Who are you, what is your main goal and why did you decide to have a coach?
I'm Kara, a ridiculously busy triathlete who has been coached by Ali for 2 years now. When I started my triathlon journey 4 years ago I picked up a coach almost immediately and not long after trained to become one myself. As individuals it is really hard to keep pushing that wall of our perceived limitations further and further away, as it often requires a lot of hardship and effort to do so. By bringing a coach on board you automatically have someone in your corner, not necessarily fighting your battles for you but giving you the tools and the belief to do it. I realised I needed a coach to bring out the best in me and I would always recommend one to everyone, no matter what level of the sport your currently working at or want to achieve, we're all on our own journeys but it's always nice to have support along the way
My goal is to be the best version of me. Sport keeps me happy and I find training acts as my destress time and so incorporating that into my day-to-day life means I am a better Mum, wife and employee because of it
What do you value about the coaching that you that you didn’t have before - and how is it going so far?
For me it is the accountability of having someone else invested in my well being, fitness and journey that I really value. Yes I probably could set myself sessions but I probably wouldn't do them half as well as I do by having Ali set them and check on my progress. He is also in charge of the overall picture, knowing what sessions I need to be doing to reach my goals, all I have to do is turn up and do them :)
What was the most difficult thing to get used to when you started the coaching process - and how do you feel about it now?
Being reliant on data to tell me whether it was a good run/ride/swim or not. I am much more in tune with myself now, and although I still wear a running watch/bike computer it is really there as a glorified stop watch - I don't need it to tell me how that run went. Due to this I have developed a much better understanding of myself and what effort I can sustain which will help as I push myself further with longer distance triathlons
How does the coaching fit in with your lifestyle – and do you have a lot to balance in your life?
I have a ridiculous amount of things to balance in my life but where there is a will there is certainly a way. I have limitations as to what sports I can fit in on which days which Ali factors in to my schedule and makes adjustments if things pop up unplanned. I am having to juggle 2 young kids, coaching my own sessions, school pickups/drop offs, full time job, family time and household duties as well as fitting in about 9-11 hours of training each week. It helps that as a family we do all see the value in being physically active so it is just a part of our lives. Friday in our house is named 'cycling day' as the children join us at the cycling track for coaching sessions that both my husband and I deliver, it's the best day of the week!
What are the main things you have learnt in you time as a coached athlete with Ali?
That I am stronger both mentally and physically than I thought possible
Do you feel like you have developed as an athlete since starting the coaching process, if so, how?
I am much more accepting of my "bad" days as every session is a success in some way, shape or form. I don't dread tough sessions anymore which would usually heighten my stress levels and set me up to fail if I couldn't hit the numbers I had been set. All Ali expects is that I do what I can. This has lightened my mental load and also meant I perform better too as a result of the lessened pressure from numbers/expectations
Why did you choose Ali to be your coach and what do you think about him?
I liked his no Fs given attitude, it was what I needed to bring out the best in me. Though did take some getting used to as was quite different to coaching I had experienced before. His expectations are clear, and you'll know you'll succeed and grow as both an athlete & person if you stick with it