We asked: What tip would you give to a working age group athlete looking to get to Kona qualification standard?
This kicks off what will hopefully be a series of helpful articles that gives the team’s opinions and experience in aiming to reach and reaching Kona qualification standard for your average age group athlete.
Many, many thanks to those that took the time to responded below, it really shows the privileged access we have to professional triathlon community.
Replies are listed in the order they were received:
Brandon Marsh @BrandonMarshTX
Pick the right race. The race that suits your strengths or gives you the best chance of a Q.Training plans aside. I know it is difficult, but most athletes sign up just because a race is convenient. Try to get the right one.
Edith Niederfriniger @ironfrini
Find a good coach
Pedro Gomes @krepster
Get a coach. Focus on your weakness. Get a race execution / fuel plan.
Paulo Sousa @pstriathlon
Pick your parents carefully
Mirinda Carfrae @MirindaCarfrae
Forget about any social life for a while. Consistency is key.. Hope your family is supportive. Best of luck!
Dr. Philip Skiba @DrPhilipSkiba
Stop focusing on the goal and start focusing on the process.
Dan Halksworth @Hawky1
Frederik Van Lierde @fvanlierde
Look for a good coach/trainer who makes you a good structured/balanced year plan. Organization is everything!!!
Scott Neyedli @ScottNeyedli
do your research on previous podium finishers / qualifiers, budget cost & logistics, set realistic goals on your way to peak at IM
Gordo Byrn @gordo_68
Catherine Faux @catherinefaux
Brick sessions; no point in being good at running and good at cycling if you can’t put them together.
Luke Bell @auzzieluke
Use your time smartly, commute where possible, ergos just no JUNK miles have a good friend who qualified from commuting!
Meredith B Kessler @mbkessler
Great! Take a bird’s eye view at your life and see where you can fit 14-18 hrs of quality training in per week with a life balance see tinyurl.com/kawobsn (Sami Inkinen)
I really believe there is a way to get to Kona without having to part with to many things in the process- treat it as a journey plus progression!
Scott DeFilippis @ScottDeFilippis
If you finish the days training craving more then you are getting the mix right. If last thing you want to do is train, you are over cooking it!
Jimmy Johnsen @jimmy_johnsen
get the family behind the idea, that you would like to do Kona!
Rachel Joyce @RJoyce09
Consistency in training rather than the odd big week. Choose a course that suits you and belief!
Matt Dixon @purplepatch
What @DrPhilipSkiba said (smarty pants!) and I add that one needs a whole lot of patience and passion for that process!
Tom Bennet @T2coaching
do your homework on races/ standard of qualifiers in previous years use what hrs you have wisely & race with power if you have chance
Russell Cox @russmcox
biggest stress seems to be over volume. Hours are good, but so is making sure you work hard in them.
Luke McKenzie @lukemckenzie
consistency in training is key. Resist the urge to do more, more, more to avoid digging a hole that takes multiple days to get out of
Matt Chrabot @MattChrabot
make every moment count. Whether it’s training, work or family. Don’t get sloppy.
Andrew Messick @ WTC @CEOIronman
my tips for KQ: train hard, race smart, have parents who are great athletes
Dylan McNeice @dylanmcneice
Plan & utilize your time wisely.You should prioritize a long ride & run weekly,everything else is maintenance & comes 2nd to work & family.
Graeme Stewart @IMGraeme
start training as soon as possible … but don’t train for the IM. P.S. Train Hard 😉
Melissa Hauschildt @melhauschildt
do you have a @CompuTrainerUSA ? I’d do a lot of your session on there as you can get a lot more quality done in a far less time 🙂
Warren Mason @warren226k
Get a powermeter & Training Peaks & train to get to CTL of 160 – Swim 35, Bike 75, Run 50…& choose you race wisely!
Paul Ambrose @AmbroseLive
qualify through a 70.3, as it’s easier to train for and easier on the body
Dede Griesbauer @dedegriesbauer
More isn’t better. It’s just more. Make the most of the time you have. Jobs creates physical stress that still “counts”. Train smart
Dr Tamsin Lewis @SportieDoc
Take a sabbatical. Seems to be the way many do it 😉 Failing that employ a coach or ask those achieving exceeding the standard regularly e.g. Team Freespeed
Alan Couzens @Alan_Couzens
Can I give 2? 1. Don’t race too much. 2. Use a well placed camp (or camps) close to the big race.
