Ian Murray grew up in Aspen, Colorado and had an alpine skiing career before moving to California and launching into triathlon. Ian is one of only 15 level three certified triathlon coaches in the US and does coaching education for USA Triathlon as well as coaching of the US Team at triathlon events around the world.
Ian has been a full time triathlon coach for over a decade and helps everyone from the first timer who has never done anything athletic to the elite who is gunning for the Olympics and everyone in between. He’s the host and writer of Triathlon Training Series.
Ian’s passion for the sport is evident in everything he does – racing 20+ events every year, traveling to speak other coaches, lead camps and clinics, acting as head coach and founder of one of the nation’s largest triathlon clubs – the LA Tri Club.
What are you working on right now?
Working on my next column for Triathlete Magazine. There are always new athletes coming into the sport and my fantasy is to write a piece that covers the basics for them while still dropping in a nugget or two for the veteran readers. Then I have to keep in mind the shooting script as each article becomes a TTS webisode on the Triathlete Magazine web site.
3 Trends that excite you?
1) The new “word of mouth” – since day one a service provider (such as a triathlon coach) or a product (such as Triathlon Training Series) has been dependent upon a reputation. With communication as it is today and the speed and coverage of facebook and twitter it’s all the more critical that every customer is treated like royalty.
2) Lower emissions and alternative energy – cyclists and runners are the canaries in the coal mine. We are right there on the road side, immediately aware of the differences between what comes out of the tail pipe of a late 70s land yacht and a modern hybrid (bring on the plugins!!)
3) Fixies - no matter what, cycling is cool. The fixed gear purists will complain that it’s gone mainstream now that you can buy a bike at hipster clothing stores. I don’t care, any bike option is a good bike option even if that means the rider is wearing skinny jeans with boxers hanging out!
How do you bring ideas to life?
I like progressions. It’s hard to make dramatic, sweeping alterations in some areas of life so I’ve come to prioritize the elements needs and then progress through each of those by way of perfect practice. For me, that’s been about athletic education but this is an idea that can be applied to other fields as well. Each sport can be broken down into a prioritized list of skills. Then each skill can be obtained through perfect practice. Those skills become muscle memory then they are automatic and the mind can go on to focusing on the next skill. This is an adult pathway to mastery.
You help athletes set their career goals, what are your career goals as a coach?
- Create a youth and junior program that gives kids an opportunity to discover triathlon and pursue it.
- Add years to peoples lives through active an active lifestyle.
- Produce two Olympic medal winners for the US.
You and your wife have been together for over 14 years and have incredible joy in your relationship, any thoughts on that?
Alexandra is the perfect partner for me. She raises my game by inspiring me to be a better person in all areas. We’ve been together for 14 years and it feels as fresh as 14 months. We communicate very well and never leave anything to fester into resentment. The only “work” in our relationship is matching schedules so that we can create more time together and that work is fun.
I’m always open to hear from folks.