DIARY: The joys of coaching

While I'm still struggling through tedious physio exercises to dampen my inflamed pelvis, I could take a different kind of joy from running: The joy of a coach watching an athlete's hard work come to full fruition.

So fourteen weeks after embarking on her first Lydiard-program I watched Aoife rush over the finish line in 19:15 at the Rathfarnham 5k. I had planned this race as the final tune-up for the Novice Cross-Country for both Aoife and I but eventually it would be only Aoife who could benefit from this brilliant fast course with it's classy and competitive field (Martin Fagan ramming the point home with a new course record of 13:54).

The result almot puts her on par with her previous PB which is a tremendous achievement after being injured for a year and with the peak-form still to come later in the cross-country season. So once again, I have to tip my hat to Lydiard and his trusty system. One thing I can take as a learning for myself is that I have had the opportunity to tailor-make the program day-by-day and week-by-week as we reacted to the responses we saw.

This type of protection from a coach, whoever he or she is, is invaluable when combined with proven principles. Had I been able to benefit from the same, undoubtedly the year would have proven very different, so hopefully I can take those benefits from the new Go2Lydiard site and its interactive coaching. An experienced athlete or a trained coach generally know what to do, but it's hard to be neutral with yourself and to show restraint or in other words "it's hard to face when you can't do what you should be doing."

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