I thought I wanted to be one of those athletes who had the same coach for their whole career. The consistency appealed to me. But in my second year of university, when I transferred to the University of Guelph, I realized this wasn’t to be the case: I was going to be transient instead.
So much for one… I’m now working with the fifth coach of my career and I can confidently say that I’m better for it. That’s not to say that transitions in sport – or in anything for that matter – aren’t hard. In truth, they’re incredibly difficult and require a large amount of faith in the unknown.
I admire athletes who have stayed with the same coach their entire career, but now I’ve also experienced the benefits of changing programs. I made a huge jump in performance when I moved from Guelph to Toronto because my body responded better to the stimulus from my workouts with the University of Toronto Track Club. That was something I could have only learned by changing programs, and like anything, not every program is going to work for everyone.
That said, I believe that the Melbourne Track Club is what I need right now in my career. Gone are the days where I would be satisfied with just making a World Championship or Olympic team. These days, I have my heart set on making a global final. I want to truly be world class. My coach, Nic, has been able to get many men and women into finals over the years, and for that I trust his training program and his judgement.
Transitioning to anything can be tough. Change can be scary. For athletes making a switch, depending on what you’re coming from and where you’re going, the transition to a new program can be a difficult one. In my case, I’m certainly finding the workouts with the Melbourne Track Club more difficult, but I’m experiencing this in a way that I know will make me better. The tempos are longer, the rest is shorter and the hills are plentiful. I hope that these additions will address gaps in my fitness that will help me reach a new level.
I’m still struggling through Tuesdays: our day on the grass track. The longest rest we get in between intervals is a 200m jog, which is new to me. Week by week, these workouts get a little more manageable, but I look forward to the day that I don’t question if I’m going to finish.
While the workouts may be harder, it’s both inspiring and comforting to be surrounded by athletes who are more experienced than I am at the international level and have achieved some of the things that I have been dreaming of. I’ve always believed that the people that you surround yourself with in this sport matters, and I’m thrilled to be running in the midst of such tough, fast and accomplished women.