6-5-1@SPARTA interview with Coach Troy

Coach Troy Jacobson Ironman Triathlon“Coach Troy” is a name that is synonymous with triathlon & cycling coaching around the world. I suspect that there are few out there who have not had the ‘pleasure’ of training with Troy through his highly successful Spinervals series of cycling workouts.

Troy Jacobson has been coaching endurance athletes since 1992. Since that time he is widely recognised as having revolutionised the sport especially through his highly successful online coaching program.

Troy’s own triathlon career has been stellar and he continues to prove that age is no barrier to success.

Troy’s Ironman run PR stands at 2:59:55 which he set in 2010 at the age of 41 (in the process breaking his PR which he set a whooping 10 years earlier).

In 2011, at the age of 42 Troy finished 3rd overall in the inaugural Leadman Tri EPIC 250 – which consisted of a 3.1 mile (5km) swim, 139mile (223km) bike & 14.1mile (22km) run – in the (smokin’) time of 10:33.

And if that wasn’t enough, Troy finished the Ironman World Championships in Kona this year in a time of 9:22. At the age of 42, his time was only 3 minutes slower than when he did the race as a 22 year old back in 1991!

Welcome Coach Troy to SPARTA!

1/.     What is the biggest challenge to your motivation & how do you overcome that?

My biggest challenge is squeezing time in to train when work is busy.  I find myself consumed by my work at times and find it hard to justify heading out on a bike or a run.  I have learned over the many years of doing this that most work issues are not urgent and will be waiting for you to complete when you can.

2/.    Aside from training for the 3 disciplines, what other training do you incorporate into your own training program (eg, strength, stretching, core etc) & how important is it to your performance as a masters athlete?

I do resistance training (strength work) primarily with bands and bodyweight 3-4 times per week. My routine is short and very intense. I am trying to get better at incorporating more flexibility training too… but that’s a work in progress!  

3/.    What recovery & regeneration techniques do you use in your own training regime?

I sometimes use compression wear. During higher volume training in particular, I’ll drink protein smoothies more regularly. And since my knees always achy and sore, I ice when necessary. 

4/.    Who is the person (or people) who have had the most influence on your sporting success?

I have a few people I consider my triathlon mentors.  David Petrie, a professor of Exercise Physiology, taught me the science of training in the late 1980’s.  Then, when I attended West Chester University (Pennsylvania), I lived near Ken Glah and Jeff Devlin, two of the top triathletes in the world at the time.   They were kind enough to allow me to train with them and pick their brains and much of my philosophy today is based on what I learned from them over 20 yrs ago.

5/.    If you weren’t a triathlon coach, what would you do & why?

I believe I would be involved in coaching team sports, in particular football.  I was a team sport athlete prior to becoming a triathlete and loved the training, the team dynamic, the intensity and game day. I recently had the good fortune of partnering on a new series of Spinervals cycling videos with NFL Football legend, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens. The experience was awesome and it took me back to my athletic roots. 

6/.    If you could go back in time & give one piece of advice to yourself when you were 18, what advice would that be?

Focus on technique development at an early stage of training more, especially with the swim!  I started swimming at the age of 18 , had no guidance/coaching and developed horrible technique that persisted throughout my entire triathlon career.  For example, my best Kona swim was around 58 minutes… and I always felt that if I could have exited with the stronger guys (around 53-55 min.), I could have moved up into that next ‘tier’ of racing.  Developing proper and efficient technique is so important!

 You can find out more about ‘Coach Troy’ and his coaching videos and programs at www.coachtroy.com or www.spinervals.com.

Thanks for your time Troy!