#86: Michael Collins

Host Brad Kearns catches up with an old-time triathlon legend Michael Collins. Based in Irvine, CA, Michael is one of the leading triathlon swim and performance coaches in the country, and was a former pro competitor back in the late 80s and early 90s. He has been competing in assorted endurance and multi-sport events non-stop for 30 years. Michael has a casual approach to training that has fueled his longevity and offers a valuable model for all endurance athletes. He calls himself a “Lazy trainer,” who is “always a couple weeks away from being in shape.” Consequently, he doesn’t flirt with the over-training spiral, enjoys the experience, and can still compete at a high level.

In 2016, he set a goal of beating his Ironman time from 1991 (9:48 in Hawaii). Following the primal principles of fat adapted eating and training, Michael torched Ironman Arizona in 9:34 – this on the heels a runner-up finish at the Sprint World Championships. Michael did some interesting fat-adapted training strategies like doing slow, fat burning 8-mile runs both morning and night, the better to prepare him for the fatigued slow running in an Ironman. Inspired by his swimming background, he talks about why developing excellent technique is critical to improving aerobic function, and advocates workouts featuring short bursts of faster efforts. This helps you refine technique without excess stress on the heart. Learn great practical tips and also become inspired by Michael‘s incredible longevity and recent Ironman comeback.


What were the early days like for Michael as a young triathlete and eventually ending up as a coach? [00:01:16] 

Why is he considered to be a “Lazy Trainer?” [00:03:23] 

Has he still been competing for the past 30 years? [00:07:31] 

What happened when he did an Ironman after all these years? [00:09:39] 

What were his different strategies then? [00:13:10] 

How is it that good athletes look like they make so little effort? [00:14:19] 

Do it right.  Do it faster. What does that mean? [00:17:01] 

Why is it important to learn how to swim in a wet suit? [00:21:01] 

How does his training differ today compared to when he started his career? [00:22:30] 

How did his return Ironman performance compare? [00:29:45] 

What is his training program like? [00:32:39]                                    

Breakthrough Triathlete Training

Michael Collins, Coach

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