I passed! It was one of the tougher tests I have ever taken, but I completed the two exams and I am now a certified triathlon coach. The first exam was a multiple choice test, and although challenging, it went really fast. I think that a couple of questions were arguable due to personal coaching philosophy, but that’s ok. The main thing was I passed, and received my email on how to proceed to part two.
This is where the “fun” started. It’s called a ‘short answer’ test, but the truth is, its nothing of the sort. You begin by downloading all the necessary content: athletes bio, health assessment, assessments for their run, bike, and swim, base training schedule, the athletes availability schedule, list of goal races and their information, and the test. Now you start and you use every sheet of paper you downloaded. For example, I was supposed to come up with a three-week general prep schedule for my athlete, taking into account the athletes availability, particular weaknesses in each discipline and how to correct them, getting at least one intensity and one endurance workout per discipline per week, along with core/strength training. That’s part ‘A’ of question 1. Some questions went to part ‘F’, so you know that it’ll be a long test.
The good thing is that it wasn’t a timed test, so you could stop, get a cup of coffee, review notes, bang your head into a wall, and return. I decided to write everything out, and then when I was content with my answers, transfer it to the online format and send it in.
So I took my time, went over it again and again. Changed and corrected mistakes, and the spot on the wall where I banged my head grew larger. Finally, after almost a week, I just wanted it to be done. I knew that if I did not pass, that they would suggest areas to review to improve your score one time, so I decided that I would send it in, find out where I messed up, and focus on those areas. So I nervously hit the ‘send’ button. I breathed a sigh of relief; it was off. I looked down and started gathering my papers when I noticed something….a mistake! How did I miss that?!? I could hear the laughter all the way from Kona. Now I dreaded getting a response, because I was certain that I would be doing the entire test again.
Within the hour, I received an email stating that they received my test, and that it can take up to 14 days to grade and return it. So, now all I could do is wait, and go over my notes to prep myself for the retake. The next day, I received an email from Ironman University. I was scared to open it, knowing I’d be knee deep in schedules and stretches, zones and threshold levels. Finally, I opened the mail…..
I got 90%
I almost cried. I was so worried, and yet I did really well. I read that email over and over, making sure they sent it to the right person. I was now a certified triathlon coach through Ironman University. I have already started putting the knowledge learned into action, as I have two athletes that are beginning their triathlon journey that I am coaching. While my primary focus is on the beginner triathlete, I hope to follow them as they grow and see how far they go in the sport. I enjoy writing the schedules, planning the workouts, hearing “Are you trying to kill me?!?” After they see the schedule, answering questions, etc.
But the thing I love the most is encouraging them. Letting them know that they can do this, that they are amazing, and even though the workouts get harder, they in turn get better. It’s fun to see them grow, not only in ability, but in self confidence.
So now I have coaching triathletes going on, and my coaching half marathoners is about to start up again. Then you have to remember that I have my workouts to do to prepare for my first Ironman (Maryland, October 7, 2017). The plate is filling up, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
When I chat with people about working out and hear them say “I can’t”, I just smile because I know they can, and I tell them why.
I did . . . and so can you!
Live healthy, be happy!