Am I missing out?

Am I missing out?

Coach, if I can’t go to camp or train in a group am I missing out?

Every off season stories permeate through the Triathlon media about how great camps are, or the need to train in a group to push to even greater heights? Their objective to create buzz and to sell products.

Now I hold camps, last year personally I ran fifteen in total. Of those fifteen, only two were camps where real work was done.  These were the camps that were dedicated to hard graft! When were they held? In September, for those getting ready for Kona, or for those with races in early November to also to be ready to go for the last blast of races in their season.

‘But coach what about the winter warm weather camps that we hear so much about?’  Well at Trisutto we don’t do that ridiculousness in the off season.
Our camps are educational. We run five comprehensive lectures that are must attend. We do six compulsory sessions, covering each of the three disciplines, so I can view techniques. We have five optional sessions that go with that. Do you have to attend? No definitely not.

‘But coach why would I go?’
We go to get out of the cold. We go to learn what Triathlon really is. We don’t do what most other camps do.
‘What is that?’  Blindly smash themselves every day thinking that it will improve them through sheer weight of tiredness.

I’m sure many of you have been on these camps, but what is not advertised is this. The amount of injuries accumulated by tripling bike mileage in camp, doubling run mileage of back home, and sore shoulder syndrome by Sunday night because whilst I swim two or three times a week at home, in camp we swam seven! Of course all done racing the guy next to me who I’ve never met in my life, don’t know his abilities, his heart rates or fitness levels. But I know one thing, we are on holidays and we are at camp, the sun is shining, so I’m going to war with anybody near me – in everything! Welcome to the normal Triathlon camp!  If you can still eat your third portion of pasta taken from the buffet with a fork then you are soft and haven’t worked hard enough at camp.

Photo Credit: James Mitchell Photography

‘But Coach, I got Kona in October’
Here is a news flash – so has the Angry Bird, and she isn’t in the kick off camp I’m running at this very moment. Why? Because I hope she is sitting at home doing normal things and resting, as this year we really going after Kona! I can’t re-iterate enough, that starting too early makes sure the last races of the season are not what you were after.

This was rammed home to me by a couple of newbies in pro camp this week. ‘Coach, you didn’t name a time and meeting point for tomorrows morning run?’  That’s right was the answer, we are all adults, we do our own thing, were you given instructions? ‘Yes coach.’ Well go and do it at your own pace!

And there in lies what I keep trying to communicate. Ironman is not short distance. Where once I trained sprint athletes they did certain sessions as a group, we still did less than most groups together but we did fast work together pushing hard. We swim together now only as a meeting point. Within that group there may be three to five different swim sessions at the same time.
I’ll point out once again, that Nicola Spirig and Daniela Ryf might have ridden together two times in any sessions requiring hard effort, or ran twice together in any session done with some zip in the past two years. Not two days. Not two weeks. Not two months, but two years. However, yes I do train both of them.

I put this caveat for people who have never been to my squad training. It’s dangerous to your health and thus performance, in reading articles about ‘what Brett Sutton’s group do’. They really have no idea, but perception replaces reality.

  • Ask an athlete that has attended any of my own camps.
  • Ask if everybody trains together pushing harder.
  • Ask is Brett Sutton on the pool deck screaming for athletes to go harder?
  • Is he with stop watches calling out times on any interval?
  • Ask someone that has been there!

Our success is about knowing when to push and when not to. It is about knowing Ironman is a personal sport. Where training outside of your numbers may make you feel good, remember pride comes before the fall, and fall you will, if you head to a camp and think drilling oneself is good for performance in 3 months time.

After the Super League Nicola was rested.  She swam every second day with us working on another new swim stroke. Two full months later she left the pool and I said  ‘Write that down as your second swim workout of this preparation as I was pleased with the stroke.’
What were all the other swims? Stroke work and preparation for when she is ready to start. That happened last Friday.
Daniela kicks off on the 1st of February.

Are Camps a good idea?
Camps are a splendid idea if you get in the sun and start an easy build up to your season. Smash fests for one week only to go back home to the cold and do one third of the work in the camp may be good for your ego, but does nothing for your season.

Just the way I see it.


Join Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton and his squad at training Camp in Cyprus in April, 2018 for insights into the Trisutto Coaching and Training methodologies.

Feature Picture Credit: Cris Solak

A New Years Resolution for all!

A New Years Resolution for all!

As we head into a new year some of our athletes ask ‘coach, what would be a good resolution for me to start the new year with?’
This starts me thinking on how many people have the same dilemma?

Why a dilemma? Let’s not delve into it too deep, however deep enough for you to have a little look in the bathroom mirror, and ask yourself, why do you need the motivation of a new year to do what you should’ve doing every day of your life? What is lacking? Am I a guy or girl that needs a motivational speech each month to keep me from losing sight of what I feel is important to me? This doesn’t have to be sport related, but if I find a stirring speech, or a New Years resolution something I look forward to, to keep me on track, then is there something wrong?

