expect chaos and respond appropriately.“
~  Mark Allen

how we coach

“After 30 years in endurance sports, and having won every major title during that time, I can say that there are two things missing in triathlon coaching today. The first is having a sense of timing that tells you when to go, when to go slow, and when not to go at all. The hardest decision that most triathletes have to make is when not to train, and I don't see anyone helping their clients find their own intuition. Second is what I think is far more important than what you put in your training log, or the time you improved on. Sure we want to help you with those things too, but more tan that we want to teach you how to view the sport as a art,and every new training or racing day gives you the opportunity to create a new work of art.”

Our Coaching Process

Six Step Process

CHOOSE YOUR DESTINATION

Knowing where I was going to be focusing my racing made it easy to set up the overarching training necessary to get me there. A long distance race in the spring followed by a key Olympic distance event in early August would require a few different types of structures in my workouts. Having the final event in mind as I created both of those first training programs enabled me to also integrate enough of the big goal race necessities in throughout the year to be ready for that as well. Setting the course also meant starting at the exact point I was at with my fitness. I always began training in early January for the upcoming year. Most of my competitors started their seasonal training a month earlier. It was tempting to try to dive in at the level they were at a month into getting back in shape, but that would have been disaster for me. So I would park my ego on the sidelines, do a reality check and then begin training at the level of off-season fitness I was actually at rather than trying to match someone else’s fitness that had already taken an uptick. Humbling yes, but essential.

SET YOUR COURSE

Knowing where I was going to be focusing my racing made it easy to set up the overarching training necessary to get me there. A long distance race in the spring followed by a key Olympic distance event in early August would require a few different types of structures in my workouts. Having the final event in mind as I created both of those first training programs enabled me to also integrate enough of the big goal race necessities in throughout the year to be ready for that as well. Setting the course also meant starting at the exact point I was at with my fitness. I always began training in early January for the upcoming year. Most of my competitors started their seasonal training a month earlier. It was tempting to try to dive in at the level they were at a month into getting back in shape, but that would have been disaster for me. So I would park my ego on the sidelines, do a reality check and then begin training at the level of off-season fitness I was actually at rather than trying to match someone else’s fitness that had already taken an uptick. Humbling yes, but essential.

FOLLOW THE PLAN

This in many ways was my favorite step in my season. It meant just going out and training! I loved that. But I’m like many triathletes in that I read every magazine article with information on how to train better and get faster with something new. Each month there would be a “revolutionary” training method that I had not heard of before. The lure was to try to integrate the tip of the month into my program. Unfortunately that just lead to feeling like I was never getting the full benefit of doing any one approach long enough to reap its big potential. I had to follow the plan that I set for the year and not get sidetracked by trying something new every few weeks. I found that the training methods that gave solid predictable long-term gains in fitness were pretty basic, simple to follow but also took a long time before their impact was measurable. I knew that if I did a ton of speedwork early that I’d get fit fast, but then my fitness would plateau even before I reached my first key race destination. The training that I saw was working over an entire season and that was enabling me to hit two or three big peaks in one year training evolved to be a steady build in fitness that rarely brought overnight dramatic changes. Following that kind of plan was something my competitors didn’t seem to have the patience for, but then they rarely hit as many key races in top form as I did either!

ADJUST AS NEEDED

My body was not a programmable machine. When I set up my training at the beginning of the year there was no way I could ever predict what adjustments would be needed to respond to the natural dips that can happen with the human body. Usually I could keep on track as planned. But occasionally my body was just on overload and I needed to adjust, to cut back so that more recovery enabled me to actually benefit from what I was doing rather than burying myself even deeper. Every season was different, so even a fully tested and proven progression throughout a season in the past may not be anything I would be able to replicate every day in the present. The most dramatic example of this was the last year I raced Ironman at age thirty-seven. I had to cut my overall training back by almost thirty percent to keep from overtraining. Key workouts got done, but a lot of others were eliminated. Adjusting as needed based on how my body was feeling was not easy on a mental level. I wanted my logbook to be busting at the seams with mileage. I also wanted to arrive at those key destinations of goal races ready to go rather than tired and burned out. The destination always trumped following the plan if that was what was needed to stay on a course.

FULFILL THE COMMITMENT

Race day was always filled with unknowns for me. I’d dialed in those key destinations, set my course with sound training, followed the vast majority of that plan and occasionally made some critical course adjustments to keep me on track in the bigger picture of my season. But no triathlon really cared about what I had done. Fulfilling the commitment to race my best had to happen on those few days each year when I was on the start line of a great race. A race was a chance to stretch my boundaries. That never came without a test of my commitment to go into uncharted territory and usually came from dealing with race dynamics that had nothing to do with my ideal plan for the day. I trained my body hard to minimize the amount of time I would spend in the uncomfortable on race day. I trained my mind to go to that quiet place inside when I had to deal with the eternities in a triathlon when my ultimate goals and dreams looked totally impossible to achieve. I tried to fulfill my commitment to giving the best I had regardless of where that would place me at the end of the day, because ultimately that was what fulfilling my commitment meant.

REFLECT

There was always a result that happened at each destination. Sometimes I achieved my dreams. Other times I fell short. Post-race, post-season was the time when the real gold was mined, when the real lessons and richness that could change my results in the future were learned. There was always nuggets that would help me race better in the future, and without a doubt pieces of knowledge that would make me a better person. It would have been easier to just gloat after a win or wallow in a finish that fell short of my ultimate dream than to take this time to reflect. But to go forward into the next season’s destinations armed with deeper insight and an understanding of what adjustments needed to be made took time and reflection. I would give myself a few weeks, sometimes a few months to let the emotions of my season settle. I always needed distance from it to see clearly what the lessons were regardless of whether the result was a fulfillment of my ultimate dream or a devastating setback that showed I was not really prepared in the way I had hoped I would be. But eventually I could ask the important questions. What worked? What didn’t work? What needs to be changed if I am to go to another level next year? What is my reason for going forward? These were all questions that needed to be answered away from the competitive arena before I came full circle and Chose the Destination for the season to come!
swimmer

fast

finding a new gear

Is for those athletes who want structure and custoumization in their training yet want to keep the impact over the year on a busy life to a minimum. fast is for those athletes who want structure and customization in their training yet want to keep the impact over the year of a busy life to a minimum. fast is perfect if you are just getting, or thinking about getting your feet wet in the sport. It’ll also help those with experience who are ready to improve by being a little better organized in their approach. Based on my record I can safely say that no one on the planet knows more about what this takes to prepare than I do. With fast you access this experience and embark on a path few get to travel and have your own great triathlon experience.


faster

how to move up

Faster is the way for you to move up to a next level in the sport. to go from completing to competing. With a longer-term refined approach to combining swimming, cycling and running together to achieve your goals. I learned from years of personal experience what works, and the same personal experience of the pain when it doesn't work. Faster gives you access to that knowledge datbase in the world regarding triathlon training. A solid six-month commitment to getting better that will afford you the chance to train smarter, go faster, and move up in the rankings in less time than you're probably dedicating to your training now.


fastest

putting it all together

Fastest is for non-professionala athletes who, maybe if even for one race, want to know they did everything they could possibly do to go as fast as they possibly can. There are no shortcuts to a commitment like this. Achieving that performance can only be put in place with a full-year commitment to the goal. For me, winning Ironman in October was initiated with a plan well thought out before the first steps of training were taken in January, and all made possible with smart off season maintenance work prior to it, which I always thought of more as a plan to improve, than just time off. Fastest is that same commitment to personal excellence made by you. With this level of consistent coaching everything can build on ...