Some people call it a midlife crises, an addiction, an obsession, all very negative terminology for something obviously healthy. I got into triathlons 3 or 4 years ago having given up team sports. I played hurling all my life through to my mid-thirties. When I eventually retired I had to find something to keep the weight down and satisfy my competitive spirit..
I bought a bike and wet suit. I found an entry-level sprint triathlon in Hook head and gave it a go. I LOVED it. From recollection, I came in the top 15% without any specific training. My training intensified over the next couple of years and I entered as many events as possible but always training on my own and with no coaching. I enjoy regular sprint triathlons throughout the season, the odd standard distance, and have developed a taste for adventure racing from WAR sport distance to full distance in the amazing Killarney Adventure Race, again, always performing statistically in the same bracket.
I wanted to improve, knowing my reasonable limitations, but not knowing how. When I saw an article on Genetic Performance I assumed it was beyond my means and targeted towards the Elite, of which I am not, and don't have the time to be. However, having discussed it with Genetic Performance they explained to me the cost structures, the benefits, the added training schedule specific to my genetic make-up, the PT on offer; I was drawn in.
It turns out my genetics would indicate that triathlons are a sport that suit me, suit my makeup, suit who I am. Genetic performance have developed a strength and conditioning training programme and nutrition plan suited to who I am; to exploit my strengths, develop my weaknesses and focus my time (on which there are many demands), so that I will reap the benefits of my training in the season next year.
It is amazing to discover, on a page, who you are. It will confirm what you already knew about yourself, but more importantly what you didn't know about yourself and how it's up to you to exploit that knowledge.
If I had had this information earlier (like at 20), I may have refocused my entire sporting life, certainly my training would have been different and I may have been a different athlete all along. Science and technology are now part of my training program, finally giving me that edge.