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Episode 026: Mark Allen: A Different Place

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Mark Allen talks about triathlon competition from the perspectives of mind, body and spirit and how the three work together to form a winning combination.

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Summary

The physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of competition

Podcast Intro
Suzanne introduces Mark Allen
Getting Ready for the Race
Mark Allen and Dave Scott
Consistency, Preperation and Experience
Setting Reasonable Expectations
Training Camp in Boulder
Writing “The Art of Competition”
“The Song of the Working Body”
More Camp Stories
The Thousand-and-First Reason
The Art of Competition: The Quotes
The Importance of “A Different Place”
Mark Allen on Spirituality
Spiritual Inspiration and Stress
The Art of Competition: The Photos
The Meanings of the Photos
Sources of Inspiration
The Art of Competition Limited Edition
Mark Allen and Coaching
Other Resources
Wrap-Up
Mark Allen Outro
Podcast Outro

Transcript

Intro
Welcome to Triathlon Research the Podcast that brings together the world’s best triathlon coaches, athletes, equipment experts and medical professional to give you the right information that you need to race pass your personal best and get more enjoyment out of your triathlon journey. Triathlon Research where we teach you how to train smart, Here is your host Suzanne Atkinson MD, founder and head coach of Steel City Endurance

Suzanne
Hi there, This is Suzanne Atkinson with Triathlon Research radio and I’m sitting here with Mark Allen at the King Candrian Hotel in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Thanks for joining me Mark.

Mark
It’s great to be here, It’s a good place to have your office for today.

Suzanne
It’s a fantastic place. I’ve got a nice portable pod-casting set up here so we could be anywhere we can sit down up here and watch swimmers warming up for Saturday if you like

Mark
Today, I didn’t go down there but people sounded like it was an absolute mobsy. Usually Wednesdays like the like the day for everybody stand appears swimming and It’s kind of like the last day where you really do any kind of fairly decent length of workout even though you know you’re not going hard.

Suzanne
Yeah.

Mark
And a lot of people got into town, Saturday, Sunday, Monday pretty much most people are almost here by Wednesdays it’s like okay. You can see the IQ level dropping about ten points everyday you get closer to the event

Suzanne
What do you think that is, are the people are getting nervous about it?

Mark
Yeah you get nervous and you really are focus on trying to make sure you have every detail pin down even though you probably gone over it a hundred times in your mind, prepared everything but in those last few days you know you have to check in your bags. You have to make sure your bike is all set. You have to make sure your numbers are pinned on, they are on the belt and whatever it is so there is no more room for air everything has to be pin down and turned in and you know there is a certain amount of release that happens on Friday when you actually hand of your bike it appear, because it’s like it’s 99% all the prep is 99% done and you still have race morning where you show up and most people have special needs bag for heart rate to the bike which is nutrition that they want partly to the run. Nutrition that they want so, you still have to find that one last drop of point where you put some stuff out but basically by you know 4th latest on Saturday, Friday afternoon you’re done you are almost ready and there, it’s like this rare interim phase where you’ve got the evening and you’ve got the morning and nothing is happening.

Suzanne
I do.

Mark
What do I do? I mean Its really nothing happening you know you’re just going to sit here and trying to sleep. Thursday night, 2 nights before is the most important nights, Friday night it doesn’t matter what happens. It doesn’t really affect your race.

Suzanne
So sounds like you’ve done this once or twice before?

Mark
I’ve done this once or twice; you know all of those feelings are better going on out there

Suzanne
Now you’ve won the race six times. How many times have you competed in Kona?

Mark
I raced here 12, first six I didn’t win. I could get second, I was second twice, I was third once, I got fifth twice, one year I didn’t finished cause had a rail and broken the bike but you know I could be in the lead with the bike at the end of the bike at the half marathon point of the run, even with 10k to go so I can spin I just couldn’t seem to put it together to hold till you finished and it took me to my 7th try in 1989 before I finally was able to put all the elements together and not only my train me enough to the race and in the event really holding it together in extreme situation where I was side by side with the guy who had then setting the bar every year, Dave Scott.

Suzanne
And Dave Scott, was here this week right? we just had an event the other night.

