JOHN MAYFIELD is a USA Triathlon certified and TriDot coach and has been working with athletes since 2009. He has partnered with numerous athletes to complete their first triathlon, others to win their age group, and others to become Ironman finishers. As a husband and father of three, he understands training, racing, and coaching must be balanced between family and other life priorities.
What attracted you to be a triathlon coach for TriDot?
I have been a TriDot athlete since 2010. Working with Coach Boo [Jeff Booher], I experienced big gains in my performance and set PRs at every distance. When I started coaching, it was just a natural progression to join the TriDot team.
How has TriDot impacted how you coach?
TriDot has taught me to question the status quo. So much of what athletes believe to be best practices are often outdated, misunderstood, or just plain wrong. TriDot’s approach of relying on proven data has allowed me to set aside my own personal understandings and beliefs and look for answers to maximize the triathlon experience for the athletes I coach.
What are your greatest challenges in working with triathletes?
The greatest challenge in working with athletes is convincing them to periodically slow down and prioritize rest and recovery. There seems to be a sense of pride in triathlon related to training huge blocks and putting yourself through excruciating training, but real gains are only made when appropriate amounts of training stress are applied and then adequate recovery allows that training to be absorbed.
How do you customize/individualize training for athletes?
Every athlete needs something a little different from me. Part of my job is to develop the relationship with the athlete so I can anticipate that need and make the appropriate recommendation that will best accommodate that individual.
How do you keep athletes mentally motivated in such a grueling sport?
The vast majority of athletes I work with are dedicated, goal oriented, and fighters. They have made the commitment to big goals as well as the commitment to a plan and coach. These athletes are wonderful about staying motivated and usually only need a small reminder of why they are doing what they are doing to regain focus.
When thinking about the athletes you coach, what are the 2-3 biggest TriDot benefits they experience?
The TriDot training plan is perhaps the biggest benefit. They see great results on fewer training hours. They work with a coach who has trained for similar races and done similar training. Like many of the athletes I coach, I have to accommodate my training into my family life and my career and maintain some resemblance of a social life, so I understand the demands and rigors I am asking them to undertake.
What are some valuable benefits TriDot offers you as a coach?
The way the TriDot system works, coaches have more time to spend creating value and communicating with their athletes. There are also several proprietary products like RaceX, the race execution tool that guides an athlete to their best possible result on race day and the season planner tool that provides objective feedback on an athlete’s annual plan to ensure they are set up for a successful season.
How do you integrate TriDot technology with coaching's interpersonal side?
Effective coaching requires a competent training plan and a relation foundation to help the athlete execute that plan to its maturity. The TriDot system leverages technology to create a plan with proven results, but in no way replaces the relationship between the coach and the athlete.
What success story or accomplishment are you most proud of as a coach?
So many! Perhaps my favorite accomplishment to share with athletes is their first Ironman finish. They take such a leap of faith, do a tremendous amount of work, and learn so much about themselves and what they are capable of.