The most dramatic change is with my coach. Kat Donatello has taken control of my training program. Officially, we began working together earlier this week, but realistically we've been working together throughout the offseason to prepare for more formal training. While my relationship with Stephen, who is a phenomenal coach one whose guidance provided me with a level of achievement I never thought possible, is solid and I can't overstate how much he's done for me, I'm excited about what the change to Kat means for my training and racing.
|Kat and I just after my finish of Pumpkinman 2012|
Having worked with Kat for a number of years (and having been very close friends with her for even longer), I know how she operates and that's made the transition easy. Kat is incredibly detail-oriented and is already bringing that focus into my training. She has me thinking about things in new ways and is structuring my training in a way that is sure to pay huge dividends. Apparently it also means getting up really early in the morning, but I can live with that!
|Being yelled at before she was even my coach!|
Kat and I are interested in developing success not only this season, but for many seasons to come. That in mind, we have had many conversations about the direction of my career and the result of those talks has led to a shift in my focus. While I've been focused exclusively on short course racing in the past, that is going to change in 2014. We aren't yet ready to release all the details, but I can say that I will be mixing more long course racing into my schedule beginning immediately. And beyond 2014 that trend is likely to continue. This decision was easy given Kat's experience coaching athletes at all distances. Added to her own personal success in long course racing, her knowledge base and proven record gives me confidence moving forward in this direction.
|Kat at the finish of the 2013 Ironman World Championships|
Kat lives 5.5 miles from my house. That, in itself, will be a huge benefit to my training. It's now possible - when I need it - to have my coach with me at the track, while I'm on the trainer, when I'm doing core work, etc. Whether its for testing, motivation, technique analysis, or just for company, It'll be great to have my coach so close.
Part of my deal with Kat was that I needed to invest in a power meter. It's something I've been pondering for a long time and Kat gave me the push I needed. The information generated by the power meter will allow me to work smarter and be more targeted with my approach in training and racing. The value that this will add to my cycling training will be immense and will also have a huge impact on my ability to run well off the bike. Thanks to Fit Werx 2 (like, a big thanks for putting up with the 40 or so emails I sent during the process) I'll be set up with a Stages PM for 2014 and beyond.
I consider myself fortunate to have been relatively successful in this sport. In the past seven years I have won a number of races and experienced great achievements regularly. However, I certainly have not hit my limit; in fact, I think I'm just beginning to explore those limits. With Kat on board, I am confident that I will continue to make strides toward fully realizing my potential this year and into the future. I am excited for what this partnership will bring and I can not wait to see just how fast I can go with her at the controls.