Monday, September 5, 2011

More coaching than training this weekend

I have been doing some work with coachme triathlon coaching, a very cool new coaching operation with a new approach to coaching with mostly face to face coaching that can be booked in 1 hour increments.  While there is ongoing coaching available the majority of the coaching is for specific needs; swim needs, specific bike and run coaching, race prep, nutrition consulting, transition...really anything specific to the sport.   Coaches are all over the US and are active triathletes who are in the top 10% of the sport- so they bring real life training and race experience to the table. 

coachme partnered with a new 1/2 Ironman race, Orangeman, on 9/25/2011 in Dana Point.  This is a first time race and looks to be a very cool race!  Ocean swim which is rare for a 70.3 around here, most are in bays, harbors etc. So there will be waves, current and who knows what else.   The bike is awesome, close to 3000 ft of elevation, and they are closing the Ortega Highway which offers great riding but traffic usually makes it unreasonable to ride.   Some steep climbs getting out of Dana Point.   And the run is a 2 loop course that is a bit hilly as well.  This looks to be a great race!

coachme triathlon is the official coaches for the race and is offering swim, bike and run clinics as well as a few 5 hour clinic to go over the race from start to finish.

I went up Saturday as one of 3 coaches for the clinic.  We unfortunately could not get in the water due to large surf so we only scoped out the swim, did the wetsuit on and off demo, discussed surf entry and exit, placement strategy etc.  And then we rode a portion of the bike and it was great to talk with the campers about packing, how to approach the climbs, descents, fueling on the bike, aid stations, recovery, compression ( I was sporting my Zoot compression sleeves etc.  For about 1/2 of the group with will be their first 1/2  IM)  so the distance is a bit intimidating.  While you can wing nutrition and make mistakes on shorter races, that can be detrimental on a 1/2 IM.  The rest of the group has done the distance but was taking advantage of the day to learn the course and gather additional advice from 3 other coaches.

With 3 weeks to go they can practice a lot of what we discussed well before race day. The final part of the day was 1 loop of the run course which I skipped due to my ongoing foot/shin injury, which I don't want to discuss, and then wrapped up the day with Q&A. 

It was one of the most rewarding days I have had in a long fun to be with people jumping up to this new distance and to see the excitement, anxiety and passion for this sport which has become such a mainstay in my life.   Each and everyone of them was so appreciative and shared how much they learned and how valuable the day was.  That made the 2.5 hour drive home in bumper to bumper traffic worth it.

If you are looking for a fall 1/2 Ironman I would definitely add Orangeman to your list.... close to SD and a stunning venue!  I hope to be there on the 17th to cheer them all across the finish line. 

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