Part 5: Why Normann Stadler went with CTS

Slowtwitch: After so many years finding great success coaching yourself, why did you decide seek out a coach this year?

Normann Stadler: In the beginning of my career I was coached by my dad who brought me into the sport and he knew exactly what I have to do and what is best for me. After I changed from Olympic distance to Ironman triathlon I broke up with my dad because it was too personal and it’s hard to deal every day with your dad. Since 1996 I had no coach, no training plan, no structured training. I am well gifted and mostly I know what to do for training. The problem is that you have no data and no people who tell you exactly what’s good or what’s bad. Pro coaches trained so many athletes, they have so much input from other athletes, they can read SRM or Garmin data, they know what’s good to eat for my body and they can see if I need rest or if I need more training. I am 36 years old now, I know I can win Hawaii a third time and I believe it’s time to do some small changes for good.

ST: Why CTS? What led you to choose them?

NS: CTS is the number 1 in the sport. I always liked how Chris Carmichael talked about Lance and how hard he is training. I know that Lance won the Tour 7 times but you need good people around you to win the tour 7 Times. In the end you have to do the homework but I believe it’ worth trying to be coached by Lindsay Hyman and Chris with CTS. I will give it a chance. And, finally i saw the results from Craig Alexander and how he improved....

ST: What can CTS do that you cannot?

NS: They can read all my data I produce. The past 10 years i never used a bike computer, i never used a heart rate monitor, I did no bike ergo tests to get data for training.....I looked out of the window every morning and decided what to train or not. It’s so much easier to have a training schedule and work with this plan. I already feel good in what I am training and I like the little changes CTS/Lindsay is doing. Every day I send my SRM/Garmin data to Lindsay and the next day I get an email back with the results and what they think about my data. That helps a lot and gives you a good feeling. Nutrition plan will follow and some wind tunnel tests, too

ST: What parts of your swim/bike/run do you want to improve?
NS: All three

ST: Did the success of Craig Alexander play a part in your decision?
NS: Yes

ST: Many triathlon fans see you as a man's man, perhaps a little macho. How is it being coached by a woman?
NS: Why should a man be coached by a man? I like it being coached by a good-looking, well-educated women. Right now she is doing a great job and I like the training she is giving me. Soon i will meet here in person and I believe that we both will have good success in the future. And we can go shopping together. I am very good in shopping....:-)

CTS coach Lindsay Hyman on working with Normann Stadler

ST: What are the advantages (or disadvantages) of working with an elite athlete with along history of self-coaching?

LH: The nice thing with Normann is that he knows what to do. He has done it quite well over the last 10 years. We want to make sure he is maximizing his training and make the most of it every day,

Slowtwitch: What did Normann want?

Lindsay Hyman: Overall, he just wanted to be making the most of his time in training. He wanted to get in better quality workout and the right quantity as well. But he really wanted to work on one big thing -- his nutrition during racing. He wanted to make sure he had enough fuel for the race. He was very disappointed with his race day nutrition. (Stadler pulled out of Kona in 2007 with what appeared to be food poisoning. In 2008, he led from Mile 5 of the run to Mile 10 until he faded to 12th with nutrition issues)

ST:How will you approach this issue?

LH: I can’t say what is the problem at this point. Which is why we are going through whole process, to see if we can pinpoint what has happened in the past for him. We won’t necessarily determine the specific mile of the run where it happens each time. Typically with nutrition you do not ponpoint mistakes in a one day event. Something in nutrition happens over a few months leading up to that day. So that is what we are going to investigate.

ST: How do you work long distance with Normann, who is in Germany for much of the year?

LH: We will continue to test blood work and lactate threshold for biking. One nice thing -- Normann has a great connection with SRM headquarters in Germany not far from where he lives. Soon he is going to head to SRM to obtain lactate threshold readings on the bike and set up benchmarks for him. In February, at the start to the season, we will get all that data to get some running and swimming analysis benchmarks.

ST: How important is bike fit?

LH: Last year he came out to Boulder did a bike fit with Retul, and Todd Carver set him up in a really good position. Between now and the end of year we will make some modifications so he can get off the bike and keep up with best guys on the run. That is something we want to look at when he comes out to Colorado next month. We will look at bike fit, running gait analysis, and looking at all the little things we need to maximize for training. We will pay attention to all the details regarding the entire athlete. What we did with Craig potentially gives valuable information in the wind tunnel. Not so much a change in position. Maybe where the water bottles are placed, or his head position and body position together can save 1-10 minutes on the bike and the run. That could mean the race.