We thought it would be fun to check in with our old pal Simon who manages to get faster and faster (seemingly without any effort) to see if he was prepared to spill the beans on how he manages it all.
When we caught up with him, Simon was just about to jump on a plane, but kindly still made time for our inane enquiries. This is what he told us.
- How old are you and whats your day job?
45 (46 in June!) Secondary School Teacher - PE and Business Studies
- What got you into triathlon (as opposed to a proper sport like fixed crit bike racing or base jumping)?
A friend suggested we do a half marathon together. Then we did an aquathlon and when we did that he suggested I only needed a cheap bike and we could do triathlon. Thousands and thousands of euros later I’m still doing it!
- Aha, the cheap bike trick! So how did you get on in those early days?
First Tri was a sprint - Actually went OK - my primary concern was not to be last but actually finished up somewhere in the middle of the pack and really enjoyed it.
- And now, how's this season shaping up?
Touch wood - really good so far. All the signs (and data) suggest I stronger and faster than I’ve EVER been on the bike and in the pool without losing anything on the runs!
In two half ironmans in March I was 6th and 10th overall (1st and 2nd in my category)
- So, looks like you've made quite some progress Simon. What do you put that down to? It can't be just choosing the right wheels (although clearly, your biggest gains have been made since you saw the light and decided to Spin On These…)
In the pool - consistency is the big thing - I try and swim at least 3x if not 4x a week. It’s also about lots of variety in working the different energy systems. Different intensities and different interval lengths. Lots of fin, pull buoy and snorkel work to isolate different technique components.
On the bike - being a lanky 45yr old - strength work is really helping me this year. Lots of low cadence work, some short burst maximum power intervals and a regular (albeit basic) strength workout - done at home once a week.
Running - has been longer duration trail running and short hill repeats for the most part.
- So what kind of training program do you follow?
A morning one:)
Swims are before work Mon, Wed and Fri
Home trainer for 1-1.5hr Tues and Thur
Light run Tues lunchtime and long run Thur after work
Short strength session Mon eve
Weekends - depends if I’ve got the kids or not.
Kids weekend - home trainer and a shorter run
No kids - long ride and longer run
- How do you fit it all in your life?
I have no life hahaha! To be honest - it is pretty much work, training, kids and sleeping
- Is the key to these improvements having a very reasonable wife and kids? (I'm looking for a great excuse for the rest of us to have up our sleeves when we possibly fail to match your performance levels)
I have to be honest - splitting up from my girlfriend has given me more freetime (not that the motive was so I could train more, nor am I suggesting anybody should do it for this reason I hasten to add!). Focussing on better nutrition and prioritising sleep is definitely giving me more energy too.
Oh, I see. Looks like there is a hefty price tag for seemingly effortless performance after all. Thanks so much for sharing your tips with us Simon, and best of luck for the rest of the season.