Coaching the coach


What a week it's been. A week of mixed blessings from positive goal shifting moments, new targets and high anxiety and overwhelm.


My head is not in a great place, driven mostly by work, and there's anxiety each morning. However, a huge positive this week was delivering my first corporate training course in quite a few years; a two day coaching skills workshop. As a topic it's obviously very close to my heart, and helping others tap in to using the skills is icing on the cake. On top of that I had odd numbers, 5 in total. Low participants for such a course but manageable. The challenge is once in to the coaching practice. The first round is best in threes; coach, client and observer. Followed by pair for the second go.


For the mathematicians reading this neither threes or twos fit in to five. So it means that as the trainer I have to get involved as part of the practice. Sometimes tough for the participant who has to coach me as the trainer, but for me always good as I get a coaching session. And therein list the goal shifting moment.


I chose to work on my running, surprise surprise, as I'm struggling to get out during the week and therefor keep my mileage up for my virtual Route 66 challenge. Plus of course I need to train for my New Years Eve marathon. Like many struggling to get out to run, worrying about going out for short runs not being long enough, but then not running at all. Over thinking as ever.


So on to my coaching session. Where I got to was a combination of a clear plan and a reframe. I decided that until New Years Eve I should concentrate on a marathon plan and not Route 66. Any mileage done toward the marathon is a bonus and of course all adds up. Then in the new year I'd plan for an ultra booked for the end of May (one called The Lap, around Lake Windermere). Again rather than getting anxious about whether doing Route 66 mileage, the miles will add up themselves just by training for an ultra. Also from a motivation point of view, shorter term goals to achieve one at a time is more likely to get me out and about than the Route 66 which is a two year challenge. So my task this weekend is to create my marathon plan and crack on.


Now on to the reframe which is an interesting one, and a big thanks to my trainee coach for helping me get to it.


Hybrid working is great. A mix of working from home and in the various offices. But it does mean less of a routine which for me makes getting out for runs more difficult. Sometimes I can get out early in the dark for a trot and sometimes at lunch time. I used to be an after work runner but currently that's not working for me. A combination of too exhausted and simply not getting out of the door.


As part of the coaching I was exploring the idea of simply committing to one lunch time a week. After all I could get out for 5 miles easily. But 'easy' wasn't easy cos I wasn't doing it. And so for the reframe. When I run at a lunch time on a work day, as often happens, I problem solve as I run, not intentionally, but it just happens. So the running has that added positive effect. What I decided to do, and will start from next week, is that every Thursday lunch time I have booked myself in for an hours creative thinking session, during which I will just happen to be running at the same time. So the run, the exercise and of course the mileage is the bonus, the added value, gained from picking one thing I'm worrying about and spending 60 mins pondering on solutions.


Of course I haven't done the first one yet, but I'll keep you posted on how it goes. There may need to be tweaks over time, and of course there'll be weeks where I simply can't do it on a Thursday, but no matter. Either I do it on a different day, or shock/horror, accept that for that week the weekend runs will be enough and be kind to myself and skip that week.


There you have it. Some thinking and acting on new goals and a reframe to make sure I'm moving forward and achieving rather than overthinking about not running enough and as a result not running at all.

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