Weekend Group Training Wrap-up

I wrapped up a great weekend of group training yesterday.  I spent some time with the B-Athletics triathlon club, helping out my friend and fellow triathlon coach, Jeff B.  We both have athletes gearing up for upcoming triathlons, with the majority targeting Olympic distance events.  But between the two of us we also have a couple of athletes racing the Toughman Half Ironman triathlon next weekend.  Our athletes racing Toughman were in taper mode, and had their own rides and workouts arranged.  This let us take the opportunity to get our other athletes together, and focus our time with our novice and beginner athletes.

Saturday was the long-ish ride.  Approximately 45 miles.  The pace wasn't too tough, and we had a couple different pace groups going throughout the ride.  We did challenge a couple of the athletes with the climbs of Route 22 in Bedford NY.  Those of you who might be familiar with that stretch of road know that there are some good climbs on Route 22 between Rte's 172 and 433 - some sections top out at 10-11% grade (I think!)  The climbs aren't long, but they do test you now and again. 

It was a great ride from Purchase NY - through Chappaqua, Mt. Kisco, Bedford, Armonk, Valhalla....basically a nice tour of southern Westchester County.

Sunday was brick day.  We met a handful of our athletes who are targeting upcoming Olympic distance races for a loop of a local triathlon bike course - approximately 25 miles on the bike followed up with a 3.5 mile run.  The athletes were pushed here and there and it was good to see them actually enjoy the run.....well, at least sort of.

I have to admit that the most satisfying thing of being a coach is helping the athletes that are targeting their first big race.  Call them novice triathletes, call them first-timers.  Doesn't matter.  In a group setting, the peer motivation is such a great benefit.  Hearing an individual say that they can't go on, or can't do a climb, or "...I just can't do this" isn't uncommon.  But as you talk them through their challenge, and with the help of their fellow athletes supporting them, they discover that they actually can accomplish things that were once insurmountable.  The look on their face is priceless.  The realization that they actually can do something that they previously felt impossible is worth all the time and effort that goes into coaching.