Essential Sports Nutrition


The Art of Triathlon Training - Learning from Dirk Bockel

It's a pretty cool experience when you can learn from an Olympian and Ironman champion.

On Tuesday evening, we had the honor of hosting an event at the Carolina Triathlon store with guest speaker Dirk Bockel. Recently retired professional triathlete, Dirk brings 27 years of experience, knowledge, stories, wisdom and strategies to help triathletes feel prepared for a race.

But this isn't just another triathlon training book. Dirk's passion for the sport of triathlon has helped him navigate through the stressors of life, surviving many lows that went along with his highs. In his book, he shares with us his strategies for how to create a successful and enjoyable triathlon journey.

During the talk, there were a few big takeaways that I found very beneficial for athletes:
  • Dirk performed at his best when he switched coaches and reduced his weekly training volume almost in half.
  • Dirk placed 3rd in his first Ironman and ran sub 3 hours after overcoming a foot injury that kept him from running more than 30 minutes on land in the month leading up to his race (only water jogging).
  • Dirk was always told that he was a "bigger" athlete and would not be successful on the run. He consistently ran sub 3 hours in the Ironman distance.
  • Dirk had several serious injuries, most notable was breaking his hand 10 days out from Ironman Kona (while training in Kona). He had finished 4th in Kona the year prior and felt as if he was in the best shape of his life. Despite a broken hand, he finished 10th.
  • Dirk used mental skills to visualize himself in a race well before it happened.
  • Dirk recommends that brick runs are no more than 15-30 minutes off the bike.
  • Dirk made himself a medal before his first Ironman and used that as motivation to help him train for the event.
  • Dirk is donating profits to: To walk again and SOS Villages D'Enfants Monde

So much of Dirk's training was mind games and the mental/visual aspect of training and racing along with having great trust in his coach.

To hear more from Dirk's talk, you can check out the entire chat on our Facebook page:

For more information about the book and his Facebook mentorship page: visit HERE.
Check out this great interview with Dirk on the Intelligent Racer Podcast: click HERE.