Episode 104 - How to Maximise Your Triathlon Performance in Less Training Time

How to Maximise Your Triathlon Performance in Less Training Time

This week we chat to Taren Gesell, Founder and CEO of MOTTIV all about training smarter and maximising your performance in less training time.

Taren shares his 4 pillars that are important for great training outcomes as a triathlete:

  1. Training in the right intensity so you can adapt from the session
  2. Balance - balancing training with life, but also ensuring your body is ready to absorb the training and maintaining health through the process
  3. Strength training - a key pillar to any triathletes programming
  4. Nutrition - and using it to enhance training sessions

He’s a firm believer that more training hours does not equal better performance.
You don’t have to train 20 hours a week, you just need to train smarter.

One of the key metrics he likes to use to ensure you’re absorbing training and have the balance right, rather than seeking diminishing returns is Heart Rate Variability (HRV). How do you track HRV? What information does it tell us?

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It‚Äôs for you if you‚Äôre a triathlete and you feel like you‚Äôve got your training under control and you‚Äôre ready to layer in your nutrition. It's your warmup on the path to becoming a SUPERCHARGED triathlete ‚Äď woohoo!

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Episode Transcription

Episode 104: How to Maximise Your Triathlon Performance in Less Training Time

Taryn Richardson  0:00

Welcome to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. The show designed to serve you up evidence-based sports nutrition advice from the experts. Hi, I'm your host Taryn, Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Advanced Sports Dietitian and founder of Dietitian Approved. Listen as I break down the latest evidence to give you practical, easy-to-digest strategies to train hard, recover faster and perform at your best. You have so much potential, and I want to help you unlock that with the power of nutrition. Let's get into it.

Taryn Richardson  00:42

Welcome to the podcast Taren. Now that is the weirdest thing for me to say ever! 

Taren Gesell  00:47

A little bit hey? Thanks for having me, Taryn. But we did talk about this before - you're Taz, I'm Taren or vice versa. Which one do you want?

Taryn Richardson  00:56

I'll be Taz. I've been called Taz my entire life. And so I actually feel like I'm in trouble if somebody calls me, Taryn. So I'll be Taz, you be Taren, so it's not like this weird 'I'm talking about myself in the third person' type episode. If we don't confuse people. So two Taryns is definitely better than one. But you have been doing triathlon for ... forever. How many years have you been a triathlete for?

Taren Gesell  01:18

I started doing them about 13 years ago. 

Taryn Richardson  01:21

And as a part of that you kind of have this amazing journey of all the things you've done to support triathletes to do triathlon. So tell me why you started Mottiv?

Taren Gesell  01:31

Well, it started originally as a hobby. I was an investment advisor. I wasn't very happy as one but it was a job. And I was a business school graduate. And I thought, that's what you do. You get a fancy degree in behind your name and get a bunch of suits in your closet, and go try to be as fancy and highfalutin as he can in the finance world. And it never felt like it was right for me. It never felt like it was fulfilling. So after about five years of that, I knew that it wasn't going to be my forever career but I didn't know what else I was going to do. So I started a YouTube channel, just to have a creative outlet. And I didn't really know at first what I wanted the YouTube channel to be about. So I thought when was I happiest? And I had been training for triathlons and running races for three or four years. And I thought, you know what, that's when I'm feel most alive. That's when I'm most challenged and excited - is when I'm out there training or racing. 

Taren Gesell  02:32

And I had learned a few lessons in those three or four years. And I thought hey, why don't I just start creating videos about the few lessons that I know. And that evolved into what is now the second largest triathlon focused YouTube channel in the world. At times, our podcast has been the largest triathlon podcast. And most recently, over the last few years, we launched a business about this called Mottiv and Mottiv is trying to make it more accessible for people to get good quality training plans that don't cost $3,000 a year, like most one on one coaches do. So we want to basically do what Duolingo did for language learning, but for endurance training plans. So hopefully over the next couple of months, we're going to lower the price and, for $10 to $20 a month, people can get really, really excellent training that is personalised to them that is still motivating, keeps them engaged. And that's the hardest thing about training for these sports is that motivation and engagement, which is partly why we called it Mottiv. So yeah, it's all just started as a hobby. And I thought that if I really nailed it, I would maybe be able to get some free energy bars after I first started. And I've since got those energy bars and been very fortunate enough to grow a business out of it.