Mark
Yeah this is the 25th anniversary of our classic battle in 1989, you know yesterday we did an interview and were asked that “Were you aware that this was going to be such an amazing year. In the race did you know that it’s going to be incredible of what was unfolding?”, And we both kind of said, “ We knew that we both have kind of copter our game in terms of preparation because the race had gone on earlier in the year but you know neither of us have a clue that the day was going to unfold the way, and even as it was you know we were side by side for literally 8 hours of race and it wasn’t until the last long uphill before you drop into town here in Kona that I was able to pull away and end up winning by 58 seconds is a very small margin.

But even in the midst of all that and you know here we are when the lead of the race the two of us side by side bumping into each other on the queen carry on the marathon because neither of us want to give in, but we weren’t really aware of what was transpiring that this would be something pretty special and I said you know it’s taken most of this 25 years to realize that was something that was perhaps maybe never going to happen again and when the moment you know we were racing we were focus on what we were doing we weren’t thinking oh this is going to be one of those races that everybody will talk about for 25 years we were just doing our thing and somebody asked, “Do you have for about third place was?” And neither of us were aware. Neither knew the answer and they said third place was 22 minutes behind Dave 22, minutes behind Mark.

Suzanne
And you were just not aware of what was going on behind you?

Mark
We had no clue, we were enveloped in this energy that’s happening because two of us were on a game at the same moment, on the same day. I mean it was a very unique experience that brought up this incredible race for the two of us.

Suzanne
Now in that moment would you say that you were able to feed up the energy on each other, or that you are pretty much more focus on your own race?

Mark
I think, each were focus on our own race using the other one’s bring out the best race.

Suzanne
That’s a great analogy.

Suzanne
I really like the way you describe that because it emphasizes how important having your consistency in preparation and experience certainly to come up with the plan for race day, but on the day of the race in the execution of the race knowing what your race is. Knowing what your plan is, and being focused on the moment.

Mark
Yeah, you have your plan and then you have the race and often there is very little intersection on those two. And so basically my plan is to stick with Dave because I’ve seen, he knew how to pace it I didn’t and so why not just stick with him for you know a longer period. I had no Idea where I would try to make a move, if I could make a move if we were together going into it, but not in a million years that I would ever imagine that it would unfold the way it did.

Suzanne
So what advice do you have for people who maybe have set up a lot of expectations for themselves whether it’s entering an Ironman race, trying to qualify for Kona whether it’s just a race for the aero. Whether it’s actually here on Saturday, you know every person I think maybe dreams of having a race like you did, where it’s the biggest thing that’s happen to you up to their moment allies but that’s such an expectation what I imagine interfere with race execution.

Mark
I think It’s great to have goals and desires and dreams, that’s what sparks into actions, to actually do all that training over that months and months and dreaming of putting something together that you’ve never done before or never experience before, that’s a great thing. On race day though that desire will get you 90, 95, 98% to that goal you are focusing on. Usually there is a point where you have to just let it go because that thinking process, that wanting process almost hold you back to free up all the energy you need to actually put it together better on a tough day. You have to just surrender your body saying hey it doesn’t matter. Ultimately It doesn’t matter, how things work out I need to just focus right here right now on this pedal stroke, on this flip strike on getting to that next on staying fully engaged without worrying about whether it’s going to be enough or not and it’s that surrender that last step in is very hard for most people to do.

Suzanne
What do you think keeps them from being able to do that? Is there some kind of a fear?

Mark
Probably fear of failure, fear “I won’t be able to do it”, fear that if “I gave up everything I have and I fall short I won’t be able to live with myself or deal with the consequences” and it was interesting because it going to 1989 I had all those. I have had all those thoughts in the race. They are subtle, they’re deep, they may be even unconscious but they were there. And literally morning of the race I was going toward the pier and you know I still had a lot of those thoughts and you have this feeling like if I don’t accomplish what am I going to set up is going to be is going to be death and doom. It’s like a vague thing that’s going on inside me and there’s this neighbor from where I lived in California named Corky. He was here watching us race and he saw me.

Suzanne
Did he come to support you? Was he here for his own race or?

Mark
He wasn’t racing, he was watching and he just love the sport. Anyway, so he saw me and he kiss me and big hug and he goes “Hey no matter what happens, we’ll still love you” and it’s was just like this piece that came on over me like oh my god, It really doesn’t matter how this race turns out and the big picture it doesn’t matter. My friends and family love me, you know the sun is going to rise. I’ll be able to get up, I’ll be able to still have breakfast and that was part of letting go, that is one thing that he said to me.

