Coach Tip Tuesday: Follow the Plan that is Right for You

Posted On:
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Updated On:
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
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In the spirit of my Team MPI Sister April Barnett Corey, here’s my Coach Tip Tuesday (though mine is much longer than hers, ha).

I started working for Tiffany D'Alonzo as her coach in February 2016. Over the course of the last year, she’s made tremendous progress in her endurance sports career, including stepping way outside of her comfort zones both in training and in goal-setting. This season, Tiffany’s goal race is IRONMAN Lake Placid. Throughout her time with me, we’ve managed a number of things in her training including (but definitely not limited to): changing jobs and erratic work schedules, her preparation for her wedding to Kyle Smith in May 2017, getting a needy (but ridiculously adorable) puppy, and a few lingering injuries/imbalances from before she hired me as her coach. She has become an incredibly consistent athlete, and this has enabled her to truly become smarter, stronger, and faster.

This past Sunday Tiffany ran the Syracuse Half Marathon (13.1 Miles). This race was not a goal race for her, and originally she signed up for it “just because” her friends were running it. I encouraged her to run it for herself and to use it as a C Race so we could see where she’s at in her training. I knew she was capable of having a tremendous race, and I really wanted her to have the confidence boost that would come from a breakthrough performance.

Treating the Syracuse Half Marathon as a C Race for Tiffany meant that I did not schedule her to taper for it, and that it essentially was a supported long run in her weekly plan. Tiffany nailed her long brick on Thursday (which was 4 hours and 15 minutes long), and headed into the Syracuse Half Marathon on fatigued legs.

This past Sunday, Tiffany ran the fastest 13.1 miles she’s ever run. She beat her previous best half marathon time by 17 minutes and 55 seconds. 17 MINUTES AND 55 SECONDS!! She finished strong, with a smile, and her last mile was her fastest of the day. How did she do this, you may ask?? Well, #1 - She’s a rock star. #2 - She’s been putting in the work, and we’ve been working hard together to make sure she’s following a plan that is specific to her needs as an athlete. This has made her SMARTER. #3 - She’s been actively working to correct muscular imbalances and become STRONGER. #4 - We’ve used several different modalities, but she’s been recovering harder than she trains and her body has been allowed to soak in the training adaptations we’ve been imposing on her. All of this collectively has enabled her to become FASTER.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, my Coach Tip for this Tuesday is to set yourself up for success and follow a plan/path that you know is right for you. It should be a plan that you understand and that you have confidence in. Most importantly, it should be a plan structured around your life that allows you to recover and soak in training adaptations so you can be successful enroute to your goals. Working with a qualified coach can help any athlete, regardless of ability, with this process.

Tiffany has been making a lot of deposits into her training bank, and on Sunday she was able to make a significant withdrawal because of it. Her investment is growing, and this bodes extremely well for when she toes the water at Mirror Lake at IRONMAN Lake Placid in July.

Way to go, Tiffany. Thank you for letting me have the honor of working for you.


Coach Laura Henry

Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.

She can be reached at

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