THE T:ZERO BLOG
Free advice, content and media for all. It's our way of giving back to the tri community who have given so much to us. Enjoy!
San Francisco Bay Area/Oakland, California, USA
‘Quality is sometimes better than quantity. I’m learning that I perform better when workouts are high-intensity, focused on building one aspect (FTP, Aerobic bases…), structured (intervals, warm up, specific targets) and allow time for full adaptive recovery.’
This month, our Fast Five feature athlete is Michael Silk.
Michael’s a relatively new addition to the T:Zero team but has been participating in triathlon for about six years. Over this time, he’s completed Olympic distance, 70.3 and iron-distance races, including the incredible Patagonman Chile in 2019 (you’ll want to check this one out - trust us!).
Iron-distance is definitely Michael’s jam; with both the long training blocks and race day itself pushing him to experience breakthroughs and moments of physical and mental clarity that keep the fire alive. He also credits the distance for pushing him to be more organised with his time - both in training and every day life.
Since becoming a T:Zero athlete, Michael says he’s started to focus more on hydration and core stability. Outside the standard swim/bike/run, he consistently incorporates strength training at the gym and is inspired to keep training and racing through seeing his own progress and improvement. He’s also deeply inspired by others who are pushing their own bodies beyond perceivable limits too.
Under the watchful eye and steadfast guidance of Coach Rich, Michael’s plans for 2021 include tackling Ironman Arizona and attempting a sub-six hour bike leg. And while he does not currently possess a race day mantra, he’s keen and up for suggestions, so over to you team!
Why and how did you get into triathlon/endurance/multisport?
I played sports growing up. I was injured playing post-college rugby and decided to take up running. I found a magazine that was advertising a sprint triathlon in a sauna at a YMCA in San Francisco. After finishing the sprint, I knew I loved the sport.
Favourite race? Why?
Patagonman is a tough ironman-distance race through the world’s most striking landscapes. You swim through a Chilean fjord, bike through Patagonia then run a trail marathon along the Ibanez River next to beautiful lakes, waterfalls, sheep herds, mountain towns and ends at a small port town on the border of Argentina. The community and race organizers are some of the most friendly and passionate people you will ever meet. Truly a bucket list race.
What’s your favourite thing about triathlon/endurance/multisport?
Achieving a “runner’s high” or ‘peak/flow’ state while training or racing. It is usually followed by a sense of clarity and I believe it makes me a better person. I also truly enjoy the opportunity it provides to connect the natural world through ocean swimming, running trails or biking through pristine forests.
Have you ever had an apparent training or race day “failure” that has set you up for later success?
I wasn’t able to find my bike during the Oakland Triathlon because they were all racked tightly and in one corral. Since then, I’ve attached a flag, swim cap or bright coloured tag on my bike so that I can find it quickly after the swim.
Do you have any tips for athletes struggling to find some motivation or who may have temporarily lost focus?
Go on an unfocused adventure (swimming, biking or running), try not to focus on HR, metrics or goals. Rekindle your love for the outdoors.
And one more for good measure (and a big head) …
Why do you love being part of the T:Zero Multisport team?
It’s an admirable group of coaches and athletes.
An amazing collection of training and racing advice from the T:Zero Multisport coaches- with the occasional guest blogger! Read this blog to help you live your potential!