Good communication is key for any successful athlete-coach relationship. We want you as an athlete to know how to train and we want me as a coach to understand how it’s going for you and what you’re feeling. With good communication, you can do good training and I can come up with good training plans that match where you’re at and how things are going. And, if there’s opportunity for learning, that can only happen if we share some good exchanges, where one or both of us can learn something that will help us do better in the future. I find it very useful to know how things are going for my athletes and have an idea of the physical and mental-emotional sensations they have. This way I can have a better feel for how to plan, adjust training, or give useful feedback or insights on that experience.
Good training needs to be specific. For anyone to do their best, we need to have training that’s specific to you, your history, and your goals. As humans, we all operate on some of the same general physiological principles, but because we all have very different personal histories and priorities for the future, we want to have a plan that’s good for you.
We want training to include a range of different intensities, so that all of our systems are conditioned to work better, allowing for more complete and long-term development. We don’t want to only do exactly the same things day after day week after week, narrowly focusing most or all of our training on just one or two intensities. We will want to include a mix of different intensities throughout the year. The focus will change throughout the year, and the mix of workout intensities, but we’ll make sure we’re never completely ignoring certain aspects of our fitness.
Consistency is key for long term success, but things come up and we need to be open to adjusting. You want your training to be intentional, but also flexible. A plan loses its value if it cannot be adjusted to fit the ever changing circumstances we often find for ourselves. This is a part of the reason that good communication is key. If we both know how things are going and changing, then we can adjust our plans and try to make the most of a dynamic situation… whether you’re sick, busy with work, adapting more quickly than anticipated, or whatever else.
Often fun and enjoyment aren’t necessarily a major focus of any given training plan, but I think it’s an important part of our lives as endurance athletes. It can be fun to train and get fitter, or it can feel like a chore sometimes. Everyone is different and gets different things out of their activities as athletes, but I always want to make things as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. And, in the long run, having training that you enjoy can be as valuable as having a good training plan, because it will keep you going day after day for years, which is what you need to do your best as an athlete.
As always, reach out if you want to work together. Nate@EnglishEndurance.com.