Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Coaching Myself: Part 3

I honestly didn't think there would be a "Part 3" on coaching myself. I thought for sure Ryan would have thrown me into the looney bin by now and/or begged someone else to coach me. One of the reasons I decided to make this change was that I felt like I needed a hard reset on some of the patterns I had gotten myself into that weren't helping my growth. I expected to hit that reset button with coaching myself for a couple months, but then assumed that I'd go off the deep end and need to hire a new coach by the end of February (that was my pre-determined cut-off). Much to my surprise, things are actually going better than expected.

My sister, Gina, is just so good at photography.

One of the biggest contributors to my sustained sanity, and dare I say, improved fitness, is my shortened and intensified build/recovery schedule. I began by tracking my HRV (heart rate variability) daily to incorporate an objective measure of my fatigue and recovery rate, rather than relying completely on feel. My cycles have been: build for 2 weeks, recover for 4 days. The key here is that I've been able to increase my intensity in those 2 weeks because I'm recovering harder. My workouts in those 4 recovery days include yoga and basically just floating around in the pool. I don't run at all, which is hard for me since running is my favorite. I can't say that I'm mature enough to take full days off yet (baby steps), but I'm not ruling it out for the future.

I made more strength gains in the weight room this off-season than I have in years, and I'm committed to learning more and being more focused on nutrition. I've also been tracking my monthly cycle and applying my newly acquired knowledge from Dr. Stacy Sims' book, "Roar," to make sure I'm working with my physiology to do what's best for my body. If you don't like to hear about periods, go ahead and skip the rest of this paragraph. I have an IUD, which means I don't actually get my period, but I do get all of the other symptoms and have the same hormone highs and lows throughout the month. Without the obvious monthly cue, I had to start with tracking my symptoms as I noticed them, and it took me no time to figure out when my high hormone phase started, with my scientifically coined markers such as "feel fat" and "want chocolate." From there, I've been capitalizing on the low hormone part of my cycle, and making sure that I'm supporting my body with the right nutrition and supplements for the high hormone part.

I don't know how my first race of the season, 70.3 Oceanside, is less than 2 months away already, but I'm excited to put this all to the test. I've never coached myself through a big race, and I'm actually just realizing that right now as I'm typing this... which is mildly anxiety-inducing, even though I was just bragging about how well I think I'm doing.

Whatever. Can't be totally sane to do this sport.

...I wonder what my race plan will look like.

New Bio, who dis?

As I've witnessed myself shift and change, I've been experimenting with some new coaching strategies. Most of my athletes know that ...