Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Belief of a Coach

When I was reviewing my training plan for the week, I noticed a double-brick on the schedule for today. The bike-run-bike-run format is not unusual for me, but upon closer examination I noticed the second run included:
Run #2: 20 min. as first 2 miles @ sub threshold (6:50 pace), then upper aerobic during the remaining. 
This second run was to follow a bike ride that concluded with 30 min at threshold so the legs would not be fresh.

My confidence in my running has been a little shaky this season. My average standalone 5K pace the last two years is around 6:50 (spreadsheet here) and my triathlon 5K pace has slipped to closer to 7:00 pace. I worried that this workout was setting me up to fail. I don't like to fail. 

I rarely ever question or second-guess Coach Jim's expectations for me, but I emailed him a few days ago and said,
I'm not feeling optimistic about 6:50 for two miles in the second run on Sunday.
He replied,
You can think what you want and it will probably come true. I believe that you can and should be able to hit 6:50 pace for 2 miles. If you’ll keep your cadence at 90, 91 or 92 during the run and up into the mid/upper 80’s on the bike, then I am way confident that you can make it happen.
I've been thinking about (aka stressing about) this workout for days. My faith was not sufficient, so I carried his belief into the run. And what do you think happened? I not only met his expectations, but exceeded them, hitting those miles at 6:37 and 6:35. (The first half mile was a 6:24 pace, yikes).

I almost cried.

The belief of a trusted coach is an incredible force. When I don't have enough belief in myself, it's nice to be able to lean on his. I could not push myself beyond my preconceived limits without him.

happy me enjoying a post-workout soak in the creek!