In response from a recent request from Labosport Polska, Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton gives his advice for those new to our great sport and looking to start in their first Triathlon!
1) For whom is triathlon? Do you need special predispositions to train triathlon?
I believe triathlon is for every one. Over the next 5 years the sport will broaden its base enormously.
2) What`s important before you start your triathlon training?
If it’s been some time since one has exercised, or the first time, one should have a medical, to make sure the body is ready to start training.
3) How do you have to plan your training to make sure you are well prepared for all of triathlon competitions?
At Trisutto we believe that training for all distances starts with the same backbone. This is consistency. This is the key for all distances. Unlike exams, cramming for endurance sports is not a proven strategy.
4) Do Triathletes need a special diet?
I am one of the few that believe we don’t need to change diets greatly. We need extra calories as we lift the training load.
5) How important is regeneration during triathlon training?
Resting or regeneration is so important we view it as a big part of improvement. Without proper attention to rest, performance at all levels is hindered.
6) Do you have some gold thoughts/tips or hints for those who want to try their hand in triathlon?
If you are considering starting in triathlon, don’t be frightened by the technology or the belief that all the expensive equipment will help you improve faster. The keys to quick improvement are proper supervised training, done with consistency. The old saying of “no pain, no gain” is so misleading. Enjoy your new sport by training consistently and at a level you find enjoyable. Then it will be an amazing experience, and enhance your life.
Trisutto.com online triathlon coaches are available to help all levels of athletes from Elite to Beginners.
Check our coaching packages here.
As we get closer to Challenge Roth we’d like to pass on to our followers and Daniela Ryf fans some inside knowledge of our preparation and a common sense reflection on the hype now being generated around a supposed ‘World Record’ attempt.
Can Daniela Ryf break the record this year?
Yes, but so can whoever crosses the tape first in two weeks.
Let’s leave aside questions of form or injury for now. Or the fact Challenge are naturally doing their best to promote their event – it still staggers me that with a new course we would have such conjecture from commentators within the sport.
There will be a significant change to the DATEV Challenge Roth course on July 9th, 2017. For the first time in the more than 30-year history of the Roth Triathlon, a new two-lap run course has been designed to be more athlete and spectator-friendly. The new route links the towns of Roth and Büchenbach, together with the canal in a T-shaped course, which is completed twice.
It’s my personal hope that the new run course will be a smash hit with both the public and participating athletes. I also believe the changes will enhance the overall race experience .
But it doesn’t change the pretty basic fact that whoever wins, there will be new course record holders on July 9th.
With each out-and-back section of the ‘T’ at 10.2km, runners pass each point of the course four times. With an additional 1.4km of connecting routes at the bottom of the T, the classic marathon distance of 42.195km is reached.
It is both a 2 lap course with extra hill component. If it is the full distance then there is every chance it can be as much as 4 minutes slower than the old course. Who knows, it may one day still deliver a killer performance. But Chrissie’s record as well as Jan’s will stand in perpetuity as the fastest on that course.
Very pleased to see Challenge reach out to the great Chrissie Wellington. As for whether she will be there ‘to see her record fall’ – let’s get back to reality.
It has been made very clear and public that the Angry Bird has been dealing with a nagging back injury over the last four months.
The good news is there is no bone damage and of late has been improving each week within a light training schedule. We decided to test the back in a race situation at Ironman 70.3 Rapperswil two weeks ago. Any real triathlon followers would have noted that the Bird was anything but flying as she posted a time 15 minutes slower than her usual very high standards.
So while it was a reality check fitness wise, we were very encouraged that the effort didn’t affect the injury at all. This has encouraged us to give Dannie the challenge of participating in Roth. But chances of records falling, even if it was on the old course disappeared months ago.
Coach has now set the program on being a 100% ready for her to defend her Kona crown on the 14th of October.
With all things carrying on in the right direction we will use three shorter races leading in to get her fit before Kona, with one of them being the 70.3 World Championships on the 9th of September. While we don’t expect the Bird to be at her 100% best there, we do anticipate she will be very competitive. So for all her fans, with no further problems and continued improvement we will hope to see the Angry Bird flying high for Kona.
Thank you to all our supporters.
Multiple Lifetime Fitness Champion. Greg is the longest serving and highest ever pro earner on the circuit.
On Friday Greg Bennett announced his retirement from professional triathlon. For those who don’t know the history of the sport it’s important that his career is acknowledged for the legacy it holds. I won’t focus on Greg’s results, which include titles over three decades, but instead provide some insight as to why I believe he is the very essence of what makes this sport so special.
