I joined the the local triathlon club again this year. I want to have a group to do some open water swims and bike rides with, and I thought I'd give their newcomers program another try. Not that I'm exactly new to the sport, but I'm soooo slow at everything so I thought it would be good to train with the newbies.
I tried working out with this newbies group for the past two years but they left me incredibly frustrated. The first year, they put out a schedule which spanned almost four months. The schedule stated what the workouts would be each weekend - bike, brick, swim clinic, etc. - and whether it would be on Saturday or Sunday I planned races and golf around this schedule so I could be sure to get to the swim clinics or the bike rides or the course previews that I wanted to attend. The problem was, each Monday they'd send an e-mail announcing what the upcoming weekend workout was going to be - and often it didn't match the schedule they had originally established. Frustrating! Last year, some of the workouts were listed as "uncoached" - so I didn't go. What was the point? I could sleep in and ride my bike on my own.
Anyway the first workout this year was on March 7. It was an open water swim clinic which I attended, and I thought it went well. There were a ton of support people, a big group of newbies, and I was really excited about it. At the end of the workout, the coach said the next swim clinic would be in three weeks - March 28. Perfect for me! I'd get in another open water practice session before my Splash & Dash on April 4.
So today they sent out the schedule for this weekend - the open water swim clinic which is supposed to be next weekend has been moved up to this Saturday. Great, you'd think...except I'm going to be out of town this weekend.
Maybe it's just me, but I am a "type A" planner. But in my defense, you can't just wake up one day and decide to do a triathlon. There is training involved that takes place for months leading up to the race. Also, some races sell out so you've got to sign up for them in advance. And with golf, you can't always decide on Friday that you want to play the next day...you've got to make a tee time. If you want to play a particular course at a particular time, you've got to make that tee time a week in advance. Add in social plans with friends, visits with my parents, etc. and my weekends book up pretty quickly.
So it really frustrates me when I plan to attend a swim clinic, only to have the date move to a date I can't attend. What frustrates me more about this is that I had a conversation with one of the tri club board members about this very issue last year, and she told me she had heard the same frustration from others and they were going to address it. At the end of last season, the tri-club sent out a survey to anyone who had participated in the newbies program asking what they could do to improve the program. At the beginning of this year, they sent out e-mails saying how it was improved.
But all I'm getting is the same frustration. Honestly, how hard is it to make a schedule in advance and stick with it?