Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Beginnings

Ever since IMLP I have been on my own for training, I developed my own training program for the Charlottesville Marathon, have set my own distance and timing targets for rides and runs and well stolen Kim's workouts for the pool. (I know nothing about swim workouts!) But I have realized to reach my goals in the sport I need a coach; but more importantly I needed a coach who understands how to transition a power athlete into an endurance athlete with power. Most triathletes and triathlete coaches come from an endurance sports background; quadzilla, charging rhino and custom maid suits because your chest is more than 10" bigger than your waist are things foreign to most of those that train for hours on end. So my needs for success in triathlon are slightly different than the norm. For me, it is essential that I work with a coach to learn how to harness my athletic advantages which are best suited for quick bursts of speed towards sustained effort and pace. That requires a different knowledge and experience base than the traditional triathlon coach.

Mary Eggers will forever be the most important coach I will ever have in this sport. She helped change my mindset to believe that the journey to the finish line is vastly more important than the step across the line. Coach Egg helped lead me to the realization that the self awareness a triathlete gains through hours of solitary training and the internal fortitude one gains through the challenge of daily training is where the true beauty in the sport lies. Those mental lessons will go further for my success as a triathlete than any training day ever will and for that I am eternally grateful.

However, Coach Egg and I both knew that to harness my athleticism I needed a coach with a strength and conditioning background and a coach who matched my curiosity about innovative ways of doing everything. In Eric Orton, I think I have found everything I have been searching for and more. Coach E (as he will now be known) is a former division II tailback turned endurance runner and all around fitness geek. Coach E formerly served as the director of fitness for the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and is certified as both a USA Triathlon Coach and USA Cycling Coach. Even more interesting he helped in the writing of "Born To Run," currently ranked #14 on the NY Times best seller list. "Born To Run," is about the training of a former non-runner to ultra-runner through some of the training methods of the Tarahumara Indians.

Best of all Coach E believes in training the mind as well as the body. He takes an innovative, curious approach to training where he strives to integrate movements from other sports into training for triathlon. In this his goal is to create an athlete that is strong from the foot to the mind with training that focuses on quality not quantity. Coach E and I are both really excited to work together and believe our geeky curiosity towards training will make this a great partnership.

I can't wait to finish my fitness tests and really get after it.

5 comments:

Fun and Fearless in Boston said...

Congratulations on the new coach....but the important question is whether he will allow dim sum Sundays?

Kim said...

"I can't wait to finish my fitness tests and really get after it."

oh dear God, i am thoroughly scared of what the charging sweating rhino will do once he really gets after it.

CONGRATULATIONS! eric seems like such the perfect fit for you.

Train-This said...

Remember the battles we had about the weight room? You used to taunt me with how much you leg pressed and I'd throw up! HA HA HA!

jpnairn said...

Quadzilla? Amongst the Marathon Maniacs, a Quadzilla is a marathon or longer race every day for four consecutive days. I saw you mention it and was surprised, because I knew there had to be another definition, so I googled it, and it turns out it can mean a certain kind of ATV, a diesel fuel, a 400 mile bike race... who knows what else.
So what is your quadzilla?
Good luck with the new coach!

Jennifer Harrison said...

GOOD luck w/ your new coach, Ed! :) Glad you found someone you like!