Suzanne
That’s fantastic. It’s really nice to have friends like that see on the racecourse or serendipity moments like that on the morning race. Mark I wanted to give you some feedback about the training camp that we did in Boulder. Thanks for coming out for that special day, It was really the highlight of everyone’s trip.

Mark
That was fine, It was a different type of a camp for me because I was only there for the final day of it, which was actually fun. Everybody had their history together for all the days and I was kind of like the stranger who came in and had to get up to speed up right away.

Suzanne
You know in getting feedback from everyone afterwards there were a lot of great things about the camp but I agree with them that last Friday was pretty special. Getting a chance to travel through Boulder and brought your new book “The Art of Competition” with you, and you had it open to all the beautiful photographs and quotes and then you kind of improvised the story. Probably the stories you’ve told before, but you know hearing the story in your own words with you right there with us in the locations were a lot of this and what happened was really special and I don’t think that a lot of people will get that opportunity. Can you tell me a little bit about how that book came to be as far as the quotes that you have collected in that book?

Mark
Yeah that’s a great story actually the backbone of the book as I mentioned are 90 quotes that I wrote about competition, overcoming personal challenges, achieving personal excellence etc. Definitely not about numbers in the log book they address the sort of that internal space in all have to deal with when we’re competing and also finding that internal space that really can be the source of creating great things in your life including great athletic performances.

There’s a gentlemen that study charming isn’t for about 25 years now, Brant Secunda and he was really the key for me to turning that internal space from kind of a chaotic environment in Kona coming up short of my goal, 6 years in a row to actually transform me in that internal space and finding that place of quiet, and finding that place of just steadiness that you need to sort of red in the highs and the lows of any great race all the same. So they come out in the end with your greatest performance.

Anyway, about 5 or 6 years ago I was studying were I was on a retreat with Brant in Japan. It was a two week sort of a journey through a lot of sacred places there in Japan which are just amazing, beautiful, incredible places and nature. Later in that retreat we were outside of Mount Fuji just staying in a country hotel and the next day we were going to go on a Pilgrimage to the mountain and leave our offerings and I was kind of tired when actually I started lay down on the fruit ton to take a nap, and as I lay there I was just about ready to fall asleep kind of that in between state between awake and dreaming and being asleep and this crook came to me and had to do with competition and I thought that’s kind of cool.

And then another one came, and then another one, and then another one and I thought jeez these are ways of describing what I was going through and how I… kind of a mindset through I was in when I race that I’ve been struggling, I’ve been trying for years so put in the words but I feel like I’m coming out short. So I started writing these quotes down and then the next two or three days I’ve written down 45 or 50 quotes and that was kind of the genesis of it. I had these thoughts that really seem to describe the human side of competing in competition and turning something that could be consider just an athletic event into something that truly could be look out as art, and you know when I talk about art and I’m talking about sort of that evolutionary process you go through to create something that maybe well beyond your ordinary and really touches your personal extraordinary and that’s what the quotes address.

So it took me a number of years to figure out what I was actually going to do with them, finally the idea came actually another retreat with Brant in Italy up high up in the Alps in the Italian Alps and the idea was put those quotes with photos from nature. Nature is that universal place for every human being on the planet, feels good, you know we are just hardwired to feel good when we are in a natural set at a natural environment whether it’s on the ocean or high on the mountains along a creek, beside of the river, whatever it is we feel good.

And so I assembled 90 quotes and each one was paired with a photo from nature on the beautiful two page spreads. It’s a ten by ten coffee table book and I wrote about five other chapters addressing things that we are all have to sort of phase move to where when we’re on our journey toward personal excellence things like change or fear. What do we do when we are stuck? And then the final Chapter it is called Art and it’s a description of my book of ironman victories, my first to 1989 and my final one in 1995. Those are my Gold races,the ones that I feel like I learned so much about myself and life while I was doing and I tell those stories as they relate to the title of the book “The Art of Competition”.

Suzanne
That’s really neat. There’s couple of things about that story you just told that take my interest a little bit more. What was the first quote that you came up with that night when you are falling asleep, do you remember?

