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Episode 029: Craig “Crowie” Alexander: Developing Your Inner Champion

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Craig ‘Crowie’ Alexander is one of the most respected Triathletes in the sport. He fought his way up to the top of the Ironman World with 3 IM Kona World Championship Victories. He also broke the 20 year course record and his the fastest man in the history of the sport. This in depth conversation explores the mindset and habits that helped Craig achieve these amazing results. And the best part about speaking to Crowie is hearing how humble and grounded he is, despite all of the success he has had.

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Summary

Crowie Alexander shares his story about how he self-coached his way to becoming a 3X IM World Champion Triathlete.

Podcast Intro
Sam Introduces Crowie
Crowie’s Triathlon Journey
Crowie’s Early Goals
Crowie Goes Pro
Crowie on Self-Coaching
Crowie’s Early Mentors
Benefits of Self-Coaching
The Coached vs. Self–Coached Dynamic
Developing Good Habits
Your Lifestyle and Coaching Commitment
The Influence of Habits on Performance
Developing the Right Support Team
A Journey of Self-Awareness
Crowie’s Journey to Kona
Olympic Distance and Half Ironman
The Lifetime Fitness Triathlon
Realizing Your Potential
The Power of Focus
Race Less, Win More
Proper Focus and Planning
Getting Past the Fear of Failure
Identifying Clear Goals
The Power of the Mind
Having Big Goals
The Sansego Group
Tailored Training
Quality Coaching Resources
The Members of Sansego
Triathlon Research and Sansego
Looking Ahead to Kona Camp
Three Reasons to Attend a Camp
The Ultimate Camp Location
Crowie at Kona Training Camp
Applying for Camp
Mark Allen Promo
Podcast Outro

Transcript

Intro
Welcome to Triathlon Research, the podcast that brings together the best of the world’s coaches, athletes and medical professionals to give you the right information that you need to race past your personal best and get more enjoyment out of your Triathlon journey. Triathlon Research, where we teach you how to train smart. Here’s your host Samuel Cook, Founder of Triathlon Research.

Sam
Hello again Triathlon Research listener my name is Sam Cook, the founder of Triathlon Research Radio and I’m here today with an extra special; and all of our episodes are very special but I think many of you will recognize our next guest, who is three time Ironman World Champion and the course at Kona Craig Alexander affectionately known in the community as ‘Crowie’; a man who really doesn’t need that much introduction to the audience so without listing all the things that he’s done in his career I’m just gonna get ‘stuck in’ as they say down under and start interviewing him here so, welcome to the show Crowie.

Craig
Thank You, thanks for taking the time to speak to me.

Sam
Well, I think the audience is definitely thanking you for taking the time to speak to them because I know that they love to hear from you so. Craig I interviewed Franco on an earlier podcast your agent and he’s been I think just an amazing influence in the sport of Triathlon. We spoke a little bit about his journey with you but before you met Franco and were discovered in the Tri-community. How did you get into Triathlon in the first place? It’s a bit of a crazy sport to enter so how did you start this whole journey in the beginning?

Craig
It was a long time ago; it was a little under 20 years ago. Growing up I played many other sports; didn’t really do any endurance events, any endurance sports, I had no real background, but I was always interested in; Triathlon was getting quite a bit of mainstream media coverage back home courtesy of athletes like Greg Welsh and Kellie Jones. It wasn’t unusual to flick on the TV and see a race like Chicago; the Chicago Triathlon of Synchrony Half Iron man and that’s I guess where I developed my interest in the sport. I was drawn to it straight away, I thought it was an amazing sport the way it comprises three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running. I guess it was my personality; I was always interested in sports or events that were multidiscipline, With the Olympic games

I used to love the Decathlon; that was my favorite event to watch. I was intrigued by athletes who could combine all the different attributes that you need to be good at different discipline. But my own personal journey didn’t start until my early 20’s. I was at University full time studying to be a Physiotherapist and I had a part-time job and I hurt my stomach. I got a hernia and I needed an operation. After a long layoff from all sports at the time my main sport was soccer. I just started running to get back in shape and a good mate of mine from University, he was a very accomplished Cyclist and he knew I was interested in Triathlons and he just mentioned one day that he could help me with the bike riding side of things. I’ve never ridden a bike other than my BMX around the block like most kids. We went and bought a bike out of the newspaper. It was called the “Trading Post” back in those days. It was well before we used to buy things online and bought the bike on the Thursday, I think and did my first race that Sunday and it just started from there.

Sam
So you were not groomed at all as any sort of endurance athlete? You didn’t have Triathlon in your upbringing and all so early 20’s you just get drawn into it. For the listener out there who is listening and is probably in a similar position, what was the decision like at that point to get into it? Did you have Kona on your mind or did you just wanna start racing and did you ever dream that this would become something you could do for a living?

Craig
I just wanted to be involved I just wanted to do it and Kona was the race in the Y was the first Triathlon I’d seen. Like most people I’d seen it on the wide water sports when they use to do that feature or package the race up and did a feature on it. It was an amazing event to me but as someone who played team sports and ball sports it was the thought of doing it had never really entered my mind. When I first saw it in the 1980’s that I’d always wanted to be a professional athlete. To be honest, I wouldn’t say that I’m a super confident person but I always thought I could be good at it from the very beginning. I thought it was a sport that involved a lot of worth ethic and discipline. The only thing I knew is I just had a passion for it. When I started I was passionate about it and I just wanted to try train the whole time. I was really into the training and finding out what I could and doing as much as possible.

As you mentioned, I wasn’t really groomed I guess as an endurance athlete but I think there were certain things that show me that I had natural affinity for the sport or a potential from my soccer training I used to run up with the school athletics in cross country carnivals every year and do very well . I also made it through to represent the state at swimming, I played two or three seasons of water polo in high school but the coaches of those teams and the cross country team they thought that had a lot of natural gifts, natural potential to be an endurance athlete so I just took that and ran with it but certainly it wasn’t in my mind that I was gonna become a world champion. I just knew I love the sport from day one, from that first race. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I immersed myself in the sport, I would read the magazines, all the books that I could find about the principles of training and the things I needed to do and how you’re supposed to train and I wanted to find out who the best people in the sport was so I’d read about that and I’d watch it on television whenever it was on and just really had a passion for it from the very beginning and a passion to improve that as well.

