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Re: help me break 11hrs IM but Im in a complicated situation..... [Coachderekyorku]
I would be very curious if he would advocate for an athlete with this strict of limitations to actually doing an IM under that goal parameters. Because I think most good coaches can build a plan for a "time crunched" athlete that will force them at some point to have "long" days (certainly more than 2 hours) and can get them to the finish line fairly safely. As earlier discussed get in 3-4 4 hour bikes in the build and have that once a month be part of your 12 hours and you suddenly are much better prepared than if you can only ride up to 44 miles (39% of the bike) every week as your "long" ride.

But part of coaching is educating the athlete and being the "real" person to really showcase the situation with all the facts on the table. Take out all the emotion and be real with the situation. In this case you have an athlete who doesn't likely get the necessary sleep to recover without the stress of training. Add on training stress and you then really affect an father/husband/co-worker let alone the "athlete". So I would ask the athlete-

How are you going to break 11 hours with your schedule? Explain how your going to prepared for 112 miles on 2 hour max trainer efforts? How are you going to prepare to handle hours 8-11 in the race when your schedule only allows 2 hour max workout loads a day (that's 5 x the longest duration he's admitted he can train for in 1 day).

Then hopefully through that education, the athlete makes smart decisions. But in a real case like this I would be very very hesitant as a coach to take on an athlete with this specific training limitations, and this specific time goal (actually the athlete would never want me to coach them for this event because I would ask them to showcase how they can properly prepare for said event with the limitations). And I'm sure there are coaches who will say they'll do it. But this is a situation where there can be real "life" consequences with adding on this specific type of IM training stresses to a person that is a dad/husband/co-worker in "real life".

ETA: I had 3 athletes this past year go from basically no swimming background to completing an 70.3 in a year time frame (did 2 of them, one only an WTC event). 4 months before their 70.3 they asked me when they could do an IM. I told them 2 years of training more and do it in fall of 2020. The 3 athletes were friends and did "group" training and so if 1 athlete left, the others left too. I told them based on their fitness, abilities, timeline they needed 2 years to adapt to the volume needed to be properly prepared to finish the event. They signed up for IM AZ 2019 anyways, told me they did. After careful consultation and speaking with them, I decided to "fire" them because I knew that it was going to take taking them to the breaking point in order to get them prepared. Simply based on their current time/fitness only 1 was easily going to finish, the other 2 would likely not make it based on time cuts. It was the hardest decision I've had to make, because they are athletes who I really like to coach and they loved my coaching. But at the end of the day their results are on my ledger and I have to feel comfortable that the goals of the athlete can match the training they can do and if I don't think they are the same, I put my foot down. Of course the athletes will find new coaches or they'll find ppl that will say "of course you can do it", but just be real with yourself in your approach to training. Sure enough in 5 weeks time their new coach broke 2 of them with foot injuries by doubling their run volume within 5 week time period. So it's not to say I told you so, it's too say that I failed them in understanding why their decision likely wasn't a very smart one and wouldn't lead to a very successful race. But because they wanted to go on and "work hard" to achieve this goal I knew I had to remove myself from the situation and let "athletes going do what athletes going to do".

-USAT L2 coach, M.S. Exercise Physiology
Last edited by: B_Doughtie: Feb 27, 19 7:18

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  • Post edited by B_Doughtie (Dawson Saddle) on Feb 27, 19 7:18