Mark
It was “Pain is the song of the working body. Intense pain is its symphony, enjoy the music”. [laughs]

Suzanne
Wow that’s pretty deep and what does that mean to you? I mean, was there a specific story behind that quote or can you not really explain it in terms of matching up a quote with one experience?

Mark
Well in a lot of ways it describes a lot of what that Ironman experience is like. There is a lot of pain involved with it. I mean you are out there for a 140.6 miles in tropical heat humidity, sun and wind it’s very challenging and as the miles wear on especially when you are in a marathon there is muscle break that happens, your legs are killing you it’s very intense, it can be very intense pain. However you can look at it as a very negative thing or you can just enjoy that experience and go ahead this is what I signed up for, this is why I am here, to have this intense experience to learn how to move through this moments that could drain my efforts to stay fully engage to stay right there with every step of I am doing. To remind of family and friends who sacrificed to get me to the start line of this event.

This is my time now let me honor all of the effort and all the work that I’ve done and just enjoy this experience and in the end when you make through those thousand of moments where you can very easily come up with a great reason to pull out or create a back off you find that 1001 reasons why actually it’s a good thing to just stick with it and stay present and keep moving and all of a sudden when you really surrender to that then you are free, and then all of a sudden that pain become sort of like background static. It’s almost it is, almost like turning on this symphony and you are there you are just part of creating this incredible athletic symphony that is your performance on that day. And that’s kind of maybe an expanded version of what that quote means.

Suzanne
Sure, that gives the listener an example of the kinds of things that we did at camp that day and if you are listening to this podcast and you picture standing next to a bevel and creek in Boulder with the sun shining after having 20 miles to a canyon and Mark is there right next to the story and that’s really incredible for us. I think a lot of us have stories that we tend to tell over and over, but it’s a different thing to be able to sit down with someone and share that.

Suzanne
Hopefully, you mentioned thousands of reason that someone might find maybe they get inspiration from some of the other stories and quotes.

Mark
Yeah I think so. You know everything in there is simple until you start to think about it. “Have I had this experience before?” People who had read the book, the reviews have been great but some of the people say. First thing I was just mesmerized by the photos, I love the photos they are just amazing and then I started reading a lot of the quotes and you know some of them are like “I know what he is talking about”. Other ones are like, “I have no idea what he’s saying.” So I kind of put it down and then come back to it the next, day read the quote and will be like, “Oh my god, I get what he’s talking about” yeah.

Suzanne
Well, here’s a couple of other things that I find interesting about that whole story and I hope you don’t mind me digging a little bit but I find the genesis of these book pretty fascinating because it’s base on 25 plus years of your experience. You mentioned that these quotes started to come to six years ago?

Mark
Yes.

Suzanne
And doing a little bit of math this year is the 25th anniversary of the show down between you and David Scott. There is 20 years experience between that Dave Scott showdown on the first quote, and you’ve been training for Ironman athletics for many years prior to that so these insights that you are having were born out of 20 years of countless hours of training that a lot of us would probably not even come close to reaching.

So the fact that you have prepared yourself to come up with this spontaneous creation, there’s actually a lot that happened before that first quote ever came out of your mind onto a piece of paper.

Mark Allen
Yeah, those races happened obviously 25 years ago now and I tell the stories of my years racing in a lot of different venues, camps like when I was out with you, the companies and you think you kind of figured it out like, OK that’s how I did it and this is all into it and then a random thought will come to you like wait a minute there’s actually more going on than I told before, this is sort of in some ways bring in a lot of that full circle. I rant and wrote a book together that was released in 2007 called “Fit soul, fit body nine keys to a healthier, happier you.” In there we provide a lot tools that I was actually doing in that workshop in Japan with Brant too, and to sort of open up that internal space to just sort be able to hear the universe and hear the important lessons of life and hear these amazing places were saying to us.

These 2 books are kind of like book hands of each other because “Fit soul, fit body” was sort of like the process to the tools people can use to develop their greater strength inside and then “The Art of Competition” is sort of like this is what came of that for me by utilizing this tools, so it is the fun evolution of things for me. It’s not like I set out to write a book or plan idea it just came. It was sort of the way Ironman was for me, I had no idea I was going to be a triathlete been 82 just foot on wilder sport, talking about the Ironman and that was it. It inspired me to just go there, see if I can complete that race once, that was going to be my goal really, just be an Ironman finisher, but that one time race turned into a 15 year career.