Sam
So from the time you started when you knew that you just wanted to do the sport how long did it take you to work your way up and become a professional? I know that that’s a moving target in the world of triathlon; what professional was back then versus maybe it is today. Walk through that journey from passionate age grouper to professional and when you knew that there might be something more here:

Craig
I think you hit on a valid point. It’s a different sport now to what it was in the mid 90’s. The sport has grown up and evolved and you often hear people going pro. It wasn’t really discussed in those terms back when I started. Juniors were under 20, 20 years or under, and I was never a Junior I started as 21 year old so the first few races I did I entered in my age group and did very well, won my age group and it was just progressing more importantly as an athlete I was just getting better and better and I could see that progression and others could as well. Within 12 months I started entering races around Sydney, Australia where I live in the open category they use to call it The Opener League category and they had prize money and I remember it was within 12 months of doing my first when I did a race I think I finished, it was a Decathlon, I finished third and won some prize money and later that week; the next week I got a phone call from the National Federation, Triathlon Australia asking me if I wanted a professional license and I said what does that entitle? What does it involve, what does it get me? How much it’s gonna cost and they said a major part of the body fulltime professionals racing. You can race in the professional category to win prize money and I said I’ve already been winning prize money at some of the smaller races around and I said well I guess the most important thing is it would get you is the potential to be invited to race in world cup races and they I guess on the radar of the National Federation and the National Institute of Sport and that kind of thing.

Later in the phone call the guy was keen to offer me a start at the first Sydney Arcy World cup race which was in October 1995. So I consider that to be my first race I guess as true professional where I hold a professional license and I was racing in an international field. It had just been announced that Triathlon was in the Olympic Games for Sydney and that was a test even that was on the course the first testament that was held on the courts and it was probably the first time I got to race the guys “d only read about in magazines or seen on television. So to answer your question and not wanting to digress too much it was really in 12 months. I had a pro license I was racing the big names in the sport and at the time I was still a full-time university student with a part-time job or two and I think the thing for me was I knew it was a long term project and it was a kind of swap from the reading like down in by background.

In physiology, what we were learning at university I knew the basic principles of endurance training and how massive changes and adaptations and improvements didn’t happen overnight. You had to build a solid foundation and a base and things could take some time and I was willing to spend a lot of time finessing and nurturing and developing myself as an athlete.

Sam
I think that’s a really interesting point. A lot of triathletes are really impatient when it comes to improvements in the sport and I think you were blessed with that. Early education as a Physio in university to know that wasn’t the case and you’re also famous for being a self-coached athlete which is really a bit of a rarity these days. What was your decision early on to really lead your own training planning and how much of that has evolved over the years and how you kind of mentored yourself and got mentors in the sport to help you along that journey?

Craig
As we alluded to before it was a different age. There weren’t as many coaches as it was back then as there are now. They weren’t as accessible. The coaches that were around were working for the National Team and Institute of Sport; you couldn’t just approach someone on the lawn or at the local pool or track. They weren’t that accessible. The ones who were I guess more interested in coaching at the time in coaching the bigger names and establishing themselves in the sport as well so I wasn’t deterred by that I felt I could combine my limited knowledge with what I was learning at university with what I was reading about in magazines and I had a thirst for the knowledge. I was lucky enough early in my career to come into contact with the best athlete our sports ever seen and to train with them.

That was a great insight for me because I go to see that a lot of the best people are doing not exactly the same thing but fairly similar and the principles or the things that underpinned the training and the programs were similar, consistency, not getting injured, good technical skills good, good technique and displaces and working on that a little bit. A good foundation of fitness, a good plan and just working on those areas of strength, speed and endurance, improvising the training. It wasn’t , I guess rocket science and it wasn’t a big secret. The best people who I came into contact with similar in my career had similar training programs and they’re all very organized, very structured, well thought out and well planned. They all had a plan that they stuck too. They were very disciplined about that. They just have this consistency about their training that was the overriding theme, I think that came through.

There was consistency there and you know I wasn’t put off that I didn’t have a coach. I thought at the time I was getting an insight into what the best people were doing and I thought I could develop myself and progress to the point where maybe I could get a coach at a later stage but it just didn’t eventuate that way. I guess with my personality I always wanted to, I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak but I wanted to become completely accountable. It’s my career, it was my career. I guess giving up a degree I ended up graduating and getting that Physio Degree and I put that on the back burner to peruse my Triathlon dreams so I felt very accountable to make sure that I was making smart pro-active decisions and getting as much advice as I could but ultimately being the person who is steering the ship. I never had a problem with that. I didn’t see it as a lot of pressure.

I think there’s pros and cons for both ways and it depends on your personality and the individual. No doubt at different times, whatever your personality, it is good to have an outside sort of unbiased opinion; an emotional opinion. But a lot of times I enjoyed the fact that I was doing it myself as well and when I felt I need that honest appraisal, that outside honest feedback I had people I could go to get it as well so I felt I had all bases covered in that regard and I was more than happy to soft coached.

Sam
Who were some of those early mentors that helped you really become that coach for yourself that you need to become?

Craig
I was very lucky in 1996 . I got called into the Australian team for training camp and a lot of the best Triathletes in Australia were there and certainly Greg Walsh was there. Who at the time was a four time World Champion. He’d won Kona two years prior to that camp and me meeting him and we sort of hit it off. He became my mentor straight away and a guy who was always more than willing to discuss the sport. He was very generous with his time, he took me under his wing and we became great friends which is still true to this day. Michellie Jones was another athlete I came in contact through just living in a similar area in Sydney and also in San Diego and I got to see firsthand what Michellie did on a day to day basis. A lady who won everything across all those distances and disciplines was very versatile, very consistent and just very professional.

Those two athletes; Michelle’s husband at the time Pete Coulson, who’s still a great friend of mine to this day. He was always a great source of feedback; whether you want it or not and that’s what I love about him he will tell you not always what you wanted to hear but it was usually what you needed to hear. So he was another one. And they’re been plenty later in my career days. Living Boulder where Dave lives or my family and I are being based in Boulder which is where Dave lives. We came into contact with Dave. We struck up a friendship and he’s been a great source of information, particular when I stepped up to Ironman Distance Racing later in my career.

So I’ve been very very lucky I’ve come into contact with not just great athletes but great people. People who are willing to help me and share their knowledge, their wealth of knowledge and their experience. I am forever grateful but I was very lucky to come into contact sometimes. It was by chance other times it was more orchestrated but I seem to come across people who were willing to help and had the knowledge and experience that I needed.

Sam
That’s it. I think a very inspiring story for a lot of triathletes there’s a big divide in the age group community where I speak to a lot of athletes who love to self coach and they’re other athletes who are desperate for that right coaching solution and just haven’t found it yet. There’s a lot of athletes who are not coached and some of them are perfectly happy doing it like you did because they want to be completely accountable to themselves.

Then there’s others who are looking for and just haven’t found the right solution or the right mix so I think it inspiring as everyone out there talks about the virtues of doing it yourself and learning something and one of the things I always tell athletes whether or not you’re coached or self coached is a good coach will appreciate an athlete who educated in the sport and can give them feedback and is not just sitting there following blindly. So talk a little bit about the dynamic you’ve seen among self-coached versus coached athletes in all area.

Craig
Well I think it’s a great point you make and I think it comes down a lot the personality of the person either seeking a coach or thinking about doing it themselves some people don’t need another person looking over their shoulder on a daily basis. They might just need feedback on a much less regular basis. Other people like to be in control more, others are happy to hand off control and not do the thinking and I think it depends on your personality, also what your goals are within the sport. If you’re an executive working an 80 hour week and Triathlon is your release you don’t want to think about it, you just want to log on get your program and know what you’re doing everyday then there’s a lot of merit in that, there is a lot of merit in that.

