Monday, January 11, 2010

Evolution not Revolution...

Today's photo is me, at home, in my office, snow bound. Office is top left, above the garage. And I'm looking at you right now.

Because I've been thinking about this whole Blogging thing. And frankly, it's become a bit of a chore. No more do I look forward to getting up on a monday morning and sharing my thoughts with the world. Sure, I feel the need occasionally to pontificate on things, but that's what pubs are for isn't it? But, in the main, for the past few weeks, blogging hasn't been something I've been looking forward to.

Which accounts for why I haven't done it.

I need to find out if I'm going to pursue it further or like some glorious writing mayfly it has simply come to the end of its time. And I'm not going to find out by ignoring it and hoping it will go away. So I've decided to apply the same principles to it that I'm going to be applying to my training regime this year.

I'll do things a little differently.

Notice that word 'little'. I'm a great beliver in re-inventing yourself as time goes by. It's impossible to sit in one phase of your life forever. We have to move on and, quite often, that forward movement is not by enormous leaps but by small incremental steps that, when one looks back, give the appearance of a monumental jump.

It's the key to a varied, fulfilled and exciting life.

Trust me.

So I figure I'll just play around with the blog a bit and see how it goes.

Some changes I'll definitely be making:

1. The look - because it's easy to select a new template and I can.
2. Frequency. Will be when I've something to say. Not just 'every Monday'. Why? Because I'm not a machine. Not this year.
3. Other stuff. I'm going to try and introduce a bit of other stuff, not sure what.
4. Free gifts to all those who subscribe by RSS Feed.

Okay, I lied about number 4.

And, if you're piqued by my reference to this year's training, then here's how it ties in with my thoughts.

This year I've decided to go 'on my own'. That's right, decided to walk the wire without a safety net. What the hell is he talking about, do I hear you say? Specifically, I'm talking about the fact that I've called my coach, Mark K, to let him know that I'm taking a swing at Ironman on my own this year. Why? Well, it's kind of complicated but simple too. I'll try to explain in as few a words as possible.

Anyone who knows me knows I lack nothing on the self-belief, self-motivation front. Frankly, getting out of bed and putting in the hard yards has never been a problem for me since I took a maths exam at 12 years old without doing any revision. I failed so badly and was so distraught that day, that I swore I would never ever take on anything again without being fully prepared. And I haven't. So, consequently it's become the way I live my life.

'99% preparation, 1% perspiration.'

'Fail to prepare: Prepare to fail.'

You know the sayings.

So, my coach's presence in my triathlon life has never been designed to motivate or make me work harder. At the end of 2005 I weighed 105 kgs and decided I was going to do an Ironman. I'd managed a marathon under 4 hours but had never cycled before and couldn't swim more than a couple of lengths of my local pool (and certainly couldn't dream of putting my face in the water as I did so).

I called Coach K and he took me on. I bought a bike and a set of earplugs for swimming. In 2006 I completed Ironman Austria in 12 hrs 10 mins. Two years later I'm down to 10:38, racing at 87 kgs, and I think I can go faster. All of this is due to Coach K. Great plans, great bloke.

But I'm me. I need to have a smack at this myself. I also think that I need to step back from the formulaic approach to training that coaching delivers and find out what it's like to de-mystify the process and coach myself. It's a challenge, for sure, but I guess it's only the same thing that made me start my own business at age 27. I'm also now used to being surrounded by great athletes at my tri club, Team MK.

And also, let's face it, most of you reading this won't have a coach.

Anyway, for better or worse, I'm going to see how it pans out. And I'll never be too proud to go back to Coach K if it doesn't work out. But I have a feeling I'll be okay.

But this isn't a major jump to me... it's a baby step. Same thing. Out swimming, onto the bike, running ... yadda yadda yadda. It's a minor switch. It's evolution not revolution.

So what do I have planned this year? Well, for certain I have Ironman Switzerland on July 25th. On July 3rd I have the European Sprint Championships in Ireland where I'm representing GB in my age group. I've signed up for the Duston Sprint Triathlon in April which is a qualifier for the World Championships and I've also committed to the MK half marathon on March 7th where I'm hoping to PB.

There'll be other stuff for sure, including a couple of half IM's before IMCH. But, for the moment, no targets, no goals, no times set in stone.

No pressure.

Hope you're all well.


H said...

Old Thatch looks just as wonderful in snow as it does in setting sun!

I reckon you're gonna be fine and dandy on the old self coaching road, good times lay awaiting you

H x

Brybrarobry said...

Great post. Finally nice to see one. haha. I like the new look as well. Easier to read.

I like your approach to the blog and your training this year. I think I may do the same next year.

Good luck and keep the blog up semi-regularly, I always enjoy reading it. I also like your writing style.

Rachael Cadman said...

Hi Jevon,

Read your 11 Jan post with interest and wish you all the luck in the world with it. I too have decided to stay self-coached this year even though I am attempting the Double Iron and have no idea what I am doing! I am taking lots of advice from all those around me though and then fitting it to my plan as best I can. I have been in contact with Mark for some hints and tips and he seems great! Have a great year, maybe see you down the tri club - I have a resolution to get down there, at least for swimming!

Trevor Crowter said...

You've done fantastically well so far and I'm sure the self-coaching will be fine and that you can go even faster. Some of us enjoy the blog, so hope you can retain the motivation to do it. Trevor