I first laid eyes on this bull of a man in the very early 90s as a young, ambitious guy. My first impressions were that he was not a natural swimmer, strong on the bike, but could only run ‘OK’ for 3km. In fact I vividly remember thinking ‘this guy should be a rugby player, what’s he doing in triathlon?’
But there was a character and determination that came through very clearly of ‘I want to make myself something great’. And in our sport that’s still the biggest talent there is.
Over the next couple of years he got better, putting that big frame to use in turning a strong bike into an uber one and joining the bike axes of Australian triathlon. He still didn’t swim like the top guys at this time, but he now had a weapon and in the short, explosive races of the Formula One he put it to work. Many a time one would see Greg blasting off the front laying it all on the line only to see the ‘Big 4’ of Bevan (Brad), Welchy (Greg Welch), Miles (Stewart) and Macca (Chris McCormack) run him down in the last 800m.
At that time I saw something too, here was a man of enormous courage and conviction.
It was a pair of very fragile bonds that brought us together for a period of time in 1996 through to 2000/1 season. As Greg noted in his thank you post, he still remembers (or has night terrors) of my remedy for being run down too many times around the 3km mark.
If he wanted to run a strong 10km and be a world class Olympic distance athlete there was a way. It would come down to whether he wanted it badly enough. Did he want it?
He craved it. We decided that constant speed and sets at race pace over race distance would be his medicine and Greg drank bottles of it. Some weeks we did nothing but 200s at race pace on the treadmill. As he recalled:
In the late 90’s I learned how to train hard and how much more my body could take even when I thought I had nothing left. I’ll never forget setting the treadmill to 22.5km/hr +1° and Brett saying “35sec run, 25sec off… until you drop!” (I managed 150 until he said enough).
And when most around him thought that was enough, he would keep on. It was not me that kicked his arse, but Greg who kicked his own.
The desire burned and he turned a rugby player body into an Olympian, World Champion, the longest serving and highest ever pro earner on the circuit. For more than two decades, until exactly last Friday, there wasn’t a competitor on the circuit who when they saw GB with a bike and run shoes in transition didn’t get a gnawing feeling in the pit of their stomach that ‘today’s going to be tough’.
And what better tribute to give than that? His whole career was built on guts, determination, desire, but also detail.
There has not been a male triathlete who has squeezed more out of what he had been given. He has also inspired race results from my athletes for the last 15 years. I’ve held up GB up as an example to every athlete that’s wanted to give me the excuse for ‘I don’t have the talent’.
‘No talent? GB’s been on a diet for 20 years! Not just food, but a diet of over training for most humans because he was willing to pay the price not many others in this sport would ever be prepared to!’
And so while his retirement for those new to the sport will be seen as another high performance pro finishing up, I want it known for our own team here and new athletes that the Greg Bennett legacy lives on. He is an inspiration for all – age group and pro. Very much in the mould of a Belinda Granger or Bella Bayliss, people who took little talent and backed it with a huge heart, a work ethic that scared most pros and then added street smarts to make themselves champions who never burned out!
Why didn’t they?
Because they loved every minute of the blood, sweat and tears. They just wouldn’t allow it to happen. Unlike most pros of today, they knew they were living a dream and never took it for granted.
Greg Bennett is an icon of our sport and every new athlete deserves to know of this journey. Champion athlete, champion person and as the last of that generation there will not be another like him!
Always respected as one of toughest on the circuit. Photo: Gary L. Geiger Photography
• International Triathlon Union World Series Champion 2002, 2003
• Olympic Games 2004, Athens, 4th
• Australian Champion 1998,1999
• Australian long course champion (Half Ironman) 2000
• Oceania Champion 1998, 1999
• USA Champion 1996, 2003
• Czech Champion 1996,1997
Life Time Series Champion
• Twice – US Open Champion 2007, 2008
• Four time – Los Angeles Triathlon Champion 2000, 2006, 2007, 2008
• Four time – New York Triathlon Champion 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
• Chicago 2007
• Minneapolis 2007
World Cup Titles
• Monaco, Monte Carlo World Cup Champion 1997
• Sydney, Australia World Cup Champion 1999
• Cancun, Mexico World Cup Champion 2001
• Gamagori, Japan World Cup Champion 2002
• Hamburg, Germany World Cup Champion 2003
• Ishigaki, Japan World Cup Champion 2003
Triathlon is a draining sport and too often I see professional and age group athletes racing and training at a high level year-round, day in and day out, year after year. This is not healthy or sustainable.
