Age-group triathlon case study with Jordan and Jesse Sorrick | EP#124
Jordan and Jesse Sorrick are age-group triathletes from Columbia, Missouri. In this episode we discuss how they fit the triathlon lifestyle into busy lives and how they stay motivated and consistent.
Discuss this episode!
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In this Episode you'll learn about:
- The importance of having a community.
- Get up early to train: the key to consistency.
- How to stay motivated.
- How to become a faster swimmer.
- Jordan's and Jesse's advice and learnings for triathletes newer to the sport.
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Jordan's triathlon background
- I started triathlon in 2013 when I was 23, at a small Sprint race which I did with my Dad.
- I really enjoyed the race, and ever since then I've continued racing.
- I predominantly do Sprint or Olympic distance, and typically do four races per year.
- I met my wife though triathlon too!
- I'm currently 28 years old.
Jesse's triathlon background & goals
- I began racing triathlon in 2013 with our sports club, and ironically I started one month before Jordan joined us.
- I enjoyed being part of a community of people of different ages, enjoying different adventures with them for the last five years.
- The club has 250-400 people, it changes year by year.
- I think we're the biggest triathlon club in Missouri.
- St Lewis and Kansas City also have big triathlon clubs.
- I work as a weekend night nurse in the ICU.
- Jordan and I work together.
- We work Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and train during the week.
- I'm working on my doctorate in nursing, so I do clinical and homework as well during the week.
- In terms of my schedule, Tuesday to Friday:
- I normally wake up at 4:30 and go swimming with a group of people at 5:30.
- I will try and do some weightlifting after that.
- After about 8am, if I have clinical I go there from 8-5, or go to the library and do homework.
- When I get off I'll spend time with Jordan, or find some other activity to do with friends.
- I mostly try and do my activity in the morning, unless I have a longer bike ride which I'll do in the afternoon.
- When I go to work I'll workout an hour before work, then work from 7pm-8am.
- When I get home I'll sleep, then workout again before my next shift.
- I do triathlon because I feel better, happier and healthier when I work out and have a purpose.
- I enjoy doing it with a group of people because I can spend time with others and develop friendships.
- Running is more my forte, and I ran the Boston marathon.
- With my age group for triathlon, I'm almost always the first or the second.
" I do triathlon because I feel better, happier and healthier when I work out and have a purpose."
Jordan's triathlon goals
- My triathlon goals are a little different, I'm not quite as natural an athlete as she is.
- My goal is to qualify for age group nationals and see if I can place well there.
- I haven't gone yet so we'll see if I can do the first part!
- To qualify I need to be in the top 3 in my age group in an Olympic distance USAT sanctioned race.
- Jesse and I work together in the same unit and work the same hours, so we can see more of each other.
- I do some easier workouts during the weekend between my shifts.
- After I sleep during Monday, I then do harder workouts Monday through Friday.
- I do bike rides with our group, and run about half the time with them.
- I tend to be more of a loner than Jesse.
- I like swimming alone more in the pool.
- We have an intervals evening with our club which I like going too.
- I choose my harder workouts to be with the group.
- I have ankylosing spondylitis which is an autoimmune disease.
- It tends to happen in males more, and starts in your late teens.
- I started having symptoms around the time I started doing triathlons.
- I was always able to cycle, and found it helped me, but it became increasingly difficult to run.
- I was lucky if I could run once a week for a few miles.
- My run training was therefore inconsistent, and I often times got passed by lots of people on the run.
- I wasn't conditioned for this.
- I ended up getting on some medications which helped suppress certain aspects of my immune system and I was able to start running again.
- It's completely back to baseline now, I can run as far as I want to and it feels like nothing ever happened.
- It changed triathlon substantially for me because I've previously not been able to do whatever I want or follow a plan 100%.
Training plans and coaches
- Jordan: I don't have a coach at the present moment but I do read a lot:
- e.g. Joe Friel, That Triathlon Show podcast.
- I research on my own and make my own plans.
- Jesse: I'm fortunate that I have a group of individuals that helps planning.
- With the people I workout with in the mornings we have a woman who plans a 3500m swim workout for us.
- We do this Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
- She used to be a collegiate swimmer and she just enjoys planning the workouts.
- Running in the morning on Tuesday and Thursday they always plan a 7 mile run to do, some flat some hilly.
- For the bike in the afternoons I workout with different groups of people.
- Sometimes I'll do hill repeats on Wednesdays.
- Tuesdays is more of a hilly longer course.
- Thursdays are intervals.
- If I ever can on Saturday I'll go for a longer bike ride with people, usually 40-50 miles or longer.
- I sort of just go where the social opportunities take me!
- With the people I workout with in the mornings we have a woman who plans a 3500m swim workout for us.
Jesse - improvements from swimming with a group
- It didn't start great in the beginning!
- I remember when I was doing Ironman and I was trying to get myself to swim 4000m each swim.
- I heard about this swim group, and they met at 5:30 which felt horrendously early.
- But I found that having them there to hold me accountable and make me do the session was really beneficial.
- They always have different groups depending on your level.
- Initially I was too intimidated to do the workout with everyone so I'd do it in the swim lane next to them and go at my own pace.
- When I felt comfortable I went over into their lane.
- I noticed with them they had more of an experience of camaraderie.
- It can be intimidating though, and swimming is the least social of the sports.
- As a runner, I'm used to being able to talk to others throughout the workout, or get feedback on your form as you go.
- Jordan has given me some pointers from his reading, and the other swimmers have also given me pointers.
- I joined in the B group but I'm now in the A group.
- It has been nice to have a feeling of something you're working at and achieving.
