on the third I just didn’t have the energy.

I could have pushed through it, but part of the reason for being tired was because I was busy at work – and there was still plenty to do on Monday. So instead of keeping going and wiping myself out for the day, I called it a day.

By doing so it meant I had a few extra minutes to chat to someone who is a regular lane buddy. I see her and say hello, but even after all these weeks we’ve only just got onto first name terms – I’m usually too busy swimming and then rushing to work. But on Monday I had a few extra minutes and we chatted for a bit. Naturally the talk was about swimming and our stroke (I’m a bit choppy with my left arm apparently) and during that conversation she mentioned that there was a Masters session at my pool twice a week – I didn’t know that!

So last night I went down to my first ever Masters session – in fact it was my first ever swimming “lesson” of any kind. I don’t remember being taught to swim but I presume that my dad gave me the basics and I got on with it as a nipper, I certainly was never a member of a swimming club. So I was a little bit nervous at the start of the session.

In the end the session was a swimming club session for teenagers with one lane roped off for the old folk. It doesn’t sound like much, but as there were only three of us it was plenty. We started with a warm-up as the coach watched our stroke and then gave tips.

She actually said that my stroke was quite good – which was gratifying to hear – I just have to focus on reaching a bit further and rotating a bit more. Although I’ve never had any lessons I have watched swimmers and read a few tips and hints and tried to adopt the good habits into my swimming – it seems that some have sunk in. After the initial assessment we swam few drills (I’ve never used a pull buoy before, so that was interesting) and continued to receive hints and advice from the coach.

It wasn’t a particularly intense session, although the different drills helped me work on different aspects, but I really enjoyed it and got a lot from it. I’m going again tonight 🙂

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Coaches… Discuss

As I start to plan for next year’s events I’m trying to work out my training plan. Not only do I want to complete the challenges I’ve set for myself, but I want to do them as we’ll as I can. So I’m going to train and I’m going to ask for advice and tips. However, I’m not going to employ a coach.

In the lake I trained in this summer I would hear a lot of the triathletes talk about their coaches and every time I heard it it sounded strange.
“My coach thinks that…”
“I’ve entered this event because my coach…”
“The training plan my coach has me on…”

The reason it sounded so strange is because it felt like they were abdicating responsibility for their own training. Don’t get me wrong, nearly all of them were faster than me – and I’m sure the coaches had a hand in that. But it still felt wrong.

If I was a potential Olympian it would be different. But at my age (nearly 40) and ability (not very good) having a coach feels wrong.

One of the things that gives me the most satisfaction about my swims this year is that I did them and I did it all. I worked out a training programme. I motivated myself. I planned which events to enter. And I made the decisions.

Could I have done it all quicker – almost certainly. Could I have done it better – no way. It was because I was doing it all that it was so special.

Do any of you have a coach? Let me know if you think I’m wrong.

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