Humans have since the dawn of time advocated a Sabbath or time of rest. Religion has always seen a benefit in integrating mindful rest into our lives. In addition, our earliest industry, agriculture, saw the benefit of taking a break to allow for rebalancing and rejuvenation. Allowing the land to go fallow lowered yield in the short term in exchange for keeping the land vital for years to come.
In today’s fast paced world, whether in triathlon or in our outside life, we are unwilling to rest and only do so as a last resort once we are sick, injured, or burnt-out. Instead of preserving our long-term health, we chase the short-term performance.
Stuck in a vicious cycle, the modern athlete refuses to take the time to recover that both our body and mind require. Constantly in a state of exhaustion, it is not possible to rebuild without taking time away. The toughest challenge in the world may be to take the step back and rest taking a Sabbatical from the constant stress of the chase.
I would advocate every seventh year a break from high-level long course triathlon racing or at the very least an offseason every year. The professional athletes with highest career longevity take the time each year to rest their mind and body. Likewise, as you see the current crop of women triathletes taking a sabbatical to expand or start a family, I would venture to guess you will see many of these top performers come back stronger in the next five years as the time of unstructured training has allowed both their mind and body to rebalance.
Trying something different over the off-season, means you stay fit and continue to have fun.
We can all learn from our ancestors that rest is a vital part of long term development. Rest doesn’t need to mean sitting on the couch, it can mean enjoying some shorter races or doing an xterra or trying a new sport rather than chasing a Kona qualifier that year. But do give your mind and body a break from the constant struggle of long course racing. Taking a step away to restore your body and your passion for the sport whether for a month or a year will allow you to return in a healthier happier state ready to attack the next season.
Mary Beth Ellis is one of the USA’s most decorated long distance triathletes. A member of the US National Team for 4 years, during her career she was an elite ITU racer as well as Top 5 Ironman World Championship finisher. Mary Beth Ellis runs her Trisutto.com coaching program in Andover Massachusetts in the USA and speaks English.
Join Mary-Beth at her triathlon training camps on the Ironman Mont Tremblant course in July http://trisutto.com/camps/#tremblant
Red Bull TV Documentary ‘2 Fast: Journey of Triathlon Legends’.
This week I was asked to comment on some of the opinions made by Chris McCormack regarding Daniela Ryf, and his view that she can no longer beat Holly Lawrence and Heather Jackson over the 70.3 distance:
It’s the first time in two years I haven’t seen her look dominating. I mean, she’s got a long way to fall before she loses. Don’t get me wrong, she’s been lightyears above everyone. But it seems to me and I’m happy to be corrected and want to be corrected, is that she’s hit the top of that mountain – in that Sutto mountain climbing thing. And he’s done it with all his athletes. And you know a lot of these Ironman’s – she had the back to back Ironman wins last year. These things slowly accumulate, right, and the fresher athlete comes through and starts to shine. I think Holly (Lawrence) and Heather (Jackson) could be those two athletes. I think they’re amazing. It’s a long way to fall, but at the 70.3 distance I don’t think Daniela can beat these two girls any more! Right, she’s more Ironman and she’s lost that speed base. She may correct me and being part of the Bahrain Team she may pull me aside for this and say ‘You arsehole, you’re supposed to be on my side’ but I’m just calling it how I see it…
Chris McCormack, MaccaX
The comments were made following a third place at Challenge Gran Canaria. Only the second time she hasn’t won a 70.3 distance race in 4 years.
Now I have no problem with Macca making his views known just like any other commentator. If I paid attention to every person expressing uneducated views on athletes the annoyance would have driven me insane decades ago. But unlike most others, Macca is supposed to be the manager of Daniela’s own Team.
And while he may well be very excited about the success of his new race project, as well as having the Prince’s ear and cheque book to sign new athletes, like many excitable people he seems to have lost a total sense of context.
First rule of being a good leader is that you take care of your own. If you have something to say about an athlete that may damage their confidence you keep it private and don’t broadcast it to the general public. Daniela has been struggling with an injury for a long period now. It’s an injury caused largely by being a team member for Bahrain in the first place. We know the extended season racing in Dubai and Bahrain may be shortening her career. But she is well paid, is a team player and has performed at those events with true professionalism.
Since joining Team Bahrain she has delivered 2 Kona World Championships, a 70.3 World Championship and kept the Triple Crown in house for her sponsors. To be disrespected by the manager on the whim of new signings doesn’t really instil a lot of confidence in the team culture.
Holly Lawrence has yet to provide anything but hope to Team Bahrain. Heather Jackson is a gutsy pro with my full respect, but I’d imagine would be similarly embarrassed by Macca’s above statements.