Suzanne
Wonderful! The only struck me about that story is the environment which the quote started to coming to you in a place, I don’t want to pair you and get it, but you going to a pilgrimage and you are in a place where probably your mind were in a different space than when you’re at home working on training plan or doing marketing tour or speaking in the companies. How important do you think it is for a triathlete to get their mind into a different place, to go on a retreat or hiking nature or whatever it is a line to that person’s inner spiritual philosophy?

Mark Allen
I think that’s important, like what I said if race results and race experiences were purely about numbers and test results and splits and times, then we can just mail them in and know who’s going to be the winner. Clearly that’s not the whole thing of what happens out of a race course and inter reaction of clearly your fitness, some of your numbers. Obviously if you don’t train your not going to be fit enough to pull off anything great, but if you have that fitness then how do you maximize it, you can’t think your way too great victory, it just doesn’t exist to a linear scale and so to be able to kind of ship in to a different awareness or different openness to possibility then suddenly maybe somebody’s ahead of you, that you don’t ever caught before and they have a better training than you, but you find something inside that enables you to go past them.

And yeah that’s everybody probably in that both sides that equation and that’s why during my career, that’s was a very integral part of my training was you know I have my training partner that I swim, bike, and run with and then I went to retreat with Brant because that was important for me to develop myself in the internal level as a person, to become stronger and better in a whole and we actually do retreats along those themes Fit Soul, Fit Body. We have one coming up in Santa Cruz, November 7th through 9th, we teach them here, we done it over in Europe. We have one coming out at Kripalu Institute of Yoga and Health next summer.

Suzanne
OK. I forget things about that.

Mark Allen
Yeah. that’s the real. For me it’s an important thing to get away from triathlon for a while for 7 days, 10 days, 5 days and then work on all of the other side of who I was a person and bring more of me and it to that endeavor that I was putting so much energy in two at a time.

Suzanne
So obviously that worked for you in your triathlon career and you had great success with it. Since you’ve retired from competitive triathlon, what are you doing now to tap in with your spiritual size? Is it the same or have you had even more insights instead?

Mark Allen
I continue to study with Brant. I go to a lot of retreats that he teaches throughout the world, throughout the year. You can see all those at the danceofthedeer.com or shamanism.com and you know I just tried to have every part of my day be sort of multi-focus. Obviously I have to have my linear logical brain working to deal with a lot with business staff that I do and coaching and analyzing files and things but then there’s also another side like ok, i’m coaching this person everything seems to be working right, but they don’t have the results that they have suppose to base on that so then I have to kind of shift to that other side like think bigger and broader and ask myself why, what’s going on and it really helps a lot to do that.

Suzanne
So it helps you as a coach which in turn you to able you to help your athletes with more?

Mark Allen
Yeah absolutely! And you know life exists outside of twitter. So I try to remember that everyday, I live in Santa cruz by the ocean and almost everyday I can go down to the water either surf or at least go watch the sunset or watch the sunrise and just feel that expansiveness that you have when you’re in that kind of environment. Most of it we spend 8 hours day on this little screen and so small and focus. Some people they do it on their phone all day and our world are experience is 360 degrees up above as a below as all around us and that natural world is such the great way of to sort of just go. Wow! this is really something look at this oh my god.

Suzanne
I think that is easy to people to forget especially if they’re focus on training for an event schedule in front of them and they spending you know working on catching up on twitter or Facebook that there’s a natural world out there too. So the book that you wrote with Brant is called fit soul, fit body or fit mind, fit body?

Mark Allen
Fit Soul, Fit Body. 9 keys to healthier happier you.

Suzanne
OK. So you said that’s kind of tool box that people can use, can you give maybe just one example what that book or how triathlete listener who is listening right now maybe don’t know where to start with the toppings on this not fitness side maybe they never experience before, didn’t grow up in a spiritual household or whatever spiritual means. Some people are kind of shut down, but they open on the idea of finding something deeper, can you give example of first step of someone might take.

