In 2012 ESPN called today’s guest the greatest endurance athlete of all time. Today we welcome Mark Allen to the Final Surge Podcast. Mark has been coaching online since 2001 and recently moved his training platform over to Final Surge. We talk about how he got into triathlons and what it was like in 1989 to break through and finally win his first Kona race.
Stream it right here:
How did you get started with endurance athletics
- 1968 Watching Olympics
- Fascinated with distance swim
- Joined the local swim team
- After college thought would be done with athletics then saw Ironman
When was your first Ironman?
- October 1982 Dave Scott was in the race
- Came out of the water right behind Scott
- Halfway through bike was still with him
- Derailer broke and was forced out of the race
What was your relationship with Dave Scott like?
- Intense rivalry
- Healthy rivalry where we respected each other as people and athletes
1989 things really started clicking for you, what changed in 1989 that made you so dominant?
- Was 0-6 in Ironman but knew had not had my best race there
- In 1989 focused on solid swim, bike and run not focus on a win
- Started training longer days
- Instead of trying to pull away early I waited until later
- Mind went quiet in the race and things changed
- Just enjoyed the moment and each mile started getting better late in the race
Do you contribute the success of that 1989 race to the mindset change or the training longer?
- Combination of both
- Wasn’t any one thing, was a bunch of small things
Do you feel the changes that you made came from your experience or did coaches help you identify where you needed to make changes?
- Almost completely self-coached
- Were no triathlon coaches, had running, swim and bike advisors
How did you make the transition into triathlon coaching?
- Won Ironman in 95 and started to think about what was next
- In 96 knew it would be last Ironman and someone asked to be coached
- Other athletes heard and coaching started to grow
- The time it takes to develop plan was a lot
- 2001 launched the first edition of online coaching to save time
- Started earlier this year with Final Surge
- Took this long to get it where I want it to be
What makes your training platform unique
- Great mix of science and experience
- A gap between what science knows and what we get to experience in the real world
- So much personal experience seeing what works over a long time frame
There are all types of people looking to do triathlons, everything from a hobby jogger looking to do their first local triathlon up to those looking to qualify for Kona. What is your target audience?
- Service is for anyone, have helped many first time athletes
- Most are 70.3 or full Ironman competitors
- Many have experience in running or biking and looking to do something different
When someone signs up, what can they expect to see as far as plans?
- No templates
- Everything based on what you input for information
- We have racing and maintenance plans
- Can choose between 8, 11 or 14 workouts a week
- Includes strength training
- You control days you do your workouts and you can move things around
If someone has questions inside the platform what are their options?
- Social wall can ask for help
- Can message me directly through the platform with questions you have
Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? – Fit Soul Fit Body
Current trainers you are wearing? – Salming
Favorite race? – Ironman Hawaii
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? – BBQ fish on a toasted bun with mayo and avocado
Your favorite workout – 3-4 day stage ride