8. You disregard the race plan.
Ahh… the race plan. A coach’s time to put together all he or she knows about your training into a smart, executable strategy to get you to your next PR. Instead of listening, you go willy nilly and swim/bike/run how you want and end up walking the last few miles. One coach experienced this with a marathoner whose original plan was to “run fast and hang on.” She instead gave him several different scenarios to get him to his 3:20 goal in a more comfortable, logical fashion. “He agreed and was excited about having a ‘smart plan.’ Unfortunately, after mile one he said he couldn’t control himself and just wanted to run fast, so he reverted to his original plan and ended up with a 3:29. He told me afterward that he ‘did the opposite of what you told me to do and paid the price.’”