Mark Allen
Yeah very simple, for example. Probably everybody who’s listening to this podcast, one point or another in their life they have experienced that thing called stress. Stress for an athlete is one of the worst thing, it’s one of the biggest world blocks in developing fitness, because when the stress hormones are high, they just shut down all the development of the thing that helps you as an endurance athlete and that’s another discussion but, so in one of the 9 keys helping people deal with 6 different kind of stress main stresses we have in our life, so if you are under stress, very simple thing that you can do is to just go outside and go for walk for five minutes to ten minutes. It does not have to be a run, it does not have to be a workout, not to have a structured beginning and end.

Just go out and move your body outside until you feel a shift until you feel that sort of like. “I have all things that going on but at least right now I feel little better.” You can go watch the sunrise or sunset and look at those colors and just remind yourself that these things are going on around us every single day, they’re beautiful. They are not affected by what’s going with our work, they’re just there for us to experience if we want to. It’s so simple, if you do it you’ll feel the stress get reduced and if you’re stuck, you’re worried, you have a deadline, the creativity is not flowing, go outside, go for that walk, go for a jog, sit by the ocean, listen to the sound of a moving river or creek or stream. And these are things in the book we talked about, as ways to deal very real modern world thing that we all have probably too much of now, stress.
Suzanne
That kind of ties on well with the other side of “The Art of Competition” book quotes as one of them but you’ve got a whole collection of nature photographs. What was the genesis of the photographs in the book?

Mark Allen
Well, I realized the quotes came to me when I was in this very natural environment and it’s was I think that’s part of the reason why they came. I was quiet, my mind was quiet and had been quiet for nearly 2 weeks at that point. So I thought somehow bring that type of energy into this book, and the only way to do that is if you have photos from nature that are compelling. The majority of them are taken by a gentlemen who was also here in Santa Cruz, Nick Burelli, and when he takes photos he’s not very similar on items and he said during his career, he’s not really trying to capture exactly the way something looks when he’s there, he’s trying to capture the way he feels what he looks at what he’s taking photos of.

Suzanne
Right, that makes lot of sense.

Mark Allen
And so if you look at the book, you’ll see that they are really extraordinary.

Suzanne
Yes, they are nice. Did you pair up specific feelings you got from photos with specific quotes? Is there a lot of patterning behind that or is it more organic?

Mark Allen
Yeah each photo hopefully has certain reflection of what’s in the quote, for example there is, “I don’t know if you see the place in desert in the rocks moving cross the…

Suzanne
it’s was trail where the rocks where supposedly blown by the wind but they are not really sure.

Mark Allen
yeah and so one of the photos Nick’s has of that area is, theres these two rocks, one is kind of like chasing and the other one is across this desolate, dried, barren, salt like, kind of like that and the quote is “You’re half way when you journey is 90 percent complete.”

Suzanne
I remember that one.

Mark Allen
And the quote itself certainly speaks of how we can allocate our energy for the big things that we are going for. A lot of people think, “OK, I’m doing an Ironman when I’m half way done with the bike or whatever it is.” No! You’re half way there when you journey is 90 percent complete meaning that last 10 percent or so can take just as much effort and focus, and energy and holding yourself together as the other 90 percent that got you to that point. And then clearly having those rocks moving across that desolate landscape kind of seems like it was the appropriate photo for that quote.

Suzanne
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It’s funny that you bring up that photo in particular because it reminds me of a mythbuster episode which actually tried to recreate that exact scenario and they experiment with a lot of different types of soil and fans and the amount of water on the surface just to get the right amount of friction. So this entire episode which i’m sure took several weeks to film of trying to scientifically demonstrate how the rocks move but we don’t need to understand it in order to get inspiration from it. That is just one of the example of picture in that book, there’s so many other things in nature that you talked about that can be inspiring, and we don’t need to understand it in order to be inspired by it. I think letting go of the technical and having to scientifically prove and validate the things we do in a regular basis is really important to get that open mind that you talk about and let people start to tap in that more spiritual side.

