by Sue Aquila
At the Endurance Corner Boulder Camp, we had amazing speakers including World Champion Triathletes and exceptional coaches. I thought I'd share some of my notes about their unique perspectives on pursuing excellence and long course triathlon success.
Chrissie Wellington - World Champion, undefeated at IM distance
- Trains her mind as hard as her body. Logs it.
- Her goal is to inspire other women that more is possible.
- Training is simple and consistent.
- Her program runs 24/7 and she trains 3-6 hours per day.
- She has made herself better with a focus on maximizing recovery.
- Her life is her brand. She is as much a corporate president with a power point presentation (an excellent one) as she is the champion triathlete.
- Her legacy now is about inspiring and encouraging everyone to defy their expectations through her World Champion platform.
Mirinda Carfrae - Current World Champion
- Her philosophy on the run is that it is going to hurt anyways so you might as well go fast -- as in 5:30 miles.
- She uses a Garmin on hard sessions only to compare results to previous hard sessions.
- Women can handle more work than men due to less muscle mass.
- Approaches training with the least amount of effort for the most gain.
- She divides her year into thirds with transition weeks.
- Her recovery day consists of three hours on the bike, 10k run and a swim.
- She races to see how fast she can go and what she can make her body do. It is not about the win.
Bobby McGee - Olympic Running Coach and Sports Psychologist
- The challenge in ironman is peripheral, not aerobic.
- Very slow runs and hiking create a neuromuscular response and increase muscular endurance.
- Bike and swim are partial body effort sports. Running is a full body effort sport.
- Best way to improve your run is to increase your frequency.
- Slow cadence means more time on ground and less time in the air.
- Ultramarathon shuffle is the most efficient run form and includes heel to mid-foot strike.
- Add run/walk combination (9 minute run / 1 minute walk quickly with running form) and you can increase your mileage 25-50% in a week.
- In a race you may go up to 25% faster implementing a walk/run strategy.
- Most of us can only focus six minutes into the future. A great reminder when the going gets tough.
Angela Naeth - Top 70.3 Competitor and Leadman Tri Winner
- Point your bike uphill for strength work.
- Change gears and grind it once or twice per week.
- One day she climbed Mt. Lemmon three times for 8 hours worth of work.
- De-stressing is the key for recovery.
- She can race every three weeks or perform an all out training effort.
- Most of her training is at 80% effort.
Gordo Byrn - Endurance Corner Founder and Ultraman Champion
- He has now transitioned to a Master’s Age Grouper.
- Sustained performance in a life that has meaning.
- Focus on being healthy in his 40s and beyond.
- Set yourself up for success. Do not let data put you down.
- Until your life is in order, you will never get your race in order.
- Make a “Not to do List” to create positive habits.
- Be reasonable, not perfect and develop your personal training time sweet spot for health.
Champions are not born but are sculpted out of great material (genetics) and a drive to succeed. These individuals are not satisfied with where they are but continue to focus on where they are going. Winning is their way of life and has very little to do with the finish line. I will continue to be amazed by their accomplishments on and off the race course.
Sue Aquila is a USAT Level 1 coach who balances her ironman training with running a successful business that she built from the ground up. She blogs regularly at fewoman.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @fewoman.