- Jordan laughs at me because I'm now working on my back and breast stroke which you don't really need in triathlon!
- It's the most painful but I want to keep up with them.
Triathlon as a lifestyle
- Jesse: I noticed that getting your workout in in the morning can give you a jumpstart on the day and get you set up for the day.
- I really notice the negative difference if I do not get to workout before going to clinical work.
- Working out with other people means I get to talk to 20 of my closest friends before I even start my day.
- It can be what's going on in their life to tips for improving your swim style.
- Having those kinds of bonds and relationships will keep you coming back and training.
- It also keeps you trying your best because you want to keep up with them.
- Jesse: There are definitely days where we lack motivation.
- If I worked out every morning consistently and also worked weekend nights I'd never have a morning to sleep in/catch back up on sleep.
- There are unfortunately some days that I do sleep in.
- I can't kick myself for it, you do need sleep.
- As far as motivation, I look back on days when I'm a little bit tired but remember that I've never regretted going to training.
- I always enjoy working out, which motivates me to keep on coming back.
" I look back on days when I'm a little bit tired but remember that I've never regretted going to training."
- Jordan: I agree with Jesse regarding motivation, and I always want to show up to at least half of the group sessions.
- I don't try to do everything because that would be too much.
- They're good to see people and get the social aspect.
- You also get to see what other people are doing and ask them questions.
- Doing a few races a year gives you something to work towards and have goals to attain.
- E.g. If the same people keep showing up at the races and they get better each time, it motivates you to get better to keep up with them.
- Going to races every year helps out with staying in shape and staying social.
- Jordan: Time management is important.
- My schedule isn't as tight as Jesse's is.
- The main thing I find is getting adequate sleep, especially when you're switching back and forth between day and night schedules.
- I find if I get adequate sleep early on, the rest of the week falls into place better.
- I find my whole day is more productive if I've slept well and done a hard workout in the morning.
Lessons learnt along the way
- Jordan: Practicing transitions is really important.
- I actually lost a race because my transition wasn't as quick as it should have been.
- Spend time getting into a pattern when you get on and off the bike.
- Practice transitioning every time you cycle and it'll become second nature.
- Jesse: swimming and biking for me have been a learning curve.
- My swimming has come along well in the last year.
- Similarly with biking, I'm a runner and I wasn't as good at biking.
- If you can find a good group to bike and/or swim with it will help.
- You can get feedback - e.g. sitting appropriately in the seat on the bike.
- If you really want to get better in those areas, hang out and train with people who are doing well in those areas.
- Jordan and I actually often bike with cyclists, not triathletes, which really keeps us on our toes.
- Jesse: If you're new to triathlon, I'd definitely recommend joining a club.
- I admire the people who can do it on their own, but the people who join a club seem to get so much more back.
- You can get advice and tips.
- We have a whole community you can reach out to - e.g. if you're selling a bike, or certain components.
- It means it's not all for yourself.
- Triathletes can easily just focus on themselves and their times etc, but I've found it more fun seeing your friends and how your club is doing as a whole.
- When making it part of your lifestyle, it helps to be able to engage with an active community.
- Jordan: I agree with joining a club, it's a big thing.
- Going to competitions with clubs can make it more fun too!
Rapid fire questions
- What is your favourite book, blog or resource related to triathlon or endurance sports.
- Jordan: Triathlete Training Bible, Joe Friel.
- Jesse: Maximum Overload for Cyclists, Jacques DeVore - my weightlifting schedule is based on his work .
- Related listening: Maximum overload: A strength-based cycling program with Jacques DeVore.
- What is your favourite piece of gear or equipment?
- Jordan: My Cervelo bike.
- Jesse: Also my bike, I have a Specialized Transition Triathlon bike.
- Who is somebody in triathlon or endurance sports that you look up to?
- Jordan: I'm starting to watch the Brownlee brothers more, I really like both of them, they're really interesting.
- Jesse: I do like Chrissie Wellington, I really enjoy her story and how she lives so purposefully with triathlon and supports other individuals through her sport.
- The community aspect can be very important.
- Jordan and Jesse approached it slightly differently.
- For Jesse it was the main thing.
- Get the training done early.
- Athletes that habitually train in the morning are usually much more consistent.
- Training after work means life can happen and get in the way.
- If you're not a morning person, try it for 30 days - it's easy to get used to it if you try!
- Finding habits that help you stay consistent is important.
- Make triathlon a lifestyle.
- Jordan and Jesse have done this really well which has helped them enjoy the sport and be consistent.
- This can be really difficult to do, but if you make it a lifestyle it all becomes so much easier and more enjoyable.
Links, resources & contact
Links and resources mentioned
Connect with host Mikael Eriksson
Hi! I'm your host Mikael,
I am a full-time triathlon coach and an ambitious age-group triathlete. My goal is podium at the Finnish national championships within the next few years.
I first started the website Scientific Triathlon in autumn 2015 as a passion project to share my learnings with a larger triathlon audience. Later on, in early 2017 I started the podcast That Triathlon Show.
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Loved this episode! Hearing about other time-crunched age-groupers is always interesting. And as a fellow ankylosing spondylitis sufferer, this was particularly relevant. It shows how consistency and hard work pay off. Well done Jesse and Jordan.
Thanks Matt! This adds to quite a lot of feedback I’ve received that this kind of episode really is something you and the rest of the audience want, so I’ll definitely do more of them!
It is really motivating to hear from other age grouper, how they organize their live and what makes them motivated. I just invited a friend to train together and do some hard intervals instead of doing it alone 🙂
Great to hear Clemens! I’m doing another age-grouper interview today, incidentally, so look forward to that in a few weeks time!