Mark Allen
Yeah, so many great experiences in life you can’t quantify but they’re so real and their so impactful like, “How do you measure love?” Obviously it’s very real, you can’t stick on the can you can’t put it on the shelf you can’t go to the store to buy it, but we have all felt that for our children or something we’re passionate about. Just maybe even for how we feel when we are looking at amazing mountain that cover in a snow in winter, we feel love. It’s very real but you can’t quantify it. So the Art of Competition is addressing a lot of things that is very real but they’re very very hard to quantify and even harder to put into the words. I have a gentleman who’s helping me to source a publisher in Japan to translate the book into Japanese. Anyway, he sent me an email last week and he said you know I read the book and it’s just amazing and he said that I’m thinking about it in relation to the challenge of translating in Japanese.

Art is one word and has one meaning. It refers to what we all think of as art. The things that are painted or sculpted or whatever. Clearly what you’re talking about is an incredible enhancement to the human experience. And so he said right after bath, “I’m stomped on how I translate that into Japanese.” And I said, it’s exactly the same in English.

Suzanne
It’s a concrete word.

Mark Allen
Yeah it’s very concrete but I have taken words and put them together in this book to try to describe things that are intangible.

Suzanne
That’s pretty interesting, thinking of translating that book to another language is not all that similar from when any individual picks up the book and flip through, they’re going to translate it into their own experiences.

Mark Allen
Yeah exactly.

Suzanne
Great! So you have limited edition of this book as well, or are there any copies left?

Mark Allen
The limited edition is 24 quotes out of the main body of the book and written expanded thoughts on them, kind of like I’m talking about first quote of the book. To give a deeper meaning to what this quotes are meant for me and to give a better idea maybe of what they might mean for somebody else. And those are also paired photos of nature, so there’s a 48 bonus section in the limited edition. They are only 600 printed in English only be 600 ever printed. They are signed and numbered and I’ve sold over half of them already, they are in the downward slide of availability.

Suzanne
Yeah the stack of books in your house is getting smaller and smaller.? They’re probably not all stored there, are they?

Mark Allen
No, I did a little Math, then I realized my entire house will be filled with books.

Suzanne
Funny! So the book is available on the artcompetition.com?

Mark Allen
At art-of-competition.com can go on ordered both the regular edition or the limited edition.

Suzanne
Super, now if someone want to get the supreme deluxe limited edition of you telling stories in person about the book like we got to experience at camp, is there a possibility of the to do that?

Mark Allen
Yeah you can always contact me and I’m happy to go to talk to groups, clubs, companies anytime absolutely.

Suzanne
Fantastic I highly recommended, it’s was an amazing experience a wonderful training week. So are you currently coaching individuals?

Mark Allen
I’m almost up running with that sort of mark allen coaching version 2 right, theres a lot of stuff on my previous online coaching on my just I need to sort of bring up to modern standards with extra deliver on mobile devices and a refund and how the programs are putting together that would be ready. Probably sometimes by mid or late November there might be markallencoaching.com you can go their if you want or just emailed. Let me know to check to ready to go it’s pretty cool.

Suzanne
Is there another way people can get the benefit of your experience do you have other avenues of sharing people beside the two books that you mention and some camp with print, the mark allen coaching online anything else you doing to get out there and mingle and meet the everyday triathlete.

Mark Allen
I’ve been doing a lot or talks for club recently actually that’s really fun to go to some of the clubs around different places in the US and just tell my story to this folks that are some of them are brand new in this triathlon staying around as long as me and that’s really fun to mix mingle giving presentation to the clubs.

Suzanne
Great Mark! I really appreciate your time to chat with me and help me to get up to speed with your books and I’m looking forward to your new coaching platform when its ready, I think I went there yesterday just type my name in stay top of things.

Mark Allen
markallencoaching.com for the coaching fit soul, fit body or the retreats art/of/competition.com for my new crook book.

Suzanne
Alright I highly recommended people to check out that book, it’s a wonderful book to have on the food through if we need inspiration. Thanks a lot Mark I’ll talk to you soon.

Mark Allen
Thanks Suzanne, take care.

Hi! It’s Mark Allen 6 time Ironman Triathlon World Champion. I hope you enjoyed today’s show. I recently participated in Triathlon Research Boulder Summer Camp, and I spent time with athletes on the final day of the camp teaching them how to quiet their mind to race day to realize for their full potential. To get a free copy of my new book the art of competition, leave a review on itunes and we will send you the book. All you have to do is email a copy of your review to [email protected] and Triathlon Research will send to you the book.

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