Taryn Richardson  03:51

What prompted you to want to help triathletes with training? Where did that come from? 

Taren Gesell  03:56

Well, I was kind of lost in my first few years. I had read the Triathletes Training Bible, which is the go to thing that everyone starts reading. And I go through this giant encyclopedia of Joe Friel's knowledge and he's a brilliant person, but I read the entire book and went 'I still don't have any clue what I'm supposed to do'. There weren't a lot of creators out there creating content on YouTube. The blog posts that were out there in the world were very scattered. There wasn't one source of information for it. The world of endurance sports is 10 - 12 years behind where most online blogs are. So I just found it really hard to find information. And I had figured out a couple of things, and I thought 'You know what, if there's anything that I can do, I'm just going to give a little bit of helpful advice'. And because I'm not a PhD level coach or a professional athlete, that advice that I could give related to the average person, because that's who I was just five years prior.

Taryn Richardson  04:55

Yeah, amazing. And so now you're really passionate about trying to get triathletes to train smarter and perform to the best of their ability in the most efficient way.

Taren Gesell  05:05

Yeah, what I've found is, even today, there's a ton of content out there now. But it tends to be content solely focused on performance, which is fine, because that's what we're all looking for. We're all looking to see what we're capable of. But it's strictly with the goal of how do we make people fast. And what I find is, this tends to leave things like health, or balance, or what somebody can even adapt to, in the rearview mirror. So if you look at a lot of the blogs out there, and forums, where there's very active communities, you would think that everyone is training 20 or 25 hours a week, but what we see from the literature out there is that so many people can have excellent performances at 8 hours average week, 10 hours for an average week, 12 hours for an average week. And this isn't talked about at all. 

Taren Gesell  05:25

And I think it really just comes down to making sure that every bit of training that you put in, means something. And that your body can actually adapt to it and absorb it and get faster from it - not just training for the sake of training. Because really, what's our goal? Our goal is to train well, be healthy, and get to a race, knowing that we can execute the best race we can. And in a lot of cases, those 20 - 25 hour training weeks have long past the point of diminishing returns. So I talk a lot about making sure that the balance of the right amount of training is what people are doing. And using methods that allow you to have that balanced training, while still performing really well.

Taryn Richardson  06:40

It's really refreshing to hear you say that because as a triathlete myself, everyone is always like high achieving and a little bit perfectionist, Type A type personality, and they're trying to always do more and be better. And they definitely look to the Pros for how to do things. And the Pros, this is their full time job. Like they don't have work outside of training. They sometimes don't have family outside of training as well. And so they can do more in a day, they can absorb 25/30/40 hours of training in a week, because it's their full time job. And as an age grouper where you have to balance all the things and juggle all the balls and keep them all in the air all the time - it's really hard to fit all that training in and not burn yourself out.  

Taryn Richardson  07:25

And so my job, what I'm really passionate about, is teaching people how to layer in the nutrition to their training program, and making sure they don't impact and damage their long term health because we forget that. We forget that we do triathlon for fun and, it's a very Australian term but 'we're not racing for sheep stations', we're racing for fun. As an age group athlete, we're not doing it to make our income - as part of our job. And it's really easy to get lost in all that information and all that data. It's a very over marketed to community. And it's nice to hear you say that you can do more in less time, if you're just smarter around the way that you do some of that training. So tell me about that method. What does that look like?

Taren Gesell  08:10

We call it the Mottiv Method - didn't really plan that when we were coming up with the name Mottiv for the business, but it had that really nice 'M M' alliteration. And the concept is to make sure that every single hour that somebody is putting in is meaningful. A lot of people will hear that and go, Okay, so that means that every single hour is probably really intense and really hard. It's actually quite the opposite. It's designed so that every single hour is something that your body can adapt to. And with age groupers, who are busy and have families and busy jobs and stressful lives, the amount of training that we can adapt to is much, much less than most people think. So we have to be very, very careful with what we're doing and very intentional with what we're doing. 

