Athlete Case Study, November 2020: Rupert Daniels

Triathlete running down the finish shoot of an Ironman
October 25, 2020

D3 Staff



Consistency is Key to Fitness and Success

At the very end of 2019, Rupert Daniels decided he was going to hire a coach to help him train for IM Italy in September.  However, as is the case with all athletes in 2020, his plans were soon thrown for a loop when Covid arrived.  In spite of the fact that races were being canceled and training was becoming increasingly harder to schedule, Rupert decided to remain focused and consistently hit his workouts in the hope that a new IM would open up later in the year.  It was this consistent training that allowed him to race Cozumel 70.3 as a tune up event with only 3 weeks notice.  His race results:  A PR under far tougher conditions then his previous best which was 4 years earlier.  This result was without any race specific pace training.  

In breaking down his year we can study his PMC below.  The first thing to note was the steady two-month ramp-up to his desired weekly hours and intensity of training. The deliberate ramp is required to allow the body to adapt to the training and help minimize time off due to overuse injuries.  The second thing to notice for the year is the consistency of training.  Over the past year, Rupert has completed 423.5 hours of the 448 assigned workout hours (94.5%.)  With the exception of the planned overseas trip and a business trip just prior to his decision to sign up for IM Cozumel at the end of November, his PMC has no big peaks or valleys.  The slight downward slope when he recognized his target race would be canceled was a deliberate, planned reduction in weekly hours.  Finally, the final upward slope begins his ramp up for an Ironman at the end of November. 

The key takeaway from looking at the graph above is that fitness gains and success in our sport is driven by hitting a high percentage of specific workouts.  He made decisions in his training and personal life that allowed him to hit the workouts while staying healthy and injury free.  He prioritized recovery when it was important and substituted workouts when lockdowns prohibited “standard” triathlon training.  With Rupert’s consistent, diligent training, it is highly likely he is going to follow up his new 70.3 PR with an outstanding Ironman race in Cozumel next month. 

Coach Bill Ledden knows that true success in the world of triathlon isn’t simply about crossing the finish line. It’s about the process of setting goals, being determined to reach them and most importantly, the learning that takes place along the way.  
Bill is a both a USA Triathlon and USA Track and Field Certified Coach.  Learn what his favorite quote is right here.

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