As some of you already know, I made a huge change at the end of last season. After Ironman Chattanooga in September, Coach Holden Comeau and I ended our coaching relationship. This was coming for a long time as Holden was investing more and more time into his career at Silverline Global Inc. and I was investing more and more time into my pro career. We decided that I needed more attention than he could give me and he helped me look for a new coach, one that could give me his full attention and support as I continued on as a professional triathlete.
|Running at IM Chattanooga|
Before I move on, I need to explain that Holden coached me for 7 years and really laid the foundation for who I am, both physically and mentally, as an athlete. He coached me through my first Ironman in 2007—when I was 18 years old. He helped me qualify for Kona as an amateur and see out my Kona dream in 2009. He helped me believe that I could be a pro athlete and helped me achieve that goal in April 2014. And he guided me through the struggles that come with the first year of being a professional triathlete. Needless to say, Holden is one of the two or three people that I think about when I consider who has impacted my life the most over the past decade. I could not thank him enough.
|Coach Holden and his son|
After interviewing 10 really great coaches, Holden and I discussed who would be the best coach based on my personality, lifestyle, strengths, and weaknesses. We decided that the best fit would be Cliff English. Cliff is well known in the triathlon community for helping his athletes achieve the height of their own abilities in a controlled, but consistent manner (for more on Cliff, click here). I called up Cliff, he graciously accepted me onto his roster, and we have been working together since December 1st.
So far, the transition from Holden’s to Cliff’s program has been quite fluid. There haven’t been any huge changes in my training, but there have been a few minor changes. The first is that I’m training at a slightly lower volume with a slightly higher intensity load compared to what I did in previous winter training blocks. A second change is that my long runs are a little bit longer, but I run less frequently. And a final change is that I have two swim only days where I only use to have one…this time allows my run and bike legs to recover a bit more from workout to workout. I’m sure there will be many more comparisons to make as I get further into my season.
With all this said, I’m now really comfortable with the big change. I’m gaining more and more confidence in my ability to go fast and I’m looking forward to a great 2015 season!