“I began a career as a professional triathlete in 1982. Back then doing a triathlon was a big adventure. There were no books, no videos, no coaches. But there were races, some even had prize money. The challenge was how to go faster. One month we might think the key was mileage, so we’d crank out ridiculous totals week after week. Swim 30,000 yards in seven days? Of course! Pile on 500 miles cycling and another 70 running in that same time? Why not! Was that enough? Was it too much? It was all a guess. As soon as one person tried something different and did better than before in even a single race, we’d all follow the “new” approach.
I became an experiment of one in the trial and error method of becoming world class. I tried everything sensible and certainly a few things that were fairly insane. If something worked, I kept it in my program. If it didn’t make me stronger and faster I dropped it. In the end I developed what proved to be extremely effective ways to reach new heights year after year.
In my career I won the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii six times, I was the champion of the very first Olympic Distance World Championship in Avignon, I was victorious in the Nice International Triathlon all ten times I raced it, I won 20 straight races over a three year period from 1988-1990, and was named The Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time by EPSN. There have been huge gains in technology since the early years of triathlons to help athletes measure and quantify a lot of elements of getting fit and racing fast that I had to be figure out by simply tuning into my body. But every piece of the core training wisdom that I used is still the same.
To help athletes measure and quantify a lot of elements of getting fit and racing fast that I had to be figure out by simply tuning into my body, but every piece of the core training wisdom that I used is still the same. Our genetics have not changed a whole lot since 1982! Those basic workout necessities can seem repetitive. They can look fairly simple on the surface, but it’s an art form to bring out the upper limits of what you are capable of. And that can only be learned over an entire career if you are trying to figure
it out on your own, or of course in much less time if someone shows you how! People sometimes say that after all these years I may have lost touch with “modern training methods.” My answer is always the same, ” “If I’ve lost touch then why, in 26 years has no one run a faster marathon at the Ironman in Hawaii than I did in 1989 when I posted a run split of 2:40:04?”