Taren Gesell  08:59

We have four key pillars that we look at to make sure that people are getting the most out of their training, the first being that they are training in the right intensity all the time. So this starts with getting the right zones dialed in. And then making sure that every single workout is designed in a very specific way that complements those zones. So we are giving our body the stimulus that it needs to always adapt. And always adapting sometimes means that you are going out and doing an 80 watt average easy ride so that you can recover and actually adapt to the workouts the next day. The second premise is always making sure that you are balanced. And we talked about this off air before, but making sure that you're not going into those diminishing returns and we'd like to at least have our athletes use HRV for a few months. It's not a perfect system, but it's a really good proxy for how well your body is ready to train. And if you use it for a few months, you can get a really good sensation of how much feels like too much and how much is not enough. Like you can start putting a metric to sensations that your body is going through. 

Taren Gesell  10:10

The third thing is always including strength training. It is starting to be talked about more and more. But even at the extent that it's being talked about more, it's not being talked about enough. The only thing that is really consistent with all performance in endurance sports, and life, and aging is a well functioning body. So let's make that body function really well. And the fourth key principle is making sure that our nutrition enhances our workout. Every single workout should have complimentary nutrition, just like every single workout intention should have complimentary zones and intensities, we should have complementary nutrition that makes it easier to hit those zones, and also gives our body the fuel to be able to adapt to it. So with those four things we find that our athletes can put out 10 to 12 hour training weeks and get the outcome of a 20 hour training week.

Taren Gesell  10:10

I love those pillars. I love that you have nutrition in there, that's my jam, but also strength. And my listeners will know that I'm really passionate about getting triathletes to do strength. Definitely not my area of expertise but we have our exercise physiologist, Huge, who can help with strength training specifically for triathletes. So how does the App work? Is it just something you get from the App Store? What does it actually look like?

Taren Gesell  11:28

So it's the only App that we feel is truly designed for real people who want to accomplish something amazing, and personally amazing in endurance sports. So that means that if you just want to run a 5k, in 40 minutes, and that's your version of amazing, great, we'll help you do that. And won't nudge you towards this concept of more is always better, and you got to have a streak and the more workouts you do is better - we don't do that. If on the other hand, you do want to compete and try to get to Kona, we have training plans that you can ramp right up and get there. So we also have training plans that allow you to mix and mingle with different races. 

Taren Gesell  12:10

And we find that regular people who have jobs and are doing endurance sports just for a fun hobby, they want to dabble. So maybe one weekend, they want to do a half marathon, while at the same time they're also training for an Olympic distance triathlon. And Apps out there tend to be very focused on run, or triathlon, or cycling. When I find that the vast majority of people, they kind of want to try a little bit of everything, and want the training plan that is going to allow them to do all of that. 

Taren Gesell  12:39

The final piece is we work really hard to make it a fun and motivating experience. It's perfectly fine to give people good training, but that's just part of the problem. How do you actually keep people doing that training and letting them know that they should be more confident in their performances? Well, we have to keep them motivated and work hard on our end to build an App that lets you know when you're seeing progress and when you're actually progressing - and you might not be noticing it. So it's really designed for that average person who wants to be their best version of themselves. And let's face it, that's probably half the field, who have kind of been ignored with the products that are available out there.

Taryn Richardson  13:21

There's always something to get better at with triathlon isn't there? Like you can improve your swim technique, you can get better cadence on the bike - there's always something to level and get better. But it's nice and refreshing to hear somebody talk about just being the best version of you. And we kind of lose that a little bit, we get this FOMO when we see everyone doing all these crazy events online, or on social media, and you've always got that mate that's like, come on, come and do an Ironman with me. But maybe you're not quite ready yet. I was talking to one of my Academy athletes this morning, Steve, and he's only done a Sprint and Olympic and one 70.3 distance event. And he asked me should I do a 70.3 and an Ironman distance six weeks later, and I was like, "Dude. Why?" Why would you do that to yourself, I'm not your coach, I'm not going to tell you what to do. Gosh, I have no idea how to structure your training. But I wouldn't recommend backing up a 70.3 with an Ironman six weeks later - just from a nutrition perspective! You'd have to do that whole build for Ironman and have the 70.3 is a stepping stone in a way. 

