AIMP’s Steve Fried- from midpack to Kona!


Dude!  I still can’t believe it, from midpack to Kona.  THANKS!
When I signed up with AIMP in August 2008, I knew that you could help me get faster.  As a 12:30 IM and 5:20 1/2  IM guy, there was certainly plenty of room for improvement!  After the 2009 season, we had already made huge progress with 10:52 at IM Switzerland and 10:46 at IMAZ, and I was thrilled.  I never thought I could get that fast.  Even still, if you recall, those times missed KQ by more than an hour!  Even when I started winning hardware (my first ever!) in 2010, I never considered myself one of “those guys” (i.e., the fast people).  I was getting faster, qualified for and had a great race at Clearwater, but there was still a LOOOONG way to go.  As an added bonus, one of my favorite aspects of 2010 was starting to consistently beat my friends at local races, where they had previously crushed me for years.  Of course, some of them have now signed up with AIMP, so I guess I’ve lost my secret advantage…
This year, the run up to Texas has been just about perfect (other than 2 flats at Galveston).  I really enjoyed the Coast Ride, and the training load, while significant, was never unmanageable.  Given my hectic work, life, kids schedule, I appreciate your ability to modify my schedule as often as you did.  Going into IMTX, I felt fit, sharp and focused.  The race plan was great, I followed it to a T, and the result was beyond my wildest expectations.  Mission Accomplished!
So, here’s my lessons learned (so far):
1.       TPFW.  The Plan Works.  The closer I followed the plan, the better I got.  Imagine that!  Making progress helped keep me on track, and having so many other AIMPers qualify for Kona certainly validated (in my mind) the long term payoff.  Again, my early and continuous improvements helped me buy in to the Plan 100%, but it takes some time to get mentally comfortable with such a different training method.  My T1 is how low (150 the first time I tested…)?  You want me to go how easy?  You want me to train how many hours this week?  I don’t get a rest day until when?!?  Looking back, I can see how the training plan builds and how it fits together with the racing plan, but it can certainly be counterintuitive at first.
2.       Patience Pays.  Early on, we talked about a 3 year plan, and guess what, it’s only been 2 years and 9 months!  Over time, you have definitely gotten to know the best way to coach me, and I think I also learned how to get the most out of you as a coach.  I’ve seen how you adjusted my training as I got fitter and as you learned what worked best for me.  At the same time, I learned that you are paying attention, that even if you go radio silent for 5 days, you will chime in when it’s important and that you do care deeply about my success.  That said, I’d still encourage you to think about ways to improve your communication, particularly for athletes away from California, who you don’t see that often.
3.       Planning.  Never tell your wife that you will take the summer off from training if you are on the AIMP plan.  I guess it would have been nice to chill, but Kona prep is WAY BETTER!
Thanks again.  AIMP rocks, the AIMPsters rock and this whole sport rocks.
Finally, my training log is empty….let’s get back on it!  Get me the ringer, chop, chop!  You’re in my AG at Kona so watch out…