For people who are more interested in I guess rolling their sleeves up and the nitty-gritty of the coaching themselves and like to put a little bit of thought into that I think there’s merit in doing it yourself so it’s a very individual thing. It’s not a one size fits all. It’s just like a bike, I mean different bikes get different athletes because of your body’s morphology. There’s not one bike that’s perfect for every athlete and I think it’s the same with coaching and if you are looking for a coach I think there are a few important things that you should look for. It’s not just a matter of finding someone who knows; I guess the x’s and o’s if you will or the textbook theory , a lot of people know that. it’s very important to know but it’s also how you impart that knowledge in a practical sense, how you can structure program that takes into account those physiological adaptations that you’re trying to get are you getting fitter for working in around someone’s life and their lifestyle and working with what their goals are and I think communication is key.

A great coach should be able to communicate very well, should be a good observer, should know the theory but know how to implement it in a practical sense obviously , and get to know their athlete well some athletes, like the chest pounding motivational speech others are just more quiet and clinical and just need to be told decision and they can go about their business so I think a great coach is almost an amatuer Psychologist if you will. I get to know their athlete very well, what makes them tick, what buttons to push. So there’s aspect of it the mental or the emotional connection but also you can escape, no what we’re actually trying to do is get fitter and improve and either do a race or trying to win a race. Whatever your goals may be. It’s a tough one and there’s no right or wrong answer.

Some people I think, once again based on their personalities are better left alone you give them the knowledge and they can go and do it. They don’t need to feel they’ve got someone breathing down their neck they’re self-motivated, they can do that session and that’s fine. Others I guess, want more input, someone who is hands-on , who’s willing to get emotionally invested in it and I guess it just depends on the kind of individual you are and knowing yourself , knowing yourself very well; which is important as an athlete. Like it is in life, knowing what you strengths and weaknesses are and the things that you need, the boxes that you need to check as an individual. So I think there’s certainly no right or wrong answer but it always come back to having someone in your corner who knows the sport well and knows you well.

Sam
I think that is a great point that you brought up about; just want to dig a little bit deeper on a few things. First of all you talked about how a coach is almost more valuable or their primary role sometimes is an amateur Psychologist and the other part just about how you; a new phrase I like to coin is “How you approach Triathlon is how you approach life” in many ways and its not to say that what you do in this sport of triathlon will define your life but I think habits you develop in the sport of triathlon can spill over into other areas of life in a very positive way just the way you feel about yourself and your ability to achieve. Especially if you’re working in a job where there’s not a lot of chance for individual achievement. I think triathlons are a great way for you to gain self-confidence and become more in touch with your body and you know this as someone who study physiology. We are born endurance athletes but modern world has taken all of the physical labor out of our jobs and that’s a recent phenomenon.

Craig
Yeah, absolutely. It’s another good point that I think if you are gonna get a coach or you are gonna do it yourself. You take that well into consideration because the lifestyle that you lead, family work commitments etc. will impact on whatever it is that you chose to do in your spare time and if that’s to train for an Ironman or a Half Iron Man, it’s a holistic approach. They’re not mutually exclusive all those things; your stress levels, your emotions, the things that can impact you and your professional life will also impact you either positively or negatively in your training as well. It’s a jigsaw puzzle for sure, but it’s something that’s fun and I agree with what you said. I think that the kind of athlete that you are is a reflection of the kind of person that you are. I used to race people who were good front-runners but when the going got tough, they didn’t like to roll their sleeves up and get in the trenches and I think they sort of personality traits you have in life carry thru to the way you go about whatever it is whether it is triathlon or anything else . I think that’s a challenge that we all face. certainly I know for me personally a lot of the things I did in life either good or bad habits did follow me into my training and I’d try to eradicate the bad habits and you help the good habits flourish.

Sam
Craig that’s a really interesting point I want to dig a little deeper into. Do you have an example of a bad habit you’re able to eradicate in triathlon? Did that re-appear in other areas of your life or did that have a spillover effect?

Craig
I think just my personality. I mean if you speak to my wife she’d tell you that she thinks I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I do know that I pay attention to the finer details. I always have . There’s so many things at that can impact a performance and for me my job as a professional athlete was to get the best performance that I could and that just doesn’t mean the training and the physical preparation, it means the mental preparation, it means your recovery, your diet, your equipment and for a long time I wouldn’t let anyone touch or service my bike or set my bike up. It did trust it. I don’t think it was because I didn’t trust other people to do it, it was just I thought if something goes wrong I should be the one that should be accountable. I mean it’s my career. So I had a lot to learn later in my career as I had more and more success and things got busier I had to start delegating.

So I learnt; I wouldn’t say it was a bad habit, it think it’s a good habit, but what I learned about myself was that I need to get people like France and other people involved who I could trust and in the beginning it was painstaking for me choosing people but once I felt I’d done my due diligence and said ‘ok that person’ I need some help and this is the person that I think can help. I wouldn’t think about it again. I would agonize over the decision in the beginning but once the decision was made I would never second guess it and I had to learn to relinquish a lot of; I’m certainly not a control freak by any stretch of the imagination but I would just want it to be completely accountable. From the little things through to who is gluing my tires onto the bike, who is servicing the bike.
all those things, that I felt that was ultimately my responsibility because I was the guy on race day going out there to race so I felt it was part of my job description and not only make sure that I was in the best physical condition, a great place mentally and a good mental state to race but all the other things that impacted on a performance were my responsibility as well.

To answer your question, I don’t know if that was a good or bad thing. I know it used to drive people around me crazy but that was never my intention, my intention. It was important for me to be able to say before a race and after a race, well, I got what I deserved there. I checked all the boxes. I did my homework and I didn’t want to be lazy and forget about the small details, ultimately great performances are only half a percent from good performances and I wanted to be across everything. Every little quarter of 1% I wanted to be across it and make sure that my fingerprint was on it. So that was something that I learned early on; like anything, It’s important to know yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses and acknowledge what they are and work with them.

Sam
So did learning how to trust people in the sport who can take thing to the next level and do things better than you could, like Franco in terms of being an agent or maybe some equipment managers or the group that you’ve assembled now that is kind of your brain trust. Did that allow you to practice that skill and apply it? In other areas in life?

Craig
I think it did. I think it taught me that’s an important part of; to use your example in this company we’re putting together now, I guess I’m one of the leaders in the company so you can’t do everything. So what it taught me was to assemble the good things. The importance of what’s perceived to be an individual sport, you still need a great team . You need a great team of people around you to help and it was important because obviously my career was gaining momentum, I was getting success on and off the racetrack and things became very busy. I was also a father and it was important for me to spend time with my family so I did need to; I think for my insanity. I prioritize my life into being a great dad and husband 1st and my profession 2nd. So everything else that came along with my profession, the media, the sponsorship commitments, the planning of the training, the organizing of the schedule, the equipment, all those things. I did have to get help and I think that has transferred in my other life now with the business I know what my skill set is fairly clearly and I don’t pretend be good at or know things I don’t know. I get the expertise in that I need.

