Guest Blog: Aaron Ansari, My Experience

aaronwatchI’m relatively new to endurance sports and thereby relatively new to Base Tri Fitness, but I have quickly learned that training affects everyone differently (there is no one-size-fits-all regimen).  I should know…I’ve been searching for the  right coach and plan for years.  Upon joining Base, Lauren tested me and created a bespoke plan for my upcoming season.  Since then, I’ve seen nothing but positive results.  I’ve been breaking records (almost) weekly – seeing “2 New Records” on my Garmin weekend after weekend is becoming commonplace.  I’m pulling ahead into life-changing fitness, mostly thanks to the coaching and plan created by Lauren.  If you’ve struggled to find the “right” fitness approach and nutrition plan, you should continue reading.

My name is Aaron, and my trek to fitness began forty-some-odd pounds ago.  It doesn’t matter what year it was – it was too late in my life and should’ve been years earlier.  Regardless, it began with running.  A friend of mine, Mike, got me off the couch and on the pavement and became my first coach.  When I had questions on distances, pace, nutrition, or anything related to my new hobby of running, Mike was my resource.  He didn’t pretend to know everything, and there were many times Google and aaronpretrainingMike were my coach, but with their help, I was able to complete my first 4-miler, and fell in love with endurance sports.

Soon though, my thirst for knowledge and passion for the sport outgrew Mike’s ability to coach me.  Thanks to him, I was running farther and faster with each run, clocking PR’s on both distance and time every weekend.  I turned to group runs through the Columbus Running Company, Dublin store.  They met on Saturdays and had many resources when it came to skill levels and running knowledge.  This created a “community of coaches” for me, but it was quickly exhausted, given our weekly interactions.

I jumped from group runs and widely varied opinions on every topic back to an individual perspective from a new friend with the same quest for “more”.  I successfully worked up to running half marathons and marathons across the country, but it was soon evident that this mentor was spread too thin for my ambition, and I was forced back to Google and a community of runners to help me focus on my new goals (triathlons).

I first heard about Lauren and Base Tri from a friend of a Base athlete, during the Rocks & Roots 20k.   He connected me with an athlete of Lauren’s, and I began my homework.  I grilled this athlete with questions about his coach, plan, his personal goals and his PR’s with Lauren, so he finally made the introduction.  Lauren interviewed me over the course of a 5-mile run (bonus points).  Our run was on a typical Ohio winter day – blustery winds and snow, coupled with near-zero temperatures.  Within those cold miles, she detailed her education, work history and approach (science- based and quantifiable, more bonus points).  We spoke of objectives and measurements on how to reach goals.  We talked about “mile in the sky” plans (Boston Marathon for me) and how, realistically, we might get there.  What I didn’t know was interview went both ways.  She was evaluating me to make certain I’d fit her style and her goals for athletes she trains.  She only had one slot open on her team (wasn’t spread too thin – more points!).  After another discussion, we mutually agreed and began our sessions.

Since starting Lauren’s plan, I have shattered my previous mental and physical expectations.  I never thought I could run as fast as I have, for as long as I have – nor did I think I’d ever be comfortable in the water.  And yet, through her scientific approach (Lactate Threshold testing, HR Based monitoring) and coaching, she has pushed me quite far, and we’re not even close to done!  I’m excited to grow – both physically and mentally, and am thankful to have a coach that will grow with me, for the long-term.  Another success I’ve celebrated with her coaching is diet. She helped me change my attitude from exercising as an excuse to eat, to eating as fuel for my exercise – a wonderful new perspective on food and nutrition.aaronstarwars

I am confident Lauren is my long-term coach (beyond the “gut” feel) because she, herself, has a coach.  She’s going through the same program – just on a different scale.  The buck doesn’t stop with her – if she needs more information, or doesn’t know something, she has a resource AND is taking advantage of her personal resource daily to improve and push herself.  It’s comforting when your coach is being coached and mentored in the same program, growing alongside you, while pushing you to do your best.  Having a mentor who personally knows your pain, your path, and your growth potential – priceless!