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How YWCA Fitness Member Dina Khaled Makes Time for Endurance Sports Coaching

By YWCA Minneapolis
May 17, 2016
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YWCA Minneapolis fitness member Dina Khaled trains with Endurance Sports Coach Jake Lawrence, who is the featured coach of the month this May. Dina sat down with us to talk about her experience of utilizing an endurance sports coach, fitting training into a busy schedule, and what motivates her to keep coming back for more!

What motivates you to work with a coach?

Initially it was because I was finding it hard to balance running and triathlon training (there are lots of plans for one sport, but few that combine the two), plus I needed help improving my swim. I’ve continued because I like how having a coach makes it easier to fit training into my life. I don’t have to think about what types of workouts I need, I just follow the plan. It also adds a level of accountability for me.

Are these new pursuits or have you been working toward these goals/events/pursuits for a long time?

I’ve been doing run and Tri events for a while, and was happy thinking I just wasn’t capable of going faster and just doing them to maintain base fitness. But then, about 1-2 years ago, I realized that I did have some “fast” in me, so I started looking for training plans that helped me find that speed. Working with a coach has been the next step in that journey.

What have been the biggest or most noticeable benefits?

Consistency, especially in the off-season when it’s easy to start skipping workouts, which inevitably leads to skipping more workouts.

What goals have you accomplished since working with a coach?

Sticking to an off-season training schedule.

Were there other accomplishments along the way?

Gaining more confidence in my abilities.

What advice do you have for other people thinking about working with a coach?

Speak up early if it’s not working out. The first coach I hired was not a good fit for me. I knew it, but initially thought it was me and stayed silent too long. The experience almost turned me off coaching altogether. I’m glad I gave it another go.

Has there been anything that has surprised you in your journey of training?

Learning to race. I’ve always been good about fully committing in other areas (school, work), but had been too quick to let myself off easy in athletic endeavors. Having a coach who helps me set reasonable expectations does wonders for actually meeting them, and for teaching me that I can do more than I sometimes think I can.

What specific challenges have you overcome?

My work and personal schedules can be difficult for training (and no doubt for coaching). I work full time + have a 6 year old son I love spending time with + I travel 1-2 times a month, for a mix of business and fun.

Do you have a goal you would like to reach for?

Beat my personal record in Grandmas (totally doable) and eventually finish an Ironman!