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.
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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.
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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