Being 100 days into my 20 week (i.e. 140 day) training plan, I have had a lot of time to dwell on my training--although most of that dwelling on my training has been during my training as my mind wanders beyond the workout that is underway. During this time I have developed my personal Laws of Training, which were unwritten until now. As I inadvertently quoted one of them to my training coach today, I figured it was time to put them into writing.
Richard's Training Law 1: Don't be afraid to question the coach.
The coach is not God and therefore above being questioned, whether it is because I happen to disagree with what was assigned or (more likely) I just want some clarification on the goals/purpose of the workout.
Richard's Training Law 2: Be willing to change the workout when necessary.
I am the one paying the coach. It is my decision to do the workouts planned by the coach how I see fit based on how I feel and the other conditions in my life. However, I must also remember that going "off plan" is not to be done lightly as I then lose the benefit of the coach's experience and training.
Richard's Training Law 3: Don't be afraid to succeed.
Just because a workout looks hard or goes beyond what you might expect is your limit is no reason to not try to do it. In this way the fear of failing to succeed in a tough workout could actually prevent you from expanding your personal limits through new and unexpected successes.
For what it's worth, it was # 3 that I quoted to my coach today as I was assigned a swim workout beyond any distance that I have completed to date. In the end, I completed the 4700 yard swim in 1:47:31, which was also a good bit faster than I would have expected.