Mark Allen’s New “Game Changer” Training Platform – Triathlete

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Mark Allen finds it amusing that people still regard him, first and foremost, as the greatest endurance athlete of all time. It’s not that these people are to blame. After all, ESPN awarded him that exact accolade in 2012. And he’s won six IRONMAN World Championships, including five in a row, a feat no one else can. other has already repeated.

But the truth, Allen says, is that he thinks of himself more as a coach than an athlete these days. Instead of advancing the sport as a competitor, he is now pushing it forward from the sidelines, both by bringing his unique vision and embracing cutting-edge technology.

Allen’s change of identity also makes pure practical sense. It has now been coach for 28 years, almost twice as long as he spent on the competition circuit; he hasn’t entered a race since crossing the finish line in Kona in 1995.

As a coach, Allen channels his world-renowned drive for optimization and problem-solving to help other athletes. (Photo: Mark Allen Sports)

“I never felt like I needed to win another race. I satiated that part of myself,” he says. “It’s like eating a big, delicious meal. When you are done, you are satisfied. You don’t need to go eat it again. It’s a bit like that with running.

These days, he spends most of his time in Santa Cruz, a few blocks from the beach. He runs, surfs, leads retreats, gives talks, pursues his spiritual practice – a practice based on nature tradition called shamanism – and, of course, coaches. Surfing and time in nature keep him grounded. But it’s coaching that fuels his quest for constant improvement, especially now that new technology is set to completely change triathlon training.

Of course, to fully understand how game-changing this new technology is, you must first understand how far training technology has come.

When Allen started racing in 1982, he says the only tracking tools he had were a stopwatch and a speedometer.

“You could time the loops you did on a bike or a run, but there was nothing that really tracked anything accurately,” he says. This slowly changed when heart rate monitors, GPS units and later wearable trackers started to come online. But even with all of this, the coaches were more or less unaware of what the athletes really needed to improve.

That’s because collecting data was only half the battle, Allen says. Neither the athletes nor the coaches had anything powerful enough to actually analyze all the numbers that were pouring in day after day, workout after workout.

Mark Allen trains triathlete on bike technique
Allen has been coaching since the mid-1990s, when the only tracking tools he had were a speedometer and a watch. (Photo: TriDot)

“People like to open up [their device] after a bike ride or a run and look at all the graphs, but it’s more entertainment than anything,” Allen says. “We just didn’t have the computing power to take those things and have them influence how an athlete’s future training was designed.”

Allen spent years looking for some kind of program that could analyze – and actually use – the huge amount of data he was receiving. Fortunately, he wasn’t the only one.

About 20 years ago, Jeff Booher, four-time IRONMAN finisher, triathlon coach, and former systems engineer, started creating an Excel spreadsheet. At first it was just a board to inform his own workout plans and those of a few dozen workout buddies. But as the data set grew, the analysis became more and more complex. Before long, Booher was developing algorithms to quantify training stress and normalize training results based on factors such as age, gender, and physical location.

After several years, he had amassed a vast database of training and racing data. Booher had also developed a comprehensive framework for normalizing this data, quantifying training stress, and making training decisions. The potential of such a database was hard to ignore. So in 2011, Booher applied for patent protection. He then hired a team of professional software engineers and data scientists to take the project to the next level.

The engineer’s response? They scratched their heads. They told him what he had was amazing, that they had never seen anything so sophisticated programmed in Excel. Then they got to work.

Over the next few years, engineers worked to transform Booher’s passion project into a powerful intelligence engine using AI, machine learning and other advanced technologies. The result was a platform that would not only build training plans based on a full set of inputs for a given athlete (even including the athlete’s genetics), but also adjust and optimize those training plans. in real time. The technology continuously collects training data: from heart rate, watts and pace to environmental conditions such as heat, humidity and altitude.

All of these numbers flow into the algorithm. In response, the algorithm automatically adjusts future workouts and their target effort levels to optimize both gains and recovery. Booher named their new program tripoint. (Aptly, “DOT” stands for Data Optimized Training.)

When Allen heard about the new technology, he was stunned.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God. This is exactly what I was looking for, and I just threw it in my lap,’ he recalled. Suddenly, a huge veil was lifted. Allen didn’t was more about diagnosing athletic weaknesses based on clues and intuitions.He had diagnostic technology that revolutionized his coaching.

A group of triathletes with coach Mark Allen
TriDot’s time-saving tools and powerful algorithms allow Allen to spend more time doing what he does best: working with athletes in person. (Photo: TriDot)

Prior to TriDot, Allen says, “Coaching sometimes felt like an old doctor with a stethoscope. You hold it, and you say, ‘Cough. Now breathe… OK, wow, I think you have something wrong.’ And the athlete says, ‘From Classes I have something wrong. Why can’t you tell me what it is? Fast forward to today, and doctors can do CT scans and MRIs and whatever is so technologically advanced that it allows them to be better doctors. This is what TriDot allows us to do as coaches.

TriDot has revolutionized the way Allen works with his athletes. Before adopting the platform, he says he spent 90% of his time digging into data, developing training plans and adjusting workouts. This meant that he only had a few hours a week left to work directly with his athletes, giving advice and answering questions – you know, actually framing.

With TriDot, this ratio has changed. “Now I can spend over 10% on the training plan and 90% on the coaching,” he says.

It’s a total game changer. It’s also one of the reasons Allen joined the TriDot team earlier this year. He is currently collaborating with TriDot on a new Mark Allen Edition program, which will combine Booher’s powerful algorithm with Allen’s wisdom and experience. (The Mark Allen Edition will launch online in Fall 2022, and the waiting list is open now.)

“I like working with companies that are at the cutting edge of what they do,” says Allen. “That’s where I tried to stay when I was racing. I never wanted to be in the middle of the bell curve. I wanted to be on the far right, paving the way for things that, in the future, everyone will do. That’s what TriDot has: a vision that goes far beyond the bell curve.

For Allen, the interesting part of competing was figuring out how to optimize his mind and body as an athlete. He solved this puzzle. Now that he’s a coach, he can help solve this puzzle for others. With TriDot, Allen says, coaches will be able to find those solutions faster and more accurately. This means they will be able to spend a lot more time helping athletes work on their mental game and strategy. Ultimately, these are the things that push boundaries and break records.

Thanks to TriDot’s innovative technology, Allen says, the future of sports has never looked brighter.

To join the Mark Allen Publishing Waitlist, Click here.

tripoint, a division of Predictive Fitness, is a platform that provides Optimized Triathlon Training® for triathletes. Its patent-pending technology uses each athlete’s biometric and training data along with big data and artificial intelligence to design and optimize athlete training, with or without a coach. It produces significantly better results with up to 30% less training time.