Having written that little update about Madrid, I thought I’d just get down some thoughts on the subject of coaching... two blogs in such close succession!!!
Whilst I’m not officially coached at the moment, (which has mainly been a circumstantial decision in that due to work demands, I’ve not really been able to structure my training and plan ahead scientifically, I’ve had to be fairly reactive) I’m lucky enough to be regularly seeing and often training with David Tilbury-Davis who is my previous coach (www.physfarm.com) and who is always invaluable for support and passing on sound advice! (hence the comment about taking a good few days for recovery after racing in Denmark – which as David knows, taking time off is often hard for me!) Having said that and importantly because my training has had to be reactive, I have become better at listening to my body and knowing whats right for me and when to do what and so far so good.
But, to move forward from here, I still hugely value the approach that David and his business partner Dr Phil Skiba have and the method by which their coaching philosophy is put into practice (physfarm training systems, established and developed in partnership) and therefore hope to be in a postition to continue working closely with David and getting the best from their approach.
For now, back to my thoughts on coaching in general... I believe the coach / athlete relationship is so hugely important but in so many cases, and with the way coaching is generally carried out – online with a monthly schedule planned in advance, communication between the athlete and coach in between time, is no where near good enough, particularly for higher end performance gains. As I have learnt myself, the only person who knows exactly what is going on in my life, how busy work/family life is, how good my nutrition, recovery and sleep is and how I feel whilst training etc. all the factors that impact on me as an athlete moving forward, is ME! So unless communication with my coach is 100% and continual, I could be at risk of not getting the best out of myself and potentially asking too much of myself at times. My reasoning for working with David though stems from the philosophy of physfarm training systems and the ability to predict performance based on cumulative training and the response to training. The added bonus for me is the regular face to face contact and friend relationship, for David to be able to ‘eyeball’ me to see first hand, whilst having an objective opinion, as to how I’m adapting to my training load. Another example of a coaching scenario where the coach can ‘eyeball’ the athletes is with the topend athletes in team TBB, working with Brett Sutton. I always wondered what the magic tool is that works for team TBB athletes, and maybe its hugely down to this and the coach/athlete relationship...