Sam
Yeah and that’s something that’s been really interesting. We’ll get into that little bit more. The Santiago Coaching Group, the team that you’ve assembled there; I’ve just been really impressed just as a business; dealing with your business and was amazed at how little contact I needed to have with you because you had assembled a team that you trust so I can definitely testify that what you’ve set up and taught yourself through racing is carried over to business and I’m sure that family and everything else benefits from those major lessons you learned in triathlon and that’s an interesting skill that you said you developed. I’ve actually always been the opposite where in leadership crew in the military I’ve always delegated and been, probably over-trusting in many ways of my life. in some ways its’ burned me and some ways it hasn’t and Triathlon definitely taught me some of the fine details that are important and I’m learning, continually refining that skill set in the rest of my life and business and everything else.

If you’re a triathlete and coming in from the opposite direction where you’re like me and just love to outsource everything and coaching and all that. The skill of learning the details and why you’re doing what you’re doing and the minutia of the sport but it’s really important to I think developing a grasp of all those things. I’m coming at it from a completely different angle to you Craig but I can definitely see the parallels that you’re talking about.

Craig
Once again I think sport is like real life, it’s just a journey of self awareness and you learn about yourself and I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way but its finding a set of circumstances that let you operate at your optimum; finding your own sweet spot and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being over trusting with delegating. I think that does certainly in a team environment can engender a lot of trust and faith and the people around you. Like anything, there’s pros and cons to both ways as a said it’s just find a nice sweet spot. Whatever it is that you’re involved with, your working at your optimum.

Sam
Craig, I think everyone would love to hear if we could dive into a little bit. Obviously you hit the pro ranks pretty quickly; in your early twenties but to be fair most people hadn’t really heard of you for the first, let’s say 8 -10 years of your career on a global stage when you started winning at Kona. That was a long journey and I’m sure that you had a lot of patience going through it but walk through that journey a little bit. Were there every any times that you doubted that you would get to the world championship level. Or did you not even focus on becoming World Champion. What was your thought process in that journey towards winning Kona?

Craig
Ultimately, my goal is to improve and get better as an athlete. I think it’s well and good to say ‘you want to be a world champion’ and I dreamed of that but you don’t know it that’s gonna happen cause that comes down to a lot of things; including genetics, luck. The things that I can control I’m gonna do at the World Championship level. I’m gonna do it in a way that a World Champion would do them. It really important for me to see improvement all the time it was a long journey. I wanted to go the Athens Olympics in 2002. The first step in trying to make that team was to go to the Commonwealth Games as we call them. You guys have the Pan American Games. Countries that are part of the Commonwealth have the Commonwealth Games every 4 years I guess it’s a mini Olympics you could say.

If you wanted to go to the Athens Olympics it was important to make that team for the Commonwealth Games 2 years before. I set my sights on that, made the train on squad; The Shadow Team and 10 days before the selections race; there were 2 selection races. I came down with the Chicken Pox and obviously missed, well I missed months and months of racing and training but importantly I missed the selection races so I didn’t make the team. I didn’t make the team to go Manchester or the team for the World Championships that year but I guess that sent me down another path because when I finally rehabbed and got over the Chicken Pox ,the virus I went to the US for the first time to race and found my niche over there; really enjoyed it.

Now that first year in 2002 I don’t think I won too many races from memory it was only two or three but I raced 18 times and I think I was on the podium 14 times and I was able to get some sponsors; some very low level sponsors but for the first time I actually felt like a professional athlete people were paying me to ply my trade and I started to consider myself a bit differently I was a business somewhat, I saw myself as a business I was not only representing myself and my family now but I was representing these companies who put faith in me and I sort of kept on from there. At that time I dint know it but for me my Olympic dream was over there. I’d set myself down a different path coming to the US. Racing all the races that were mentioned right off the top; that I’d seen to television like Chicago at Chancroids.

These were races that I’d seen and I dreams about doing one day and I started doing them that year. In 2002 I went to Chicago, I finished 3rd there. The following year in 2003, it was a no brainer. my wife and I Mary, we were coming back to the US and that’s what we did and I did the full season that was the first I did a full season in the US and I won the race in Cincroi, got on the podium in Chicago again in some other big races and won some other races around the place. At the time my schedule was all Olympic distance and Half Ironman racing. I have thought about doing Ironman races but things were going so well at the shorter distance.

I think in a sport like Triathlon when you’re deriving the majority of your income from prize money, it helps to race a lot, obviously and Olympic distance and Half Ironman races enable you to race a lot if that’s what your schedule is comprised of. Ironman racing is a bit different, there’s a longer leading and preparation and recovery period; sort of precludes you from racing as much as I was at that time but I was enjoying the racing a lot, I was enjoying the shorter distance racing. I was having some good success; 2004 fast forward one more year, came back to the US again and I won what they were calling the Triple Crown that year.

The three big city races. Chicago Boston and LA. On three consecutive weekends, I think I was the first person to win all three in the same year. Chicago and LA were non drafting race and that was called the ‘Big City Classics” and Boston was a US Pro Champs actually it was a ITU race so it was a draft legal race. So I’m still doing the different styles of racing but Hot Wire hadn’t come into my calculations at all and I obviously thought about the race and watched it but as I said I was deriving the majority of my income from prize money so it was important for me to race a lot and that’s what I did.

2005 was pivotal because for a lot of reasons; the main one being Mary, gave birth to our first child Lucy, when she was born in May of 2005 that meant that I couldn’t race the full US season though. We stayed home in Australia, she was born in Australia and we couldn’t travel for a little while after she was born. So I think that was a pivotal year in my development, I guess, my mental development as an athlete because up until that point I’d always schedule 20 or 25 races to do in a season and I think subconsciously when you have that many races you know that you haven’t put all your eggs in one basket and there’s always a second chance to learn down the road somewhere.

There’s always another race to do if it doesn’t work at another race and I think that, that can kind of undermine you subconsciously a little bit. 2005 was different because I missed the first half of the season St. Croix and all those races, Ocean side that I used to do at the beginning of the season. I set my sights on one race and that was the Life Time Fitness Triathlon which at the time was the highest priced purse in the history of the sport. it was the first time really that I’d picked one race months and months and months in advance and said ‘well that’s the race I’m training for this year and the catalyst for that decision was the birth of our daughter. I didn’t want to travel as much.

I wasn’t coming over to the US until June and that race was in July so it just ain’t perfect and I was able to win it so I think that was an important or pivotal moment in my career to actually set yourself such a specific goal in such a big race and to achieve it I think validates your decision to do that but also it gave me an insight that, that’s probably the way it should be done. I’m sure when Usain Bolt runs he doesn’t think of a hundred races that he’s gonna try and win between now and he thinks of the Olympic Games and he plans and prepared for that ego in me decided probably the way I should have been preparing and things did change after that .

