Graeme Turner – Triathlon Training Advice To Improve Endurance Results
Graeme Turner embodies the evolution of sports knowledge providers. His long list of qualifications and experience highlight the level of expertise required by coaches and specialists to compete internationally.
He is accredited as a triathlon coach, qualified as a sports nutritionist, experienced as a strength and conditioning coach as well as certified to train kickboxing and MMA.
His background in corporate Information Technology has also shown him the importance of continual and timely innovation. His subsequent move away from corporate life was driven by his interest in helping others achieve their fitness goals and as a result lead to a position as Triathlon Australia Performance Coach.
Graeme generously donates his knowledge throughout a variety of online sources and provides training services through his business Fit 2 Tri.
Endurance events and the required training can take a lot of time out of a persons schedule. How can athletes maintain a healthy training, work and personal life balance?
I think the biggest mistake people make is treating these as three separate and often exclusive things. People block out their work time, family time and training time and often one of those will suffer.
It is crucial when doing triathlon to not just have people supporting you but also to not have people providing negative energy (which has been shown to have a hormone effect on the body by increasing Cortisol). Rather than try and treat these separately, integrate them i.e. Riding or running to work (most offices have showers or a gym nearby), cycling to a family picnic, having the kids ride next to you on a longer run etc.
It’s also important from a balance perspective to sit down with people in your network (i.e. Those that may be impacted by your training including work and family) and discuss why you want to do this, why it’s important to you and find out what their ‘non-negotiables’ are in terms of your expected commitments with them.
You have a wide ranging skill set, do you believe that coaches are moving away from specialisation? Or do you just enjoy pursuing education in various fields?
For a triathlete to be successful it is a combination of things – training, recovery, functional strength, nutrition, motivation etc.
By understanding all of these areas I can provide a holistic approach i.e. changing nutrition based on training volume or type of session (strength, endurance etc.), bike fitting based on running requirements, functional strength based on run technique analysis.
This does save the client money but more importantly everything is linked together based on the athlete, their strengths, weaknesses and goals so it all works together.
Your training comparisons between weightlifters and endurance runners highlighted a lot of mistakes made by triathletes; do you come across these habits frequently when training new athletes?
Very much. Especially
1. Over training. If you want to become a better runner, just run more versus upping the intensity/quality of the session. I often say doing more long, slow runs makes you better at running long and slow (and often risks over training and hormonal/immune issues)
2. Not pushing to failure on strength work – not just weights but hill work etc. The body needs to be challenged in order to grow.
3. Fuelling the training. By training more and eating less athletes actually become slower as they are breaking down muscle without the nutrients to rebuild.