You Need to Build Your Ability to Train Before You Can Train- Rob Wilby

What if triathlons (or 70.3’s) weren’t as intimidating as they may appear?

What if, as a successful long distance runner, you already possessed a unique advantage over athletes in the other disciplines?

And what if, you could become a successful triathlete, or even just improve your running, without a significant increase in training hours by training more efficiently?

Rob Wilby is a professional triathlon coach based in England, where he is head coach at both Team Oxygenaddict and Knutsford Triathlon Club.

He specialises in helping age group triathletes rapidly improve, by focussing on maximising the effectiveness of training time and addressing their biggest performance limiters.

Over the last 20 years, he has helped hundreds of athletes exceed their expectations, from completing their first triathlon through to qualifying for the World Championships.

Rob provides great insight on the world of triathlons and 70.3’s and breaks down some perceived resistances that may prevent runners from entering these events.

He’s a fellow podcaster and has wonderful tips on training, coaching and having a successful mindset to enjoy what may be a new experience for runners.

If you’ve ever wanted to pursue a triathlon, but felt intimidated, Rob has great advice to help you get started. If you have never even considered triathlons, Rob’s training perspective can help you increase your running performance by leveraging cross-discipline training.

You Need to Build Your Ability to Train Before You Can Train- Rob Wilby

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • Why runners have a unique advantage over swimmers and cyclists in triathlons.
  • How inclusive triathlons are for newcomers.
  • Maintaining Training / Life balance.
  • Equipment recommendations.
  • Benefits of training in multiple disciplines.
  • Swim form analysis and tips.

Questions Rob is asked:

3:55 What is team Oxygenaddict?

5:55 How did you end up giving yourself a year to get ready for your first triathlon as opposed to waiting until the last minute?

8:19 Where did the name “Oxygenaddict” come from?

9:30 What are the brand advertising limitations for triathlon kits?

11:30 What’s your backstory?

17:59 What’s the percentage of people transitioning to triathlons are runners and what would you say to someone considering a transition to let them know they have support from the rest of the triathlon community?

22:48 What would you say about the difference between just running vs. running right after cycling?

25:20 Do you see triathletes of all levels (especially novices) competing?

28:11 What would you say to people who are 4-5 hour marathoners; is there an opportunity for them in the world of triathlon?

29:53 Do you have to like all 3 disciplines?

33:23 Do triathletes typically have 3 separate coaches for each discipline?

35:31 How does one train for a triathlon without it completely taking over their life?

40:57 As a coach, do you worry about recreational / mid-pack athletes burning out from overtraining?

43:36 What is your swim analysis?

48:21 Is there a general best swim form or are there a variety of good forms?

49:57 Do you breathe one side or both?

51:42 Any additional swim-form tips?

53:15 Is it more likely that a fit runner who thinks they’re not a good swimmer has bad form than that they’re not fit enough?

54:48 What about open-water swimming vs. indoor pool?

57:05 Good brands of entry-level bikes and wetsuits?

58:46 What is your podcast about?

1:02:52 Final Kick Round

Quotes by Rob:

“I’ve never come across anybody who’s elitist or snobbish at all at any of the events that I’ve been to.”

“Without a doubt, the people who make the strongest athletes in triathlon come from a running background.”

“You’ll see a massive variety of people at these events.”

“(By training for a triathlon) …you’ve consistently run for 12 weeks without getting injured, you’ve done all this hard work on the bike without getting injured, your body’s had a different stimulus without getting injured, and all of a sudden the result of that is, it turns out, you’ve got out of your own way and you’ve developed a different way of training  that’s going to allow you to get even faster on the run.”

“You can let the sport take up as much of your life or as little of your life as you like.”

“I’m probably doing about half the training I was before, and I’m still getting 99% of the benefit of it. So, almost I wondered how little training I could do and still be fit for racing.”

“You need to build your ability to train before you can train.”

“(Runners are) already aerobically very fit, and the reason they can’t swim quickly is because of a skill-based problem not because of a fitness based problem.”

“The key to swimming better is to improve your technique. Practice good technique and get fit as a byproduct of simply practicing good technique rather than trying to get fit and thinking that your technique will improve.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:

Oxygen Addict website

Huub wetsuits

Oxygen Addict podcast

Podcast interview with the Gait Guys

Tina’s waterproof phone case

Oxygen Addict Swimming Analysis

Runners Connect Improve Running Form 

From Last to First: How I Became a Marathon Champion  by Charlie Spedding

What to know before buying a power meter

Podcast interview with Jim Vance about Power Meters

Team Oxygen Addict

 Webinar with Coach Rob and CEO of Runners Connect, Jeff Gaudette

Free Sample Training Plan for Run to the Top Listeners

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One Response on “You Need to Build Your Ability to Train Before You Can Train- Rob Wilby

  1. I was listening this on my long run this morning.
    Very strange though as at the very moment Ron and Tina stated to talk about a swimmer Rob had trained swimming down the Manchester Ship Canal I was actually running over one of the Victorian swing bridges that cross the canal!!

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