The New Years resolution Grinch says yes there is. So let’s think of some legitimate reasons that one can back slide of their self commitments.

The commitment that has been set has been way too high for ones ability level.  At its worst it’s highly unattainable or at its best is highly unsustainable over a longer period of time. This is a legitimate mistake, usually brought on by the motivational brigade who’s mantra is ‘You can do any thing you put your mind to?’. The doc, doesn’t belong to this brigade of hope purveyors or dream sequence directors. It sounds nice, and wrapped up in a  pretty package sounds almost achievable. However when reality strikes it has the reverse reaction, making your self esteem even worse than when you went searching for the holy grail. The grail of ‘give me a message that is going to make me something I’m not’.

The resolution that you have made does not produce the passion of what you enjoy in your life. I would like to do this, yes, but is it a passion? Do you obsess over this direction? Am I making a resolution because I have been pressured into it by others? This type of new resolution is destined to failure also, because the reality is our hearts are not 100% in it. While it might be good for you, and others can think it will improve you but as in most things in life, if you don’t believe in it then you can guarantee another failure at the behest of being rail roaded into something that your not passionate about.

This one, is the one I can help you with! The person that needs to have artificial stimuli to make positive things happen for them.  Nobody has ever accused me of not dishing out some tough love to help people or athletes at times overcome themselves, or the road blocks they build to undermine themselves. When we look to others, we look to external circumstances to help what is been lost in our society, that is learning to ‘carry our own water’ –  taking responsibility for oneself!

At Trisutto we teach coaches that yelling ‘go harder’ to their athlete in a race is nonsense! If me yelling go harder actually sees an athlete lift their performance, then I have failed as a coach. After being in our group all know very quickly that giving ones best is not a luxury but the basic requirement, that is not applauded, but is expected as the foundation one must have to build on for the future. If me yelling go harder is needed, then the athlete just like the new resolution crowd, need to really explore their procedure to life itself.

I am a simple man and I try to keep things extremely clear. I found my own light when it was impressed on me by a wise man – that you can only do your best with what you have at any given time. However he was at pains to point out 99% of the population, the ‘sheeple’ as he called us, have no idea what giving ones best really means! I still hear it ringing in my ears from 40 years ago, the booming voice not to me but at me –

‘you will only fulfil your potential when each day you wake up, and when your feet hit the floor, you say that today I’m going to do my very best to be better than yesterday, and you spend the next 8 working hours trying to fulfil that goal.  There will be down days, there will be artificial highs, but the bad days will disappear’.

I remember I was young and so answered back ‘what’s the difference between bad days and down days?
He quoted the American Novelist Jack London:

The man that does his best is good enough!’, and followed up with ‘if you put your head on that pillow at night knowing you did all you could there are no bad days, just difficult ones. Tomorrow you rise and fight the good fight again. That’s what life is really about’.

So if you’re someone who needs to be motivated by New Years resolution, my resolution to you is take a hard look in the mirror. Give yourself a good slap, and say ‘I need to do better on a daily basis. I need to keep it simple, and do my best with what I got everyday – not just on chosen ones’.


Join Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton and his squad at training Camp in Cyprus in April, 2018 for insights into the Trisutto Coaching and Training methodologies.

Exceptional performance craves repetition

Exceptional performance craves repetition

In 2018 I have returned to coaching a group of age group athletes as well as a team of new pros. The last 4 years had seen me back off and run some educational camps, and a group of predominantly Swiss athletes. However now I’m immersed again in squad training, one observation intrigues me no end.  The biggest hurdle I have to deal with for new athletes, both pro and age group, is their despair of doing a similar training program for more than one week!  It is astounding that they almost demand that I change what I believe to be our programs greatest strength.

Now I know it’s the greatest differential to many other programs. We replicate, we repeat, we love the word repetition, actually I’m obsessed with repetition. Exceptional performance craves it. Yet it’s the aspect I must continually combat, explain, cajole and educate on:

Repetition of weekly cycles.
Repetition of monthly cycles.
Repetition of 3 monthly cycles.
Repetition of yearly cycles.
And last but not least repetition of workouts.

We have had athletes visit our workouts that were old squad family, and they pass on in some form of astonishment to the new family – ‘we did this same workout 20 years ago’.
To which I add ‘if it ain’t broke, we don’t fix it!’.

Look at the score board, we are producing the most amazing results year after year, and we do it not with one athlete but with nearly every one that joins our group and buys into the mantra that repetition is good, our body adapts, our body adjusts and goes to a new level.

What astonishes me is that both age group and pro athletes are debating that next week is nearly the same as last week. The next line is:
‘You don’t understand Sutto, I’m used to doing so much more than this’. Even the slowest age groupers, ‘coach, I can do more’

And there in lies the story which is some times more than I can take:
The same people improve massively, and I mean hours not minutes.
Slow age groupers become good age groupers
Good age groupers become podium pros.
Podium pros become champions.