As to a ‘loss of speed base’ – just absolutely no idea. Unlike most Ironman athletes the Bird non-drafting is the fastest short course on the planet. If he wants to find out, I’m sure he can put the money together for a match race. Could be Daniela vs. Gwen when she’s back, head to head, as short as he wants.
Because that is where I personally believe he has found his after racing niche. The production of the Super League races was everything that the sport needs and I have no doubt Macca choreographed every step of it. It was a masterpiece that put the current Ironman and ITU offerings to shame. The potential in this area in unlimited and so I’d advise him to stick to it and leave the athletic assessments to those who know what they’re talking about.
As to the inevitable questions that will arise surrounding form and injury. The season hasn’t even begun yet and judgments are rarely made wisely off the basis of an individual race. One thing is certain though, you don’t win 4 world titles without being made of iron. Trash talk won’t ruffle the Bird’s feathers.
To put it all into perspective, here is a piece of film that shows two of the greatest Ironman athletes the sport has known. I have been one of the biggest admirers of Natascha Badmann for near 20 years. To do what she did with what talent she had is a testament to the human spirit. And I think the way both athletes go about their business is the way we should really be judging form and careers:
There’s been a lot written recently about Gill Fullen’s battle with Cancer, her comeback and most recently her victory at Outlaw Half by various media. Therefore, I felt it’s only right that as her Coach I now should write down my own thoughts.
Gill’s journey is one that is very special for so many reasons without her recent battles. She is an incredible athlete at Age Group level and one that you could argue ‘what if?’ or ‘if only’ she found the sport earlier.
Gills a multiple Champion at Age Group level, and without being disrespectful to other competitors, she finds it easy as there is nothing Gill likes to do more than race hard. That’s not saying others don’t, it’s just Gill does have those rare qualities only the best seem to have at the higher end of the sport.
When Gill came to me to coach her I had one condition.
‘You take yourself out of your comfort zone and walk away from all the easy wins you’ve had. ‘WHAT?’ was the look I got from Gill.
I could tell Gill had never had anyone say this to her before and I went on, ‘COME ON you want to find that extra 10%, don’t you? And see where you could really go in this sport?’.
‘Yes, your right, but I’m too old’, she said.
I told her age is just a number, and now we do things my way.
She looked at me with shock, and said ‘We’ll see, so many have tried before you’.
It was then I knew I had a fighter on my hands.
This was the start of a great relationship between Gill and I, we are very straight with each other. We sat down over a year ago and set a plan, the plan was to move away from the Age Group mind-set, and step up to another level and test yourself again. The plan was wins at Outlaws, amongst others, but what wasn’t in the plan was the big ‘C’… Yes Cancer.
When Gill told me, if I’m honest my reaction perhaps wasn’t normal. I didn’t feel sorry for Gill, I don’t think she needed that, she needed someone to say, ‘Well come on, we’ll fight this together enough’. People around you say the right things, so I’m going to be objective and challenging just the way Gill likes things to be.
Gill responded in a way only a real fighter would. Days/weeks and months past and the motivation was amazing, she never gave up and got stronger with motivation. Yes of course there were downs, but everyone is human; Gill responded to each challenge with grit and in such a touching way. she is gifted with not only talent, but in true spirit and determination and this carried through the whole time, which for many was and is inspiring.
Gill in Kona
Typical of Gill the texts started flowing back in, asking me about training, telling me what she had done and what she was doing, each week and month she was doing a bit more but not without setbacks. In true Gill fashion, she kept on pushing and became stronger and stronger, sending me texts “this isn’t going to beat me.” Continuously hounding me to start training properly so we could get back to our original plan, and when those texts started to proceed about races for the future I thought Gill was now ready to plan for the 2017 season ahead.
Gill’s determination and courage to beat off one of the biggest battles of her life is one that deserves enormous respect. When most would have crumbled, Gill stepped up and looked at Cancer right in the eye and challenged back, trading punches that was a survival technique, not knowing if one of those thrown could be the last.
As serious as it sounds, we are talking about the fact that Gill is one special human to be able to show the way and fight for life, not just in the sport she loves so much. Triathlon has given Gill the chance to down her true character.
Gill is a very talented, and gifted in many areas, but is yet to become the complete athlete. Yes, Gill can still improve, age for me is just a number and if you’re good enough then why not give it your best shot.
Perry Agass has been a professional coach for over 10 years and has worked with some of the best coaches and athletes in the world. He is a passionate, motivated and very thorough with excellent results.
Perry regularly holds camps in Cyprus for all levels of athletes.