This past weekend, Austin-based pro triathlete James Cotter competed in the Wildflower long course triathlon in San Francisco (consisting of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run) and crossed the line with an impressive ninth place finish. His secret? A recent introduction to the TRX!
Austin-based pro triathlete James Cotterhas been following the training programs designed by purplepatch fitness head coach and proprietor Matt Dixon, a former pro triathlete himself, since the pair met at Wildflower last year. It was through Dixon that Cotter discovered the TRX and recently began incorporating it into his training with the aim of taking himself to the podium in the '10 race season. “My bike leg was weak last year, and Matt told me the TRX would help me maintain my form and conditioning and make me a stronger triathlete without adding bulk.”
“Whenever I've had a crappy race, it has been because I didn't have the strength to maintain good form. To improve my form, I had to add functional strength training,” says Cotter. He just got on the TRX for the first time a little more than two weeks, and he was impressed from the moment the TRX and a copy of the Train Like the Pros DVD showed up at his home. “The design and layout of the TRX packaging, the guide and the DVD were all excellent and very easy to follow. I used the Door Anchor to put the TRX up, and within two minutes, I was working out.” Like most TRX users, Cotter found his first training session on the TRX to be challenging, in a good way. “I was amazed that even movements that seemed simple, like TRX Push-ups, required I use my core to stabilize my whole body. It was super easy to figure out how to progress and regress the basic movements.”
Cotter is confident he's found a tool that will make him a better triathlete. “I'm going to use the TRX after my harder training days twice a week. I know it will help my bike and my swim and run, too.” He's also been taken with the compact, lightweight nature of the TRX, how easy it is to travel with and the fact that he can set it up anywhere. He did just that on his trip to the West Coast for the Wildflower, tucking his TRX into his baggage.
The biggest challenge to Cotter's TRX training so far has come from his wife, Lindsay. A nutritionist and personal trainer, Lindsay has become a big fan of the TRX too and has been using it with her personal training clients and also to train for her own endurance events. “Some days, I haven't been able to use the TRX when I train because she wants to use it,” says James.
James plans to continue using the TRX to prepare for the rest of his race schedule this year, which ends with an Ironman in September. “The TRX will help me be stronger, maintain my form when racing, stabilize my joints and help prevent injuries. That will be beneficial for my preparations for the whole season.”
In 2000, at 18 years old, James Cotter was the youngest person ever to qualify and compete in the Hawaii Ironman World Championships. After a break from competing, James came back in 2008, and with the help of the purplepatch crew (and the TRX!), he plans to make a serious charge at reaching all his goals in the sport of triathlon.