Obviously, financially it set us up and took a lot of the pressure off. It was a $200, 000 pay day but I think it was more validation as an athlete and that intrinsic satisfaction of, you know that moment when the light bulb come on and you say to yourself in the quiet moment with no one around? I do belong at that level, I do. I’m good enough to compete with these guys because I think everybody has those doubts and you wonder, I always did wonder especially having the physiotherapy degree and a few other things that I could’ve been doing whether I’d make the right decision.

So 05′ was pivotal and also at the end of that year I heard that the following year in 2006 WTC we were having a designated World Championship at the Half Iron Man of 70.3 distances. It’s gonna be the first official half Ironman World Title that for me was great news because I think at that point I had lost a race over that distance for a couple of years; two or three years and once again I just set my sights on my race and the following year I was fortunate to win the Inaugural World Title of the 70.3 distance and by winning that race I qualified for Kona and that’s when I thought ‘ok I’m going to Kona’ that was the first time.

It was November 2006 in Clean Water, Florida I won that race and at the awards ceremony that evening I was told I’ve been given a slot to Kona the following year if I wanted to take it, so I took it on the spot and my Kona journey began. It was a long journey. I think, for me it was important just to see that I was continually improving or the effort was always there. The effort and the endeavor to improve to get better, to think outside the box a little bit and get smarter with my training get advice from different people and make sure that I was covering all my basis and doing all the things that I thought I could do to get better.

To answer your question that was more important to me that actually winning races or winning world championships at the time it was more ‘Am I improving’? Is this whole operation moving forward in a positive way and I could see that it was every year and there’s little milestones along the way; some are public that everybody sees, some are more personal and there are pivotal moments that only you recognize. I guess ’07 I was 34 years of age so it did take me the longest time to get there but it was worth the wait.

Sam
Well Craig one of the amazing insights you just put in there was the power of focus and I know that in my life, in many different scenarios we kinda hedge against failure by trying to do allot of things at once and when I was actually a Triathlete, I joke with everyone that I’m a recovering Triathlete because I decided when I couldn’t do it full on that I wasn’t gonna do it for a little while but I was doing it. I was talking to my coach at the time Gordo Burn and he said look if you want to go Pro you have to quit everything, you have to get single-minded and focus on it and I didn’t believe him for a while and thought I could do my business ventures and I was still in the military at that time and training all the time for Triathlon and he was completely right, and one of the decisions I made was ok I’ve got three things going right now. I have the military, I have triathlon and I have business venture dreams in terms of going out and pursuing; what I thought that I believe what I’m doing right now in the publishing world and I didn’t; you pick one of those three things and just go for it and its the scariest thing in the world I know you could probably talk about this too. when you set an ‘A’ race and everyone knows that your whole season depends on that one race but it’s also quite liberating because when you cut out everything else you have no excuse and that develops the power of focus is amazing because you make more progress than you would ever make but you put yourself out there at risk for failure.

Craig
Yeah I know and the word I was going to use was ‘enlightening’. I think it does lighten the burden and I was subconsciously hedging I thought I had to these to race often to keep that prize money revenue rolling in but what I really should have been thinking is race less but win more at each one and I think it is liberating. That was the word you used and I liked that word because that’s the way it should be done and I think once you realize that for me it there wasn’t fear involved, there was relief . I stumbled upon the right way to do what I thought and I was relieved to think that; I was never scared of failure. What I was more scared of was not putting the effort in. I was always, I guess, fairly philosophical. I had an insight early not everyone can win not everyone can be a World Champion.

Whether or not you’re a World Champion or not I think determines success or failure it’s how you craft and do what you do with what you’ve got and the knowledge you have at the time I’m trying to expand that knowledge and I think if yet an endeavor is there I was never scared to lose races or to fail, I was more scared of not preparing the right way or not executing or not being smart enough or not; as we talked about, early in my career not paying attention to the little details that I knew could impact the performance and everyone thought I was crazy and obsessing over these little details but I knew they were important. I was more scared of that; I guess that aspect but certainly you touch on a great point when you can remove a lot of the collateral and the stuff in the periphery and your focus has become sharper. Straight away you gain 5 or 10 percent straight away without even realizing it.

It’s funny because I guess there would be tendency to think I’m putting all my eggs into this basket and everybody knows that I am and If it doesn’t come off its gonna look silly or will I be embarrassed or am I farther, and how am I gonna be perceived. I got over that pretty quickly I don’t care how other people perceive me; It’s how I perceive myself and my own career and what I’m doing and once again comes down to knowing yourself and for me the preparation and the endeavor, the effort with the important things, doing the due diligence, putting in the right sort of planning, getting the outsourcing of information and expertise that you need and then just working flat out, rolling your sleeves up and just working day in day out. So I was more scared of not checking those boxes in divided but you so right with what you say you can remove a lot of the stuff that I don’t know whether we have them there subconsciously as a safety net or whether it’s but necessity you need these other things in your life but they can detract and take focus away from the main thing that you’re trying to achieve.

Sam
This is a fascinating conversation cause in my family we had a discussion, I think a year ago where we all go together and my brothers and I all had a discussion about just our life in general and my dad had said well I always had this fear of failure that I think has held me back in life and a one of my brothers has also said that, that really held him back and I said the exact same thing you said. I said ‘You know my problem is I have no fear of failure and I try and fail a lot and a lot of things but I never get that phased by it . I’m more concerned with not having put it all out there and I think if someone’s listening to that and wants to develop that skill in life, because that’s a life skill not a Triathlon skill. Triathlon is the perfect place to practice it.

I talk to a lot of Triathletes who want to come to our camps and we get on the phone with and talk to everyone who’s gonna come to our camp and a lot of them say well ‘what’s your real goal and I haven’t really told anyone this but i really would love to make to Kona. Why are you not letting yourself really truly go after that? And that’s I think a great skill to practice because so many people are gonna be listening to this and if all of you have that hidden dream of ‘will I ever make it to Kona’, I think the first question in Triathlon is; ‘Are you scared of admitting and going after that goal and if you are maybe you can use Triathlon to work on that because it’s probably carrying over in every area of your life and the stakes; let’s face it are pretty small if you’re just doing it for the sport. ‘

Craig
Honestly I agree a hundred percent. I used to laugh, obviously a lot was made at big races in press conferences. The media would make a big deal out of people who would verbalize things that other people wouldn’t but you knew for a fact that all the people you were racing with ; they said it at the press conference, they were there and they were thinking they could win and if they didn’t they weren’t gonna give it their best effort they weren’t gonna put out their best performance.