Taryn Richardson  14:25

So we always get caught up in the more, more, more, more, more and we lose sight that we are a participant and we're just doing it for fun. And we should be able to maximise what our training looks like for that and not stress ourselves out, burn ourselves out, under fuel, do all the things! Let's go and actually have a smile on our face when we cross the finish line and be happy that we did that. Because 95% of the population - maybe 98% of the population - can't even do a Sprint distance event. So you're one better than the couch potato that's sitting at home doing absolutely nothing.

Taren Gesell  14:58

Yeah, I look at the amount of training that has become the norm in triathlon - that group run that starts out - supposed to be an easy run, where everyone says, "All right, let's make this an easy run right?" to everyone. And then before you know it, you're all running PBs and into the final 5 kms because one person picks it up a little bit, and the other person answers and then another person picks it up. And it almost always devolves into this. Well, this is kind of what's happened with the training loads that people are doing. Somebody sees, 'Oh, well, somebody else added in a fifth run this week', 'Oh, somebody else is doing planks everyday, maybe I should do that'. 'Somebody did 15 hours a week, maybe I should do a little bit more'. Before you know it we're all thinking that 20 hours a week is average. No, that's the exception. And the amount of people that can actually absorb that is the exception. 

Taryn Richardson  15:18

What are some of the mistakes that you've seen triathletes make with their training programs? Like you've talked a lot about doing too much too fast? What are some other mistakes that they're making that we can kind of squash here today, in this episode?

Taren Gesell  15:55

And I was at a conference once where the CEO of Ironman released some data that (I don't know if I'm supposed to be saying this or not because it was a private conference) but the data was that the number one reason people stopped doing triathlon is because they do too much too soon. They get injured, they don't enjoy the process, they have a bad race, because they've done too much too soon. And I don't know a single person who says that they want to do a race and then never do one again. Almost everyone says that they want to be healthy, they want to feel good for the rest of their lives. And it's really easy for us because we're all very driven people to try to push for a little bit more than maybe we should. And sometimes we just need to hold back.

Taren Gesell  16:53

The biggest one that I see is, regardless of whether you can train eight hours a week, or 20 hours a week, in both cases, both of those athletes will often tend to train too hard. And we use heart rate as a proxy for LT1, the first aerobic threshold. And for most amateur athletes, particularly ones who don't have a background in sports as a teenager, or a young adult, where your adaptations are really, really significant. Most of us have a zone two threshold Maffetone method, threshold LT1, whatever you want to call it - like an aerobic threshold where you're training at a very low intensity, that it's hard to run in this, it's hard to bike in this, it doesn't feel good to go out and just plod along at a very slow pace. But it's really critical. 75 to 80% of our total annual training time should be at this very low intensity. And that low intensity is low enough that you should almost feel guilty about how easy it feels. 

Taren Gesell  18:01

When we start looking at the literature of what Pros do, they're very good at staying at these low intensities, because their zone two threshold is quite high, but they're still staying in that low intensity. But when we look at amateurs, instead of spending 75, 80 or 85% of their training at this low intensity - they're spending more like 40 or 50%. And if you ask them, you'd say oh, no, I'm training easy. I'm training really easy, because it feels kind of easy to get just a little bit above that zone 2 threshold. But most people just don't do it. They're not training in that right, correct zone. So that's the biggest thing. And that starts inviting injuries and a massive stress response and overtraining causes underperformance - you're working harder and then when it actually comes time to go fast in your fast workouts, you can't actually hit it that hard or if you can, you're not absorbing it that well. So in all cases, it just leads to underperformance and poor health.

Taryn Richardson  19:04

The Pros are definitely not going slow in their races, though, right? So they're going have to train differently if you want to do a seven hour Ironman versus a 12 hour Ironman.

Taren Gesell  19:13

The thing about them is that, relative to their ability, they are going basically at the same level as us amateurs, it's just that their ability is so much more. So I've done quite a bit of training with Lucy Charles, Patrick Langa, BMC triathlon team, Lanzarote in Spain, and it was funny because we were all out for this long group ride. And it was an easy ride an "easy ride" for them. But for me, I was hanging on for dear life. So while we're all going the same speed, it's just easier for them because their ability to go fast is just at a completely separate level. So they feel the same pain that we feel in a race. It feels just as difficult. They're at roughly the same intensity relative to what their physiology allows as we are, it's just that their physiology is so much better tuned that they can go faster. 

