Friday, April 28, 2006

Family & Friends Friday - Coach Angela

Today I introduce you to my Tri Coach, Angela Forster. This is my third year of being coached by Angela. My wife and I started with her in 2004 when we trained for a half-iron distance tri (the 3 of us at the finish, Angela on the left). Last year she took me through an Olympic distance season where I raced in a series of races and she coached Aimee for the Columbus (Ohio) Marathon. This year she is putting me through the ringer with the IM training, but I'm loving it.

I first met Angela during swim clinics at the local fitness center. She would be the on-deck coach for a group of triathletes. It really helped my swimming. I liked her approach to the swim, which is what I needed the most work on. She was a collegiate swimmer at the University of Kentucky and is super fast in the water. She also has the knowledge and experience to coach. She has finished Ironman something like 8 times at Florida, Lake Placid, Wisconsin and Hawaii. In 2005 she had her first baby, then came back to race at IM Wisconsin (13:07) then followed that up with IM Florida (11:15). Both races she swam 57 minutes being out of the water as part of the top 100 people.

She is very knowledgable about recent training techniques and makes sure she is up to date with nutrition, heart rates, VO2, etc. She keeps learning so she can help her athletes become better.

Today we rode together. I was doing the 14 hill route and she wanted to see what the roads were like. She hosts a tri camp in the Cleveland area and was going to use the route for a training day. I was eager to show her the hills. I would power up the hills and wait for her to catch up, she hasn't had much time to train herself, but man she still looked good while riding. The bonus for me was that she could see me ride. She has done Lake Placid several times and knows the course very well. She knows how the hills that we were riding compared to the bike course at LP. Several times she commented on how strong I looked and that I would "tear up" the bike course.

It's great to hear that from your coach. The mental aspect of coaching is important as well and Angela tries her best to get that across to you. When I made the decision to back out of the Shamrock Marathon she supported me 100% and agreed that it was the best thing to do. She also trusts my judgement about how I feel and if I decide to skip a workout because of being tired or too busy. I pay attention to my body and won't push if the body says no.

Angela is excited about my IM debut. The training so far has been great and she puts together some awesome workouts. I keep on learning more about myself through this training.

Angela is a great coach and a wonderful friend. She is one of many special women in my life.


TriSaraTops said...

Very cool lady!! Met her at the clinic back in the winter--she seems awesome. If it wasn't for our job situation, I'd hire her in a, where's that damn lottery ticket...? :) ha ha

E-Speed said...

I hear she's training for an ultra! I hope to meet her out on the trails this summer!

qcmier said...

She's good. She'll have you ready at Lake Placid.

E-Speed said...

You and Aimee should come out on a Saturday trail run in the valley. I am sure it will solidfy Aimee's wishes to go long! The trails are freaking amazing! I felt like I could have run out there all day yesterday.

Cliff said...

what a great coach u have Tri Eric.