Justin Daerr @justindaerr
try to find a way to get 30+ minutes of extra sleep per night.
Hillary Biscay @hillarybiscay
work to get a little better/faster/stronger every week…..can’t beat consistent forward progress.
Darren Smith @coachdaz
focus on specific strength, get rid of excess muscle mass & train consistently not overtop. IM is not about speed its about enduring
Liz Blatchford @Liz_Blatchford
umm asking pros probably won’t get best answers! Research which races have alot of spots, maybe later season ones roll down further?
Belinda Granger @belinda_granger
consistency in training is key, chose a qualification race that suits YOUR strengths, commit to that race.
Gina Crawford @Gina_Crawford
To get a coach who will take out all the fluff and leave the specifics in place. Train smart! A pity I realised that a bit late!
catriona morrison @cat__morrison
choose courses suited to you,if poss have an A&B plan,consider 70.3 races with Kona slots, 2 yr plan?,good coaching…
Matty White @MattyWhite77
hi Gary check out my article in latest @TriMultiMag should answer most questions
Victor Del Corral @VictorDelCorral
You don’t train more than you can rest, training is important, rest more.
lucy gossage @lucygoss
Guys get a sex change. Far easier as a woman…seriously – pick your race carefully. Less is more. Don’t need to do silly hours, Focused training better than mega volume and use your commute as training
Marko Albert @pantaani
To qualify for Kona age-group athlete needs: more time to train, understanding spouse and goal orientated coach!
Kyle Buckingham @kylebuckingham
Best is to build a good base of Endurance, if time limited just do Quality sessions rather than Quantity! no junk miles #PushHarder
Tom Lowe @tomalowe
Tough one. Never forget strength & conditioning, it’s what’ll keep you ticking along when the 30km point of the marathon flies by.
Dirk Bockel @dirkbockel
Consistent training, including life in general into t. plan, efficient n realistic training & pacing
Ritchie Nicholls @RitchieNicholls
don’t try to do too much, if you have had a hard stressful day at work cut back on your training.
Eneko Llanos @enekollanos
don’t forget having fun and sharing time with friends and family
Leanda Cave @leandacave
Make every workout count no matter how short. If you only have 15mins to get in a swim, bike or run….throw in some fast intervals
Ronnie Schildknecht @ronschildknecht
#1 tip: Enjoy the process and results will follow
Bart Aernouts @bartaernouts
find balance family-work-training as consistency is most important. look for perfect (mentally & physically) prep for one “key race”
Tyler Butterfield @TyButterfield
I would say keep it simple and try to balance life and training. Be constant and follow a plan! Designed by self or coach, best both.
brett sutton @trisutto
if you cant swim dont go your wasting your money , send a 100 to me and make a change , kona shouldnt be the only world champ venue
Donna Phelan @DonnaPhelan
Work hard, fit your key workouts in by making the most of the time that you have, and choose a race course that fits your strengths.
Andrew Starykowicz @starykowicz
Jozsef Major @JozsefMajor
Short version: pick the right race for you (research) and be consistent with the training.
Chris McDonald @bigsexymcdonald
consistency trumps any one off session
David Dellow @David_Dellow
Being single would make it easier.
Bert Jammaer @bertjammaer
Also when you are limited in time because of work, don’t forget to take your rest on time. Don’t over train!
John Newsom @johnnewsomnz
If experienced have a season racing short course exclusively. If new to tri spend a year riding your bike (a lot)
Mary Beth Ellis @marybethellis
pick a race/course to suit your strengths (eg poor swimmer?choose wetsuit legal swim – great hill climber?don’t race pancake flat FL)
Per Bittner @pEpEbit
remember: you do it because you love it!
Lisa Bentley @lisabentley
Consistency over the long run is the most important “physical” thing – get your 60-90 min of training done in the morning before work