Taren Gesell  19:13

And then because they're covering the same course in a faster amount of time, there are nutritional differences for sure that are required with them. But like training wise, we're all horses on the same course. So the idea is really the same, because we're all humans with similar physiologies. Like, we've all got the same machine. So the training really isn't that much different. It's just that they have slightly different capabilities, actually quite different capabilities, I would say.

Taryn Richardson  20:41

They're just (yeah) fishing, right? They're really good at training, they're really good at breathing, they're really good at lactate conversion, carbohydrate oxidation, all those types of things, because that is their job! That's their job - to get their body to do all of that so much more effectively and efficiently than somebody that's kind of only just beginning. So if we're looking at training in, like, less time, what sort of things do we need to be doing, and what sort of things should we be avoiding?

Taren Gesell  21:09

Well strength training is probably the number one biggest performance enhancer that I've ever seen when I start looking at literature - swimming, biking, running - it helps our efficiency in all of these things. And it does so even without adding the strength training on. So, for example, if you are a 10 hour trainer, and you say, Okay, I'm bought into strength training - you don't actually need to add on an hour of strength training - you can actually go down to nine hours of training, and then add the hour of strength training. So you can actually substitute some of your endurance training for strength training, and then you actually get bigger performance gains than if you just added it on. So that's one. 

Taren Gesell  21:49

The second is making sure that your nutrition is matched to the intention of your workout. You take an intense workout, versus an endurance building workout - two completely different physiological goals. An intense workout, you want lots of carbohydrates, high level of blood glucose, lots of muscle glycogen. So when you have to hit it really hard in that intense interval, you've got all the energy in the world to do it. Then you can even load in the carbohydrates after as a refeed, because a lot of it is supplying people with muscle glycogen. The other scenario where you want to build metabolic flexibility, burn fat. Well you want to come into that maybe just with a little bit less fuel, and maybe fuel a little bit less while you're in it so that your body can learn how to burn fat as you're going through it. Most people will take same amount of carbohydrates in the morning before both workouts, and then a gel is a gel, is a gel - they just take a gel every 25 minutes, or whatever it is, regardless of what the intention of the workout is. And in both cases, you kind of underperforming. So those are two really quick things.

Taren Gesell  23:01

The training mostly at a low intensity, we've kind of talked about that. But the fourth piece that I haven't really talked about is making sure that your body is ready to absorb any of the training. That's a big thing. What I like to use is heart rate variability, because it's a metric that is close enough to a proxy of 'Is your body ready to accept training today?' The problem that I have with most of the heart rate variability sensors is that they jam a whole bunch of data in there and they give you just a reading of what happened today. And what I like to use is just strip out the 'What's your current resting heart rate? And what's your breathing rate? And how much sleep did you get? And what was your activity yesterday?' Like it's just so much data. It's hard to pass through what is meaningful from that heart rate variability reading. 

Taren Gesell  23:55

So I just like to strip out the heart rate variability, enter it into a spreadsheet, take a 30 day rolling average, and a seven day rolling average. And if the seven day rolling average dips under the 30 day rolling average, that means that your acute stress from the last seven days is greater than your overall average. So you're trending downward and you need a little bit of a rest. Start doing this over and over and over. And within about three to four months, you're going to feel like okay, that feeling of being a little bit off,  that happens five or six days before feeling really smashed - you can start recognising those moments earlier, and know when to peel back and finding that balance is really important. So by doing that heart rate variability spreadsheet, you can find out hey, are you actually somebody who can absorb 20 hours a week and still have a good heart rate variability reading? Or do you need to dial it back to 15 or 12 or 10? This is how we try to find our own personal right balance. And this is going to ensure that all the hours that you're putting in are, before that point of diminishing returns.

Taryn Richardson  25:08

I assume that there's change in that over somebody's year and season too? Like there might be times where life's not that stressful and works pretty chill. And you could maybe do a few more hours in your week and survive that, versus a really busy time at work, where there's so much going on and you're barely functioning where we need to look at reducing that. And having the ability to control that yourself in a way or have that discussion with your coach or check in with the App to adjust that it is really important. And that's something that I don't think triathletes do because they just want to smash themselves all the time.