I think there’s nothing wrong, I guess you can verbalize it different was or I think the main thing is to yourself just be clear in what you’re trying to do and not being embarrassed about what your goals are, I think it’s very important to have goals, very specific goals obviously within that comes having shorter and longer term goals and you want to be able to check off your progress along the way but you need to be clear in your own mind I was never one for coming and saying stuff in the media. I mean that was irrelevant, the only thing that was relevant was what happened on race day and the people who performed on race day were confident and I’d have the self belief. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that some people like to verbalize it others don’t. I think the main thing is that it’s there and it exists and you’re true to it. If your goal is to make Kona be true to that goal. You certainly don’t have to stand on the rooftops and should it out but you don’t see me embarrassed about it either.

If your coach says to you what are your goals this year, well I’d love to qualify and go to the big island in October. I think that’s a goal worth stating out loud and I think it certainly helps to crystallize it in your own mind. The human brain; the mind is an amazing thing. It’s your greatest asset but it can also be your biggest enemy. But I think you need to be clear and confident and positive in what you trying to do and subconsciously if you’re not maybe you are hedging. You are hedging a little bit and you maybe a little scared and I don’t see how that can’t be infiltrating; they way you go about what your trying to do every day and sort of undermining it a little bit.

Sam
I think that’s a fascinating insight and everyone knows this but your mind; you look at racehorses compared to humans and the racehorses just go off and do exactly what their trainers say and they come back it’s almost scientific cause the racehorse has no say and how far they get to run that day and what they eat, and we take really good care of them but as humans we have this thing called free will and our own minds which can reap havoc with it or can amazing things happen that would never be possible:

Craig
The mind rules the body, I mean you can be the fittest athlete in the world, has done the best training, test brilliantly in the lab but for whatever reason if you’re not competent, if you’re not in a great place, emotionally or mentally you’re not gonna realize all of that physical potential on race day. The body will do what the mind tells it to and conversely I’ve seen athletes who are underdone, who have come off injury, who physically probably shouldn’t be in the equation but are so mentally strong that they will themselves to be there and then they get there so the mind is very powerful and that’s part of the challenge.

That’s what I love about the sport of Triathlon was that aspect not just the physical challenge but the mental side of it as well which inevitably you come up against. Whatever style of Triathlon or distance of triathlon you do is that mental, that point where it get tough. In training, in the preparation and in the race and when that happens what do you do? How do you respond? That’s a mental thing.

Sam
Yeah and that’s just a powerful life lesson, I think everyone should; one of the things I like to emphasize on this Podcast is whenever I host it Suzanne co-hosts is amazing at the scientific and x’s and o’s as you call it of Triathlon and I make no pretensions about being a Triathlon coach myself but I’m just fascinated by the adventure and the human condition that drives people to do this sport. Let’s face it, it’s not a normal sport for people to be doing but who want’s to live a normal life. I think there something about an extraordinary adventure that creates extraordinary life and experiences so nothing to be ashamed of, to be a Triathlete and have big goals in the sport.

Craig
Absolutely, I think it’s it’s a phenomenon I mean racing, for some reason it attract people in the droves. I think it’s the challenge of it people who are driven won’t be challenged a lot of those people found that challenge in racing Triathlons and Iron Man racing so it is a challenge that’s for sure.

Sam
Well Craig, lets transition a little bit to your challenge right now as you’ve gone into a new business of coaching, while you never were coached, you definitely formed a brain trust and started to learn to delegate all of the things that you needed to become successful as an athlete; there’s just so many hours in the day and as I understand it. I’ll let you tell the story, you’ve developed quite a what I call ‘Board of Directors’ for Craig Alexander Inc. in the Santego Group. Talk a little bit about the story of this coaching group. I love the name and just the philosophy behind it. Talk about how this came to be and what’s your vision for this because this is kind of the next act in the Craig Alexander journey even as you obviously continue your racing career. This has become a much bigger outlet for you to contribute.

Craig
It sort of just happens naturally and it grew very organically. Frank and I obviously talked for a long time about putting together a team of people; the team that I used and making that team available to anyone, anyone who is interested. As I said it just grew organically. It was people that I either train with extensively, who I sought information from who I helped mentor or advise me and the great thing about these coaches that I have enlisted is they have experience across the whole spectrum of athletes. They’ve worked with; one of our coaches coached an Olympic Gold Medalist. We’ve got coaches who’ve coached world champions in the sport of Triathlon but they have extensive experience coaching first-timers, beginners, people of all levels and people with different time availability.

Some of our coaches coach CEO’s of big companies who work 60, 70, 80 hours a week and then we have 10 hours a week to train and then there’s at the other end of the spectrum people have more time to train. For me, all along I didn’t think just because I could win a race or two that doesn’t automatically qualify you as a great coach or any sort of coach. It just means you know yourself and I guess you do know the sport to some degree and you’ve learned a lot of lessons and have some experience but I thought why limit that experience to one person. why don’t we collectively get this team together, who bring a fast range of experiences and expertise and they all have as we call it the x’s and o’s I guess they all have the scientific background, the knowledge, the textbook knowledge of endurance training, the physiological adaptations. They have a vast experience and knowledge of implementing that across, males, females, World Champions to beginners. People who have 10 hours a week to train, people who have 40 hours a week.

For me that was important, it’s not just knowing, I guess the theory of coaching is how do you implement it in a real world sense, in a practical sense and make a difference to someone’s training. Not everybody works mid-week, some people work more on the weekends some have family commitments some can’t train at certain times; and that’s what I loved about this group they had a lot of experience its working and tailoring the training to the athlete not the other way around , not the athlete tailoring their training to whatever we, you know , we say go and do this. Really that’s undermining actual improvement. If it’s not a sustainable or achievable program because of someone’s work commitments of family or anything else. So that was the premise behind it all that I wanted to bring together a team and not just utilize one person or one or two people but a whole team and bring together all their experience, all their knowledge and make it available.

The name came about; me and Franco was just sitting around one day coming up with different names and Franco came up with the name and I think it was brilliant. He said ” You always made great improvement in your performance when you’re able to sit down with your trusted people and take your ego out of it. And I asked him and say honestly, tell me ‘what are the things I’ve done well, what are the things I need to improve on, what things moving forward can we implement? He said, ‘you know they’re always your best conversations and ‘think tanks’. When you just dropped you ego out of it and said to the team, ‘will help me, and help me’. I want to get better. Win or lose it was always the same conversation. How do we get better? He said by removing your ego you go honest feedback from experienced people and information that you’re always able to implement moving forward and that’s where the name came from; “without Ego’, taking ego out of the decision-making process and the planning and doing things for the right reasons which is purely based on performance and improvement and tailoring it the need to whoever the athlete may be.

It’s been fun, it’s a project we’ve been working on for 18 months and we got a long way to go we’re trying to grow it; I wouldn’t say slowly but we don’t want to rush things either, we want to , I guess under promise and over deliver. I think all the people involved in the company we’re all in the same page with that. We want to deliver the absolute best quality not just Triathlon Training. That’s another thing I love about my coaches some of them coach people that don’t even do Triathlon they just wanna lose weight or get fit and healthy and our goal is the same we just want to deliver the best quality and lifestyle experience that we can.

