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Training For Ironman: Month Four

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.  

Why hire a triathlon coach?

When I embarked on this journey, I knew I could not do this alone. I knew I would need someone to guide me physically, nutrionally and mentally.  

At the end of last season, I raced my first 1/2 Ironman, Toughman. I did not achieve the results that I had hoped to achieve. My own efforts to improve my performance were not successful so I needed a change in perspective and training routine. After participating in a triathlon with him, several conversations which included the confidence to sign up for Ironman Florida, I engaged South Shore Tri Coach triathlete and Coach Anthony Beck.

There were three main criteria that I looked for in my coaching relationship: Trust, Specificity and Objectivity.

(1) Trust. I am not an experienced Ironman-distance triathlete. I only have one season under my belt, which included a Super Sprint, Sprint, Olympic and a ½ Ironman. In hiring Anthony as my coach, I had to be prepared to “throw away” my own biases and experiences to follow what he prescribed. Essentially, I had to take a “leap of faith.” My trust in Anthony as a coach is based on his own results, his reputation and my conversations with him. If I can’t trust my coach or second-guess what he is telling me, then why bother with a coach?

(2) Specificity. I went to Anthony with a clear goal: I wanted a training plan that would help get me to a level of performance in Ironman-distance triathlons. I wanted a coach who had “walked the walk.” Plus, I wanted a coach to whom I could ask questions about pacing, nutrition, etc. based on his own experiences versus something that he read in a book. The workouts that Anthony gives me are specifically designed to enable me to achieve my Ironman-distance race goals.

(3) Objectivity. As a triathlete myself, I can easily look at what I am doing and say “Do more of this” or “You’re doing too much of that,” etc., but I find it difficult to objectively look at myself. I tend to rationalize what I “should be doing” to what I “feel like doing.” Although the rationalization does not necessarily bring poor results, I was not improving so I would argue that rationalization does not bring optimal results. My coach also serves as a “sounding board” for my training, my issues and any questions that I have.

Those three factors served as the foundation for what I needed in a coach. There are some other factors that I considered as a well:

• Level of interaction and type of interaction: How much interaction did I expect from my coach? Do I prefer to communicate by email, phone or in person? Am I or the coach expected to initiate communication?

• Experience — athlete, coach: Has the coach worked with athletes with similar goals and experiences to my own? Does the coach have the knowledge and resources to provide me with the information that I need?

• Personality match: Is the coach someone I can talk to easily and understands my motivations, communication style, etc.?

• Philosophy: Does the coach prescribe to a training philosophy that I believe in?

Truthfully, coaching is not for everyone nor is every coach right for every person. As the athlete, I still have to do the workouts consistently (key word: me) and I’m the one who is actually racing, not the coach. The goal of the coach, therefore, should be to help me get myself to where I want to be with the understanding that I am ultimately responsible for my performance.

The final question that I asked myself before I hired my coach was: “How much is it worth to me to finish an Ironman?” For me the answer is “priceless.”

News

Looking for a place to work on your bedside manner and start a promising new career in the process? Look no farther than your hometown.

The Vocational Education and Extension Board (VEEB), a division of the county that oversees educational facilities such as the Fire Service Academy and EMS Academy, recently transplanted one of its facilities — The School of Practical Nursing — into a new location right in the heart of Hicksville, where they recently held an open house to celebrate their new home.

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com