What To Consider First Before Answering A Triathlon Question?

.What to consider first before answering a Triathlon question?
I get many of the same questions asked time and time again each and every year.
Most coaches and triathletes give the same answer to a question however with my vast experience I often have up to 20 answers to the same question as it all depends on the athlete asking me and their own unique back ground.        

If the same triathlete (athlete) asked me the same question a year later my Ironmate answer would be different.
Let me explain WHAT I mean?
What an experienced coach must first know before answering a triathlon related question.
1. Triathletes age

2. Male or Female

(a) If female how many children (b) is the athlete on the contraceptive pill and if so how long (c)  if not regular periods (d) at a certain age changing hormones play a big factor in recovery and day to day energy levels

3. Your triathlon experience (a) number of years in triathlon (b) number of years doing the distance you is training for (c) list number of months out of the sport

4. Do you take time off at the end of the season for a break?
(a) How long for (b) complete rest (c) active recovery (d) different sport cross country or ski-ing hiking etc?

5. Did do you come from a single sport (running)?

6. What has your current training build up when your race is what your strengths experience is?

7. How many hours a week do you work?

8. Are you healthy – less than one cold a year?

9, Any recent injuries?

10. Number of hours sleep a week in total (the inexperience coach will ask number of hours sleep a day)?

11. There is no right and wrong way but its essential to know all the facts.

(a) add total number of hours of sleep a week and divide by 7 problem is a athlete may only get 5 hours Monday to Friday and catch up at weekends. This will impact recovery times. Typically a shift worker who is working nights or unusual hours of work.

(b) 7 hours each day with No power nap is also considered to delay recover rates and the triathlete often under performs.

12. Do you sleep right through or take a while to sleep wake up during the night or when you wake still feel tired? Some people add hours sleep as laying in bed when they are actually awake.

13. Have you ever had a professional bike fit that took longer than 30 minutes?

14. Have you had swim analysis – this will alter how much energy you have for the bike & run.

15.1 being Nil and 10 being very stressful rate your training stress form 1 to 10 each day for 7 days and work out an average for the week?

16. Do you feel you are on a constant treadmill and cant keep up with day to day demands of family work and training life?

17. Do you get annoyed lot from silly things like dropping a piece of paper or pen?

18. Do you plateau and never get better or get slower as the season progresses?

19. Do you prefer hilly or flat courses?

20. Does it take you a while to get going?

21. After an event what is worse? general fatigue, sore legs, achy body, sleepy, low on energy or a combination of the above.

22. How soon do you think you recover within 20 minutes to 4 days? Recovery is being able to perform the same intensity or 10-20 minutes without slowing down.

So you can see its not as straight forward as you first thought. I have only listed just a few questions.
Athletes I coach I ask a lot more in depth questions.

Some questions are simply not relevant but I never assume by stereo typing the triathlete.

A 35 year old triathlete who has competed in triathlon for 10 years may recover much quicker from the same running interval session that they have done many times than a younger 25 year old who is new to running who has come from a swimming back ground.
The answers above will alter my answer as they all have an impact on the outcome.

Just some food for thought next time you need to answer a triathlon question.