I had an epiphany of sorts while out riding the other day. I have plenty of time to ponder on the bike as we are putting in the hours now working to build that up for 2012. So my supposed insight was that training is like a symphony. It requires the right mix of base and winds with a soft massaging of the textures of sounds layering over one another in the perfect combination. In my musing, the symphony’s magic is in the mix and balancing just as triathlon training requires the same delicate balance and wise hand in the mixing. You could have the best violinist in the world but if he/she is drown out by a sub-par trumpet player then what is the point. You need the right supporting cast in place to allow the entire orchestra to shine. In addition, it would be better to have a balance of great musicians over just one soloist. I was also thinking of the conductor or coach in training. The timing and the subtleties that make the job of this leader so hard are very similar. The timing of training is key when to work on weaknesses, strengths when to mix in speed, strength, aerobic work, and all over multiple sports. In addition, when it comes to the performance I think a coach more than a conductor is powerless and must observe the outcome and hope their vision is executed. Through any orchestral piece there will be soft gentle movements followed by dramatic building stanzas and crashing cacophonies. Similarly, training and racing may have slow times, building years, crashes and injuries, but the highs and lows are always balanced and in harmony.
I am self-proclaimed awful music student. Remedial is being kind. But I do think there are many similarities in an intricate orchestra and a training program. While I know that the base must be strong it can’t be too strong and though the winds must time their entrance perfectly, there is a blending of art and science in both training and music that elevates the task and requires those entering into coaching or conducting to have an ear tuned perfectly and an eye solidly on the goal at hand.
I feel very confident in my conductor. While the music may be labored and clunky now with a few wrong notes and false starts along the way, I know that the training is layering and building slowly so that come October the final piece will be ready for a standing ovation.