I have no idea what I’m doing.
That thought honestly crosses my mind daily. I block it out, put my head down and go to work, but that reality is still there. Besides a few books and some tips from friends, I don’t have much experience at all. Even my applicable experience (swimming and track in high school) doesn’t come close to preparing me for triathlon training. I ran and swam sprint distances in high school! All of this lack of experience, and I still somehow think I’m competent enough to self-coach. Can anyone say crazy?
Self-coaching is fickle. On one hand, you can feel exactly how your body responds to training sessions, and determine what will work the best for you on that day. However, on the other hand, how do you know when you’re pushing yourself hard enough? And, how do you know what your weaknesses are?
When you have a hyper-critical mentality, it’s honestly hard to see any strengths at all. Triathlon attracts a lot of Type-A personalities, and while these athletes are very driven and motivated, some stumble with being overly critical, myself included. With self-coaching in the mix, that hyper-critical point of view can make productive training difficult. It’s hard to celebrate training victories when you see everything as a weakness to be constantly worked on. I do have tangible goals for this season, but defining the path to those goals is where I’m struggling.
Because I have no experience with triathlons, I cling to my Triathlete’s Bible as my anchor and lighthouse. Otherwise I’d be floundering in the dark, with no guidance whatsoever. As helpful as the book is though, it can’t coach me for me. That part has to be me. The annual plan: me. The early morning alarm: me. The objective analysis of strengths and weaknesses: me. The motivation: me. Maintaining the roles of both a coach and an athlete is exhausting! I don’t have enough experience to coach myself well, nor do I have enough experience to perform well as an athlete.
It’s very much a blind-leading-the-blind situation over here!
I know I basically write this just for myself, but does anyone have any tips for self-coaching?