This is inspiring for me…


As it’s a Friday, we’re back with another fabulous case study for you… Here at Tribal, we love sharing success stories from our members – what works for individuals, what attracted them to triathlons, what they do to support their goals, their training regimes etc…. May this serve to inspire you to a great weekend of training.

When I started Tribal in January 2014 I was unsure whether the online interaction with athletes would give me the same satisfaction, pride and personal development I experience when working in a live environment one-on-one.

I’ve got to tell you- the development of the community has been inspiring and has provided no shortage of satisfaction for me personally.

Christophe Poulin is 44 years old and has two children, aged 5 and 17. He’s an IT project manager and resides on the banks of Lake Zurich, Switzerland. I’m going to share Christophe’s case study below, but first, he posted this in our community in October, just 8 months after joining the community.

Christophe Happy

Things I have learnt in 2014… 

  • Focus on what you are trying to achieve with each session. 

  • Avoid junk miles: train effectively.
  • Technique and strength are key.
  • Be in the moment, be connected to what you are doing, listen to your body. I don’t listen to any music anymore while training (except maybe during a long and low intensity turbo trainer session).

  • Recovery is the 4th sport in triathlon: focus on sleep, stress management and relaxation such as yoga, meditation and flexibility / mobility.
  • Nutrition is your fuel: garbage in, garbage out!
Stay away from the dreaded black hole: use heart rate zone properly; train hard when you should train hard, train low when it’s meant to be low.

  • Health always comes first.

  • Consistent and regular small steps will eventually lead to big progress.

  • Don’t train just for an event, train for the long term and enjoy the process.

  • Training for a triathlon is not just training it is a holistic lifestyle.
  • Set goals and have a plan to reach them.

I cannot tell you what this meant to me as a coach, this is a great example of an athlete taking accountability for themselves, a critical step in performance enhancement), the pride and confidence it gave me to reach more people with Tribal was awesome.

Here is Christophe’s story:

When did you become interested in triathlon?

Summer 2013, when I was moderately active, mainly rowing once a week on Lake Zürich or one swim session.

What’s been your best personal performance to date?

My first triathlon in Zürich, which I completed in two hours and 48 minutes.

What’s your favourite part of the triathlon?

Finishing the swim 🙂 Getting out of the water to go and get the bike and the finish line are my favourite parts!

…and the least?

The start of the swim is my least favourite part.

Detail your training regime for us:

Twelve weeks before the event I usually train no more than six hours a week with two sessions for each sport, one long session with low intensity and one with internal training. Every three weeks, I undergo a “de-load” week (i.e. 50 percent of the usual training volume).

Off season, I focus more on my technique, so I do long duration, low-intensity sessions and some strength training.

What do you eat to support your goals?

I eat natural foods, with little or no sugar and an emphasis on healthy fats, such as those you get from avocados, salmon and coconut milk etc. [You can read more about fat in the diet here.]

I use supplements and UCAN during the 12 weeks before an event to give me the support my body craves and practice the race fuelling protocol so I can execute race day efficiently.

When is your next event?

I’m training for the Ironman 70.3 in June 2015 in Rapperswil, Switzerland.

Do you have any advice you would pass on to other Tribal athletes?

Nutrition and good recovery are the key to success. I’d also advise:

  • Avoid training at race pace too often.
  • Use the appropriate mix of low and high intensity sessions.
  • Health first! Listen to your body.
  • Plan the execution of your race carefully.
  • Don’t just train for the event – enjoy the process!
  • If you have a partner and/or children, try to include them in your training by asking them to join you, for instance, on a weekend run (they can take their bike and follow you while you run).

And finally, training for a triathlon is a long term process… so be patient.

Absolutely brilliant advice Christophe… Thank you for your contribution.


Paul Roberts