First Week of Being Coached

>> Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Last week was my first week of following Coach Jen’s workouts. Here’s how they all went:

Note: I usually put a LOT of detail in my “week in review” workout posts. But being I’m using Jen’s workouts, I don’t want to step on her toes - I don’t want to post every single detail so you could basically follow these workouts and get “free” coaching from Jen. When I give myself a workout, it’s usually just something like “go run 5 miles as hard as you can.” When Jen gives me a workout, she has a paragraph (or 2) of goals, specific times to hit, and things to keep in mind while working out. I will NOT share all of those here out of respect for my coach. I hope that makes sense.

Another note: every run has a warm-up and cool-down that I’m not necessarily going to list below.

• Monday, August 9th: 4 mile tempo run. Jen wanted me to get faster and faster. Her workout notes ended with “If you do not want to puke on that last mile, you have not gone hard enough. That last mile better be killer...RECORD TIMES.” I descended, but looking at the numbers, my first mile could have been faster: 6:22, 6:01, 5:54, 5:38. Ow. Then I did some run drills at a local park:

• Tuesday, August 10th: 23 mile ride. Did some cadence work and some intervals in there. Nothing too killer.

• Wednesday, August 11th: OWS and easy run. I took my friend Amblyn for her first real open water swim. SHE DID OVER 30 MINUTES IN HER FIRST OWS! That was great!! Then that afternoon, I did an easy run.

• Thursday, August 12th: Hill repeats and strength work. I was nervous for the hill repeats. I tend to shy away from hills because of perennially sore calves. But I HAVE been running on more courses with rolling hills over the last 6 months (along the river). I followed Coach Jen’s notes TO THE LETTER and got faster with every repeat!! It was KILLER, but my legs felt fine! (Well, besides all the heaviness and regular soreness that comes from running hard on hills.) Then I hit the gym for some strength work.

• Friday, August 13th: Pool swim. This is where I deviated from Jen’s plan a bit. Friday was a CRAZY day, and by the time I got out the door for the swim, I hadn’t had any time to take any notes with me about the swim. I knew ROUGHLY what the workout was, so I did that. I was off a little, but hey, everyone has “those” days.

• Saturday, August 14th: Long run and spin-out. This was the day I set my alarm for 3:55 am in order to get in this workout before going to spend time with my in-laws. The day started with a 9 mile run. After warming up, I had to keep picking up the pace. My 2 WU miles were 7:51 and 7:37. Then I built up to 7:13 and 6:43. My hardest miles were 6:19, 6:06, 5:55, and 5:49. I put this in the notes for Jen: “The last 1.5 miles were R-O-U-G-H. Took all I had not to stop and walk.” It was true. Killer run.

Then, because it STILL wasn’t light out, I hit the trainer in the basement for an easy spin. That’s where this photo came from in the last post:

Left: shirt used to wipe my face during the run.
Right: shirt used to wipe my face during the trainer ride.

• Sunday, August 15th: Long ride. I had a choice here: I could keep it easy if my legs were still a little beat-up, or I could push a BIT harder if my legs were feeling fine. I eased into the workout (and into the wind) with a 17.4 mph average after 12 miles. Then I pushed it a bit to work up to an 18.2 mph average at my turn-around. Coming back with the wind, I was able to raise my overall average to 19.3 by the end. Nice ride!

So that was my first week of being coached! I had my first real fartlek workout *giggles* last night, and it went well! After some upcoming easy days, I have a hard run on Saturday.

I’m already coming to some conclusions about what it’s like being coached, but I’ll hold off on making any posts about that yet. More on that to come.

Thanks everyone! (Including you, Jen! Ha!)


Alex Chiu 12:55 PM, August 18, 2010  

That's awesome!! I have been a road cyclist for about a year now, and have recently taken a break to look into doing triathlon training. I have been doing running/swimming for the past month and found how important it is to have goals in mind, otherwise the improvement tends to meander and does not really come due to lack of focus (at least for me). Keep up the good work!

GoBigGreen 1:12 PM, August 18, 2010  

TRUST IT...Ok i just had this weird Star Wars voice in my head saying "LUKE, I am your father..." but really it said "STEVE, Jen is your coach, trust her."

Ok wow what was in that lake today?

teacherwoman 1:23 PM, August 18, 2010  

Wow! those are some great workouts! Awesome!

Christi 2:14 PM, August 18, 2010  

Great job! I am sure Jen will be a great resource for you!

Unknown 2:45 PM, August 18, 2010  

I love that Jen's working you over! :)

Joel 11:53 PM, August 18, 2010  

Steve - what an awesome week!

I'm thinking about getting a coach for 2011. Would you consider writing a post about how you went about finding coach Jen and what sort of due diligence you did before "signing on the dotted line" with her? I think a lot of your readers might enjoy that (I know I would).

Steve Stenzel 8:28 AM, August 19, 2010  

Joel, Jen just sort of fell into my lap. However, Jen saw this comment, and she's working on a "guest post" for me on how to choose a coach. So look for that in the next week! Thanks!

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