When all3sports announced the weekend with Andy Potts, Professional Triathlete and multiple 70.3 & 140.6 winner; my first thought went to the evening with Craig Alexander, again organized by all3sports. I was super excited about meeting Crowie and then life (and my minions) took over and I missed the event. So this time, I was determined to not let to let that happen and instead dragged my minions along (if you’d cannot beat them, join them!)! But other than the general excitement of meeting a professional, I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, he is one of the best pro triathletes and I’m a … err … I’m a faux runner and a wanna-be triathlete?
We arrived just as the Q&A started, moderated by long time Andy Potts fan – Meredith, more famously known as Swim Bike Mom. To be honest, I thought it would be a TV interview kind with questions and answers. Like a Q&A. D’uh! But Andy Potts showed us all why he is not only one of the best triathletes, but also an amazing ambassador of the sport. Every answer was a life lesson highlighted, with hilarious insights into his training and tips to be successful.
All3sports are putting up a transcript of the entire Q&A, but in the meantime I’ve tried to remember and capture some highlights (although I confess that I don’t remember the questions that lead; which again was the awesome way Andy responded).
Andy stressed the importance of consistency over volume. Every single time. Eg. If you had only 10hrs a week (he was obviously talking about longer distance events), instead of 3x3hrs workouts, 6×1.5hrs was much preferable; including one longer workout of the week.
(Shameless plug here – in my previous blog post I talked about making just this mental shift. Consistency as my key training base this season).
For your thanksgiving dinner, if you undercook your turkey, your can always put it back in the oven and cook it better. Your dinner time will be pushed back, but the turkey would still be done. If you overcook and burn the turkey, you can’t salvage it and you will have to go without.
No, Andy wasn’t talking about his cooking skills. He was referring to going into a race slightly undertrained and learning from the race rather than going in overtrained and burning out.
What do you want to learn from life today?
This is a question that Andy asks himself and his kids. We all have an opportunity to learn everyday from every thing we do, if only we are willing to. So as you start your day and as you end your day, what do YOU want to learn from today?
Breathing for the swim start
Everyone acknowledges that the swim start is the most nerve wracking minutes in a triathlon (i always thought this was for someone without a swim background. But it was surprising to see how many hands went up when Andy asked how many in the room had experienced panic attacks at the swim attack.) Andy demonstrated the breathing practice he does to simulate the insanity he experiences during the swim start. Although hilarious to see him almost dry heaving in the middle of the room, it illustrated how insane one’s heart rate gets.
(Until I can get this uploaded to you tube, here’s an instagram link – http://instagram.com/p/hE21KuksgB/)
Talking about effective workouts, Andy talked about the work:rest ratio. He said his ratio during a workout is 15:1-17:1. Most mere mortals stop at 4:1-8:1, but a higher ratio is achievable by all, although there might be a marked difference in the ground covered during that 15:1
For me, this is a relatively new concept in training. I had done some runs with 5min strong run (not an all out sprint) and 1min easy. Amy Stewart, my massage therapist and athlete extraordinaire, who suggested this workout emphasized that I needed to maintain this. Well Amy, Andy agrees with you 🙂
Focus on one positive Mantra
Andy’s mantra last season was INERTIA. Just one small single step is enough to keep moving forward. As we enter the tough winter months (for me!) and are faced with the prospect of choosing to leaving a warm bed for a cold workout, Andy’s mantra would serve me good to remember. One action, repeated often enough to beat that sluggishness into becoming a positive habit.
There wasn’t a hidden life lesson in muffins, but Andy was so infectious in his love of muffins (chocolate chip, although he did use blueberry muffins once) that I felt it had to be included. The new breakfast of champions – chocolate chip muffins. If nothing, I know I will be the champion for my kids if I follow this 🙂
Sadly, I had to rush off after the talk and missed hanging out. And I missed out on the swim clinic with Andy and Haley Chura (the Atlanta professional who was the first pro woman out of water at Kona!), in part because of my own insecurities in the water (I still can’t imagine me getting into the water with all other serious swimmers; I’d have caused a traffic jam!). Watch out for the clinic recap and videos from all3sports (Follow them on twitter and facebook to get the scoop!)