I have some news, a change of approach, a swapping to a different training plan and environment.
I am now going self-coached and saying au revoir to my friends at the Base2Race Academy where I've enjoyed the last 20 months in what was a fantastic training environment and setup.
I've learnt an awful lot from Eanna and his passion and dedication to coaching. In many ways he matches every bit of passion an athlete will have towards their training (hopefully!). It's fascinating really, and was a great experience to be part of.
I've been very fortunate to be part of the Group, have undoubtedly improved under the process and have also had my cake and eaten it (Thanks Rachel & Co for the regular post swim treats!).
I've made a lot of friends and plan to remain in contact with them all and it was fantastic how well everyone got on.
I'll prob miss Liamo's "I AM INVINCIBLE" shouts at the early morning swims the most, closely followed by the random shrieks from Harris the Fish as he splashes into a main set.
Ultimately, I have considered this for some time and weighed up the pro's and con's.
There are various factors in my decision and in the end both Eanna and myself were on the same page and knew it was best for me to go self-coached. It was a mutual decision we both agreed on and I will remain in contact to bend his ear so I don't take too many wrong turns ahead hopefully.
I'm already quite analytical towards my training, it's part of my nature/personality and I have my own ideas and approach I want to take in my quest to be the best I can be.
Maybe I'll even get to represent Ireland at the World Age Group Championship's some day too....
Too soon??? - edit blog link now changed to cuddly pets... too much controversy even for Shane!
Gotta love his brutally honest approach and blog - keep up the good work Shane.
I don't quite share Shane's feelings fully, but I see and agree with his point of the back of the packer being disillusioned and blagging to friends about representing Ireland in what is a "relaxed" set of qualifying criteria.
I think this is a very minority amount of age groupers out there though, and most likely those have already hung up their training gear as they've achieved all they want/can. IT does not reflect the large majority in this sport and no doubt that is where the controversy came from.
I'm sure they're in every sport and come and go so let them off really, it doesn't cause any real harm so be it - happens in all walks of life.
Anyway, back to my new path...
I'm under no illusions that I know best in what has been 3 very fast years in triathlon.
However for my personal fit (e.g mindframe/work/location/time/life balance), it is a path that appeals strongly to me and I'm very excited about planning my own schedule, creating my own pain sessions, training closer to home/work, having the freedom/flexibility to adjust volume/sessions as requried and of course listening to my body and applying many of the sensible and valuable lessons learned to date.
It would be easy now to train less, waste a lot of time doing random sessions and go backwards.
It would also be "easy" to train more, too much and go too eager now that I am unleashed into the wild.... and go backwards/get injured.
Obviously I hope to find a middle ground, hope my gut and feel is the correct approach as well as seek guidance from those that I know and can help me when needed hopefully.
It will be very interesting to see where I go from here.
My goals are firmly set on competing for domestic wins and competitive races next season.
I'm a few too many minutes off from this at the moment. But closer than I was 12 months ago.
Either way, I'm going to enjoy it as I am very motivated to train as best I can, coach myself as best I can and go into next season fitter and faster than as many/all others as possible.
So it's off I go to where the magic happens....