Taren Gesell  25:44

Yeah, I'm a perfect example of that! For a few years while I had this nice point in our YouTube career, and before Mottiv was around, essentially all I did was YouTube videos and a podcast and I was picking away at writing some books, but it was really controlled. Almost all I did was like fun work. I had one employee, not a lot of stress, my wife and I don't have kids. So I worked a little bit throughout the day and trained a lot. And my heart rate variability was very high on an upward trajectory. And I could train 15, 16, 17 hours a week, no problem. Where as the business got busier and employees started to come on - really quickly, I started seeing the heart rate variability trending down and then all of a sudden I had to 14 hours a week and then 12. Exactly what I said, is what happened. I had to take my own medicine and eat my own dog food, and be like, 'Oh, well, I have these goals of qualifying for Kona but training more isn't the answer here'. And it just got to the point that, well, I got into being able to train about seven to nine hours a week, because work was really busy and stressful. And that's all that I can really handle right now while that's going on. So it's important to recognise that there's a time and a place to hit the gas pedal and really train and then there's a time that you got to peel back. And sometimes that's one year versus another and sometimes that's one month versus another.

Taryn Richardson  27:16

Just being aware and listening into that it's important. So for somebody that doesn't track heart rate variability, how do you do that?

Taren Gesell  27:24

There are a few more subjective ways to do it. The first one that would be most common is if your muscles are getting sore. That's a tell tale sign that something's just not quite right. But that's an easy one for people to cheat themselves on. Because you can say like, well, you know, my muscles are a little bit sore, but I did a hard workout so I deserve for my muscles to be sore. A second one, and this might be a little bit controversial with the fitness influencers of the world being so on the spectrum of 'You have to get over low motivation at all costs'. I think that yes, we need to try to keep motivation high but sometimes we should also look at low motivation as a tool for letting us know when we're about to start dipping into too much training. 

Taren Gesell  28:13

Sarah and Ben True - they are a professional triathlete and a professional runner - they will look at each other and they will watch each other and keep an eye on how long it takes the other one to get out for the second session of the day. And if the spouse is on Instagram, scrolling around or dragging around not getting to that second session, very quickly, they'll point it out and say you know what your motivation seems a little bit low. Keep an eye on that. I think that's a tool. Not all low motivation is something that we have to bust through and smash and get over ourselves. Sometimes that low motivation is an indication that, hey, we've got to peel back. And that's one that we can - if we check our ego a little bit - which I think triathletes all really need to do sometimes - if we are willing to check our ego a little bit and say, You know what, that motivation is not something to smash. It's a tool to make ourselves more intelligent. That's something that we can really use.

Taryn Richardson  29:15

Practically, is it wearing a heartrate watch all the time and putting that data somewhere? Is it just checking in at what it is when you wake up? Is it checking, like mapping it out through sessions? Like, how do we practically understand what's going on there?

Taren Gesell  29:30

There's a couple of ways that you can go about this. Notice how I said that heart rate variability isn't necessarily something that I'm a big proponent of people measuring it every single day for forever. I think that there can be too much data. There has been a lot of literature out there now saying that stress can be influenced by your perception of stress. So let's say you are constantly taking heart rate variability measurements and every third day it tells you that you had a bad sleep or your heart rate variability is low. Well, your perception of your readiness is going to be even worse than it truly is, if you're constantly hearing that. So I think getting that data for a few months is very good. But stressing about the data all the time might not be. The one point of data that I am religious about monitoring all the time, is getting a zone 2 Maffetone method, LT1, whatever you want to call it, a low intensity training zone heartrate cap, because it's the easiest to measure in real time, and running and writing and monitoring that. Besides that I was never a really big data junkie. 

Taryn Richardson  30:47

You're weird triathlete. 

Taren Gesell  30:49

Very weird triathlete? Yeah, I think you can have too much data. 

Taryn Richardson  30:53

Yeah, with all the Apple watches and all that sort of stuff at the moment, you can track so many different things, can't you? But I've known a couple of athletes who don't want to track sleep, because if they are tracking that, and they wake up and see that they've had a poor night of sleep, that really affects them mentally, and they're not prepared to then train. So sometimes too much data is not a good thing, even though it's a very data driven sport in a way and a lot of personalities that do this sport that love a good spreadsheet and love all the data.