So to working with whatever someone’s goal is, whatever their goals and ambitions, might be racing it, might not be but I think we have the people that can help and we going overboard with the advertising or any of that right now. I think we’re just trying to tighten the structure within the company and be very clear about what we’re trying to deliver and what the personality of this company is, how we’re gonna operate. We’ve had a lot of great invitations and opportunities but I think you’ve got to be very careful to making sure things are feasible, you’re spreading yourself too thin and you can deliver on what you promised and say that you’re going to so we’re trying to grow it slowly, we’re taking our time but it’s coming along and I’ve got a lot of good people involved so we’re all good friends; which helps. I think there’s a great respect there amongst the team. It’s been a lot of fun so far, hard work but a lot of fun.

Sam
Well, Craig I’ve gotten to know your team a little bit and definitely it’s a great cohesive group that certainly does all of the things you say just talking to them about the camps and other things they have coming up with us and it been pretty fascinating to see your philosophy as you’re describing it now; definitely manifest itself in your team.

Talk a little bit about each of the member of the group; just a little bit of information about how they impacted your career, what their role was in your Board of Directors as an athlete and what made you bring them on. Because they’re all great personalities and one of the things I love about your coaches is it’s one thing to have the x’s zed o’s but you have to have the passion and people have to feel that in order to wanna learn from you and really let that knowledge sink in .

Craig
Obviously the company started with Franco and I and straight away we brought in a guy called Chris Stanton who’s an IT guy but he’s also a Triathlete. He’s an accomplished aged-group Triathlete. He’s done a couple of 9 hour Ironman Races; which is impressive considering that he has a full time job as well. He’s a passionate Triathlete but we needed his expertise because it’s an online based business. With the coaches, the people I brought on were Armando Galarraga and no doubt you’ve chatted to Armando is a guy i trained with. Met him in 2005 in Boulder, Colorado when we trained, pretty much almost full time together ever since then. He’s been apart of all my Kona build ups, my preparations.

So he’s seen very closely the kind of training I do and what my philosophies are in terms of training in the sport. He’s also coached he is wife Joanna Lorne, who’s won Ironman New Zealand 7 times, very decorated athlete, had multiple top 5’s in Kona, won races all around the world Ralf Frankfurt and Joanna’s one of our coaches as well . So we’ve got Armando and Jo. Another guy we brought on Frank Jacobson, is from Copenhagen, he’s Danish, used to work in the corporate world but he transitioned into Triathlon coaching, I met him in Kona 2009. Ironically we were just staying next to each other but we hit it off straight away. Unbelievable observant guy, extremely knowledgeable guy and he combines very well the technical knowledge with common sense and the practical approach and he’s coached a lot of athletes. He’s coached athletes to Top 10’s in Kona, multiple Ironman victories all around the world and Half Ironman victories.

On his roster he’s got several late professionals running male and female as I said they had top 10’s in Kona, multiple victories around the globe but also he has a lot of age grouper amateurs on his books; some of which have won world titles other who are first timers so we’ve got Frank. Another guy is Chris Stallone from New Zealand who I met in Boulder in 2006 and was Hamish Carter’s coach . He coached Hamish to the Olympic gold medal in Athens in Triathlon 2004 and didn’t get to know Chris a lot on a personal level but we chatted of about Triathlon and just a very smart man, very experienced , a little quirky. He’s got an interesting personality but with all the coaches they’re all super passionate which is the main thing that I love.

They all love the sport and they love helping. They love helping people they’re very, very passionate and I think that overrides the knowledge and experience and everything, having that passion and getting emotionally involved and engage with the people you’re working with and all our coaches do that. It’s a great team, it’s a small team we’re looking to expand, always looking to expand and we’ve got different coaches, other people in mind and people we have worked with to some degree but the guy and girls I just mentioned they’re the foundation and one other we just had a Brick Davidson who was the last guy we added. He trained with me leading up to Melbourne the year I did 757.

He also raced that year as well in the age group he went 848 when his age group qualified to go to Kona and that was the first Triathlon he’d done in 7 years actually so he coaches a lot of athletes who have won their age group and qualified for Kona and just won big races all around Australia and all around the world. All the coaches, I think the one thing is they have slightly different styles but they have an overriding passion which I love, are great communicators, good observers. It’s just a good team. So they’re the foundation coaches and I’m proud of the guys and girls that we’ve managed to assemble and certainly that the core group that we’re gonna be taking to a lot of the camps that we’re putting on this year. They have slightly different skill-set.

To Frank from Denmark he’s an accredited retool fitter and he’s an unbelievable bike fitter so we’ve got his expertise. We’ve got coaches doing run analysis as well with different technology` and other coaches who can do very specific swim analysis and we’ve got the equipment to do that as well. I feel we’ve got our bases covered but I think it’s so many things, It’s not just having these letters after your name and all these things saying that well I’m an accredited this an accredited that, I think it’s more important, the experience, and the way you’ve been able to interact and implement you’re a star with various athletes of all levels over the different years and the group we’ve go have been successful in doing that.

Sam
It’s certainly a great group and I’ve enjoyed working with them so far and look forward to the things that we’re doing and just briefly at the end of this I just wanna touch on that. We’ve decided to introduce a camp that I’ve always wanted to do in Kona for Triathlon Research audience. I always wanted to make sure that I had the right people to run it because of the respect I have for the venue and able to get that organized with you and the Santego Group so one of the things we worked on; in our planning for the camp is making sure that it has all really individual attention in every discipline and every part of the sport from Training Management and Nutrition and Recovery and looking at each discipline so I’ve had a great time working with your team and planning that and definitely the expertise that they have in running these camps I think it’s gonna be a great benefit to the audience but I’m looking forward to see you in Kona, Craig for that camp and also just to seeing how you and the team operate.

Craig
Yeah, its gonna be a lot of fun, it’s gonna be a lot of fun. I think obviously it’s a special place it’s a special race so I’m looking forward to working with like minded athletes who wanna come along. I guarantee you won’t walk away feeling that you haven’t go value for your money that’s for sure. We’re gonna pay attention to all the details big and small. all the things that I think we know are important to preparing for that race and performing well at that race and all races really but they’re certainly will be a lot of specific information about that climate and those conditions and that race in Kona so It will be a lot of fun I’m looking forward to it. We’re bringing the whole team. We’ll be looking at people’s bike set up, their technical skill-set in the three disciplines but also as you mentioned training management. How do you plan a preparation and a build up? How do you periodize things? How do you structure a program so that you achieve all the you set out to, your training goals and get to the start line healthy, fit and raring to go. So it’s gonna be a lot of fun I’m really looking forward to linking up with you there Sam and I think that camp will be amazing.