And they all keep saying the same thing, ‘coach we can do much more. If we just trained more, like the others do?’ They don’t understand the reason they have improved, is because I stopped them killing their performance. With more is better when it’s quite clearly not!

The conclusion, repetition, a whole lot of repetition will trump junk miles done all over the place. Believe me. Hard work gets you places. Smart hard work gets you to better places! Repetition is the key to turn you on to hyper performance

Just the way I see it, Just the way we do it
I wish everyone and their family the very best for the festive season.


Join Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton and his squad at training Camp in Cyprus in April, 2018 for insights into the Trisutto Coaching and Training methodologies.

Welcoming Coach Andrej Vistica

Welcoming Coach Andrej Vistica

Croatia’s champion triathlete Andrej joins the Trisutto Coaching team. Photo Credit: Daniel Comiza

It gives me great pleasure to see Andrej Vistica complete his Trisutto Coaching certification and join our ranks as not just an athlete but a coach as well.

Andrej is a special story 7 years in the making. He doesn’t come from financial privilege or the head start of another sport background. He had a dream to become a professional athlete while living and working in his home country of Croatia. He started out with 10 hour work days, fitting training around it. He built himself up with pure determination then moved to train with Trisutto coach Jo Spindler, and cut his work hours down to 5 hour days.

Welcome to the team Andrej!

The outcome was that coach and pupil did a magnificent job, not only did Andrej gain his dream of being a professional athlete but look at this resume all from no sporting background.

His dedication, attention to detail and passion to be better had me thinking, this is an athlete who could be an excellent coach. This year Andrej has worked with me with the express purpose of me tutoring him as a coach. However his results as an athlete have also been exceptional. So, welcome to our coaching roster Andrej and we look forward to a successful a career in coaching as your having as an Ironman athlete.

Andrej Vistica’s  coaching profile can be viewed here. Andrej is currently taking on athletes of all ability levels. Coach Andrej discusses the running versus running for Triathlon in this informative Coaching Vlog.


Join Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton and his squad at training Camp in Cyprus in April, 2018 for insights into the Trisutto Coaching and Training methodologies.

Winter Training – Incorporating skiing into your training

Winter Training – Incorporating skiing into your training

What are some of the winter sports that can be used for triathlon training?

It’s a topic I’m often asked about by our Northern Hemisphere athletes at this time of year. People are usually surprised with how receptive I am to incorporating skiing into their off-season training.

I’ve been more than happy to add cross country skiing into the off season programs of many athletes. I believe cross country skiing has fantastic carry over for triathlon. Not only does it give the legs an outstanding workout, but it has great application for your arms as well.

I’m such a believer of it’s benefit that we now offer two Winter Ski Triathlon Programs. A 16 hour age group plan and a Professional plan that incorporate skiing into Triathlon training.

                     Winter Ski Triathlon Plan – Age Group 16 hour                       Winter Ski Triathlon Plan – Professional

It checks all the boxes for triathlon:

The arm movement works the triceps, which are so dominant in swimming. Each movement is finished off with an acceleration that helps with biomechanics used during the swim. Swim check.

Freestyle (or skating) cross country skiing builds significant thigh power and works the flutes with every movement. Bike check.

The overall cardiovascular workout is absolutely second to none. Run check.

The session is performed with no eccentric pounding, so if it’s done correctly one can allow longer workouts for 1hr 30min without the risk of bone stress injuries. Obviously a downside is if you’re not strong in the knees then poor technique while skating will be a problem. The fix, learn to ski with a better technique or use the classic style, which is still a terrific workout.

Downhill skiing is also very underrated for building bike strength. To go out and get in three solid hours of downhill skiing can be very bike muscle fatiguing and helps to enhance overall leg strength in general.

We have used skiing a number of times as preparation and sent athletes off to races virtually off the back of a winter ski base. One of our Trisutto coaches (multiple Ironman winner Lisbeth Kristensen) has won an Ironman off the back of winter training. Andrew Johns, a long time ITU World Number 1, also came out of a winter prep that had a minimum of four days of skiing instead of biking and placed second in an Ironman that he probably would have won but for a bike puncture. Such is the effectiveness of off-season ski training.

You may ask: ‘How were you reckless enough to experiment with this kind of training in the first place?’ No experiment at all. I used to watch athletes use winter triathlons – running, mountain biking and cross country skiing – as part of their preparations. Early season off the back of the skiing they were always on fire.

Conclusion; With a good winter of skiing along with a small period of time to get used to the bike again, and that can be as little as four weeks, you are actually able to improve your triathlon by using ski preparation.


Join Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton and his squad at training Camp in Cyprus in April, 2018 for insights into the Trisutto Coaching and Training methodologies.