Dunno if you have seen the netflix documentary "The Minimalists". Its about living more with less. It pertains mostly to the discarding of material possessions, including your total housing floor space until you live in a tiny house with two shirts, two pair of pant and one egg flip in that second kitchen drawer that used to be as cluttered as a houso's front yard. Its laced with catchy catch phrases and burnt out corporate twenty somethings with hurt feelings trying to get back to basics. I enjoyed it. Have a watch, there are some great reminders of simplicity in there.
I have raced Triathlon for many years and this telly show got me thinking about the clutter in triathlon training. Theres too much of it. So using this "minimalist" doco and an article by Sami Inkinen as "inspo" i set about chopping down triathlon preparation for a half ironman to the bare essentials.
First i needed some lab rats. Lucky i run a triathlon squad. For the purpose of this article i will single out one athlete. To protect his identity, lets call him "Mike".
Mike raced triathlon in the late nineties as a muscular twenty something in a fluro speedo brief. Mike was a merchant banker with no kids. When he wasn't selling "AAA" rated faux stock to retirees he was training. Mike routinely nudged the 20 hour weekly mark and went 9hr 30min at Forster in 1997. Clearly a good engine.
Fast forward 18 years and Mike was now a busy 43 year old married Doctor with two kids. He had not done a lick of training since the Forster days and wondered wether he could be competitive again after so long out of the sport. Mike did some baseline testing, 5km run 28minutes, 20km bike TT @ 29km per hour. Current limiting factor= time.
Nine months later his final 80km bike TT hit 36.5km per hour and his 5km run TT hit 19.01. He placed 12th out of 116 at Port 70.3 race (90th from 950).
His program averaged 9 hours a week and focused on strength and functional threshold efforts. Mike very rarely missed a session, he obeyed every heart rate instruction and rested when sick. He improved quickly using these principles, and you can too. You don't need to be broke, divorced and chronically fatigued. You can slot the triathlon sport into your life without it taking over and still be competitive. Anyway thanks for reading, I have some egg flips to throw out!!