Sam
Well, it’s definitely on hallowed ground. I think one of the things that I talked about with the athletes is that there’s 3 real reasons to do a camp. The first one is to get the knowledge. you can read books all you life and go to certifications and things like that but just what I found in my experience in the military was that we would make more progress in five days where we isolated ourselves from everything than we would in 6 months leading up to that in our training sessions. I’m not a Tri coach and never pretend to be but I have been in the business of training people to make big improvements in all areas are I think pretty important ventures in the Military and the same principles apply which is isolating people making sure that have nothing to worry about but that task and just diving into it and that’s the first thing but I think the more important thing is the community of like-minded people. If you can imagine who would take the time out of their schedule and make the investment to get over to Kona in a camp that we’re making deliberately small so the we can give individual attention to everyone. Those type of people are a cut above.

They’re different types of people who have their big goals in sport probably most of them want to get to Kona itself one day and their determined to do what it takes to make it and I’ve always found and you know this Craig, from your experience when you surround yourself with the right people who have the same kind of goals and ambitions magical things happen and then the final part of it is just accountability. We’re gonna hold you accountable throughout the camp and measure where you are and give you a plan of action to take with you and then stay in touch with you after the camp.

We’ll have a private Facebook Group in a community cause we want to make sure that you’re accountable to the plan that you get after you see where you stand in the sport and all the different things that you could be doing better. I think Craig, the theme of this whole thing that we’re developing is the habits; the critical habits of professional Triathletes because there is not a lot of Pros out there who don’t put in the work and they’re tones of age group that put in plenty of time in the sport but I think what separates people are those habits that you relentlessly practice and the self-discipline you talked about that’s made you so successful.

Craig
Absolutely I think a great thing about this camp in Kona as well is obviously the location . For people who are wanting to qualify for Kona there’s a lot of things you can learn training there. The nuances of that course, the prevailing conditions that will absolutely aid your performance when you reach there. Apart for all I guess the more generic stuff that we’re going to be talking about in regards to general improvement in performance. There’s also the specific things that are very relevant to that race and that Island which I guess will be unique to that camp . We’ll be riding obviously on the Queen K the coarse we’ll be training on the course and in the conditions. The effort to come along will get unique insights to people who have raced there and one well and coached athletes to race there for many, many years. It’s gonna be great, It’s gonna be a great atmosphere, we’ll get a good crew of people together and it will be an amazing few days.

Sam
The thing I like Craig is your coming into the whole camp and you gonna be spending time with athletes through all the meals while the coaches are doing all the individual coaching and you’ll be setting an example by demonstrating all the things that we’re talking about so the people can see up close what pros do, those habits that we’re talking about and I think you’ll look at two things: one is to see the best in the world do it but secondly to realize Craig that you’re just a normal guy you just have exceptional habits. I think some people tend to put you on a pedestal to the point where they assume they can’t do the same things that you do and that’s not necessarily true.

Craig
I know, absolutely. It’s what you do day to day that affects the outcome of whatever it is you’re doing. We’ve run a few of these camps and as you mentioned, I think what we found is very beneficial obviously we’ve got the coaches directing a lot of the discussion and the tutorials if you will and any parting information but I’m there the whole time and people can ask me specific questions about races that I’ve done, things that have happened, whatever. So over and above obviously the structured information and bike fits and other instructional things that we’re doing I’m just there the whole time so people have access to me to ask whatever it is that they want that’s something they might have just wondered about a race that they watched or something that’s relevant to their own career. So yea, I’ll be there the whole time and trying answer people’s questions as best I can.

Sam
And there’ll be plenty of time set aside for social interaction because that’s one of the things that cements these learning experiences. It’s all about the emotion you attach to the knowledge that you gain and we want to create that overall experience because emotion is so powerful if it’s the right type of emotion, like we talked about earlier.

Well Craig, I couldn’t be more excited about the chance to work with you in Kona. I think that’s gonna be an amazingly special event. We’ve got great things coming up with the Santego Group. If you’re listening to this you better keep your eyes peeled on your email or inbox or watch your Facebook page to make sure when we announce some things this will be a fantastic route for the Triathlon Research audience to be exposed to and I love Craig’s outlook on life and one of the things that I think is the most important about this is what you can learn from Craig about how to live your life because he’s a class act in the sport, I think has always carried himself well.

Craig just thank you for the way you’ve carried yourself and inspired people. I’ve never heard anyone, inside and outside the sport talk ill of you and I think that’s rare. I think in this sport you just really gone about this in a really professional way and despite all the success you’ve had you’ve really let it roll off and just not let it go to your head and I think that’s something a lot of people respect and wanna emulate and not just in Triathlon but in life so thanks for being the great professional that you are and more importantly the lessons you teach people about life in general cause at the end of the day I think there’s so much more about this sport, there’s so much beyond this sport that people can learn from this and you’re, I think one of the top examples of that.

Craig
Well, thank you. Kind words, I appreciate you saying that thank you.

Sam
Well thank you Craig for joining us today and Triathlon Research listener if you are interested in the Craig Alexander Camp in Kona with Triathlon Research it is from 3 -7 June, 2015 and you can find more information about that by going to the page; triathlonresearch.org. You can go to our home page or go to triathlonresearch.org/crowie and we’ll be getting you a lot more information on that but if you listen to this Podcast you’ll probably be one of the first to hear about it and our audience make sure you go there.

There is an application process. We are taking applications because we have limited spots and there’s to be high demand for this camp. The application is really to figure out if your mind-set is where we can help you in your goals and sport it’s not anything to do with your physical abilities or how experienced you are in the sport because this camp’s designed for aged groupers. Craig’s worked with plenty of pros and we wanna touch all areas of the community at this camp not just the leads or professionals and no matter where you are in your journey to Kona or whatever goal you have in the sport we can help you because the camp’s going to be individually based not a group fitness camp as much although you will have some chance to get out and exercise in Kona.
So, looking forward to getting more information on that , thanks again Craig for joining us, Santego and what you’re doing in the sport is really special movement and I look forward to supporting it along with the Triathlon Research Community.

Craig
Thanks for having me on set, it’s been a lot of fun.

Hi, it’s Mark Allan, 6 time Ironman Triathlon World Champion. I hope you enjoyed today’s show. I recently participated in a Triathlon Research for older summer camp and I spent time with athletes on the final day of the camp teaching them how to quiet their mind on race day to realize their full potential. To get a free copy of my new book “The Art of Competition” leave a review on iTunes and we’ll send you the book. All you have to do is email a copy of your review to [email protected] and Triathlon Research will send you the book.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Triathlon Research. To get a full transcript of the show and all past shows, please go to triathlonresearch.org/podcast. To get notified of future Triathlon Research Podcast episodes, join our mailing list at triathlonresearch.org/equipment to get our next show delivered straight to your email inbox. In addition you will get our free Triathlon equipment video review series from the world’s best Triathlon coaches including 6 time Olympic Coach Bobby McGee, Tridot Systems Founder Jeff Bouvier and Total Immersion Swimming Founder Terry Locklin, so keep listening to Triathlon Research. Train Smart!

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