I want to be able to focus on the different aspects of my new journey, so I'm going to divide the topics up into 5 shorter posts. This first one will be an introduction to my new coach, and how it all came to be.
I had 4 barriers to hiring a coach.
- Ego. Freud had one and so do I. In a nutshell I thought, "I've been at this a long time, I know what I'm doing and getting better."
- Cost. Maybe the biggest issue. Not only was I concerned with my monthly budget, but I didn't want to be self-centered by taking money away from the rest of the household.
- Who to hire?
- Is he going to laugh at me (à la Adam Sandler)?
After lots and lots of thought, here's how I resolved those 4 issues:
- I'm ready to try training differently (hopefully smarter), and I want a new perspective. Worst case, I stagnate for 6 months, then go back to doing what I think is best.
- I got the go ahead from my wife to enlist a coach, and I budgeted for it with a portion my tax return.
- After overcoming the cost and ego parts, I researched and asked for a few recommendations on a good coach for me, and then came to a consensus with myself.
- I'm used to getting laughed at.
So I contacted a local coach/personal trainer named Nathan Wadsworth. Nathan went to a Division I college (my Alma mater) where he was an all-conference track star and graduated with a Masters degree in Exercise Science. His career highlights that stood out to me include a 21st place Boston Marathon finish in 2007, a 57th place finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials that same year, and a 2:21:51 Marathon PR.
Maybe I should note at this point that he isn't giving me any incentives to mention him, and it is too early in my training to know if any of his advice is paying off. However, part of my reason for blogging is to educate and pass on information, so if any local runners are needing a trainer, he is an option to consider if you're in the Wichita area. Also I/Nathan should note, if he wants to give me any financial incentives, I'm open to the idea.
Considering all the years I procrastinated getting a coach, I was counting down the minutes until my first appointment. I first met with Nathan on April 19th for a one hour consultation. We discussed my running goals, and where I was at fitness wise. Part of the plan was for him to customize a training plan for me, so I went through the trouble of writing down various race paces I was capable running along with other training I had been doing for reference. By the time the hour was up, he had another client arrive, but we had a good understanding of each other, and I had fun talking to an elite runner about our sport. We agreed to meet the next week to start my "education."
I was interested in doing Lactate Threshold workouts as a regular part of training, but since I wasn't sure what my threshold was, we scheduled a Lactate Threshold Test for the next week, and that is where I will pick up in part II of this little series.