Taren Gesell  31:23

Yeah, I think the gamification of sleep is one of the silliest things that has come around in the last few years. Because when you gamify sleep, all of a sudden there's pressure to perform. The very last place that you need pressure to perform is when you're resting and trying to get to sleep. Like, I remember, when I was reviewing Oura Rings and Whoop straps, my sleep got worse. It actually got worse because I was like, okay, you know, I'm not getting to sleep in the right 15 minute window that they're recommending. Like all of a sudden, it wasn't just this precious slumber that I could drift off to at night. It was something that I had to even perform.  

Taryn Richardson  32:04

Gotta win. You gotta win. 

Taren Gesell  32:05

Yeah, I have to win rest. That's .... I think we've gone a little too far here.

Taryn Richardson  32:10

Yeah, it's definitely for some people and definitely against for some people. So where is Mottiv heading? What's the grand plan - one business owner to the next? 

Taren Gesell  32:20

Yes, this is a really fun time right now. Like I mentioned, for the last three and a half years, we've been testing and coming up with a hypothesis of what would make a good experience for an athlete. And just this year, we raised a little bit of money, actually, from one of our very first athletes.  I think he was actually the very first person that we got to a world championship. We're fortunate enough to have him come in as an investor and we're trying to scale this up. So we'll be dropping the price over the winter, probably by the time people hear this. It'll be in between about $14 and $20 a month, which is a very reasonable price that we feel is accessible for more people. 

Taren Gesell  33:05

We actually just hired another developer who is really, really good at combing through fit files, so that athletes don't have to comb through all of their own data. We can actually start combing through that data and just letting them know what surprise moments that they've made progress, or that they've got a little bit of a streak and maybe not a streak that is like every single day, but more like, 'Hey, you did really good last week, even though you took a day off', like that's a normal thing. So making it a very rewarding experience. We also have just hired somebody from the Pro Triathletes organisation to help with our marketing. So there's lots of fun things going on. This is kind of our year where we're going from bootstrapped, like side project that we want to see if we could turn into anything, to actually try to turn it into something. 

Taryn Richardson  33:57

Yeah, nice. Hats off to you for going down the App development pathway. Full stop. Like I tried to do that for a healthy lifestyle challenge thing that I ran, and oh my gosh, so much work. It's a full time job for at least one person just to keep it going. And then every time the iOS, so whatever update, you'd got to update it. I don't ... definitely don't ... have patience to do that. So good on you.

Taren Gesell  34:19

I fully admit that we have very smart people doing all of the hard work. I just got to come on podcasts and ...

Taryn Richardson  34:25

Do all the fun stuff?

Taren Gesell  34:26

Yeah, do all the fun stuff.

Taryn Richardson  34:28

Amazing. So if people want to connect with you, Taren, where do they find you? 

Taren Gesell  34:33

If they want some free advice - just to learn about our beliefs in training, the Taren's Mottiv Method YouTube channel, the Taren's Mottiv Method podcast. Mottiv is spelt M-O-T-T-I-V. If you want to read some blog posts, or check out the App, because there's a free trial that people can try, mymottiv.com would be the place to go and check that out. 

Taryn Richardson  34:58

Cool. I'll pop those links below in the show notes so that people can click on that and find it. But yeah, thank you so much for joining me on my podcast. You were actually one of the first triathlon people I found because we share the same name. And I know that when I reached out you were like, 'Oh, it's a no brainer because you must be cool, because your name is also Taryn'.

Taren Gesell  35:18

I think I messaged with "I'm here in support of the name". 

Taryn Richardson  35:21

Yeah, so good. Well from one Taryn to another, thank you so much for coming and shooting the breeze with me. And yeah, I'm excited to see where Mottiv goes over the next few years.

Taryn Richardson  35:25

Thanks for having me, Taryn.

Taryn Richardson  35:30


Taryn Richardson  35:31

Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or want to share with me what you've learned, email me at [email protected]. You can also spread the word by leaving me a review and taking a screenshot of you listening to the show. Don't forget to tag me on social media, @dietitian.approved, so I can give you a shout out, too. If you want to learn more about what we do, head to dietitianapproved.com. And if you want to learn more about the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program, head to dietitianapproved.com/academy. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to helping you smashed in the fourth leg - nutrition!¬†

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