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From the archives: Craig Alexander - Five time Ironman World Champion


Craig Alexander - Five time Ironman World Champion

episode 104: Craig Alexander


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Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)


Welcome to The Greg Bennett show, an AnyQuestion podcast hosted by Former Professional Olympic and World Champion Athlete Greg Bennett.

For the past two years, Greg has chatted with the world's greatest athletes and high performers, to find out how they got to the top of the world, and how they are able to sustain it.

Over the next 4 weeks ... having searched through the archives, we've found some exceptional episodes that we are wrapping up in a bow and "re-gifting" to you.

First up is Craig Alexander.

A native Australian, Craig holds five Ironman world titles, and has won over 50 Ironman races throughout the course of his career. As a husband and father of three, Craig lives a full and busy life, but is intentional about keeping his priorities in order. In this episode, Craig shares his motivations behind staying fit at 46, how he became a triathlete, the importance of mentorship, and the secret behind the champion mindset.

Growing up, Craig dreamt of being a professional soccer player. However, when he was 20 he was severely injured and couldn’t play for five months. Craig started running to get back in shape, and fell in love with it. He slowly worked his way into competing in biathlons and then triathlons. Early on in his career, he fell into a training group with other great athletes, a group to which he attributes much of his success. That companionship was a lifeline for Craig in the high-performance environment of professional racing, and Craig explains how training together was like being on a team. As all athletes do, Craig has struggled with doubts throughout his career, but the biggest lesson he has learned is to drop his ego and ask for advice; he believes that an athlete should be continually learning from his peers.


While in his early twenties, Craig made a commitment to himself to always be resilient. He accepts that success is not easy, and that life as an athlete is a constant overcoming of obstacles. Striving to set a good example for his children, he is dedicated to the journey and the setbacks, not simply the outcome. In his mid-twenties, he finished in the top ten of his first three world cups, and won his first world title in 2006 at the age of 32. He says that the champion mindset is what got him from eighth place to first place, and that he had to shift into this mindset before he won, not after. Craig decided that he simply was not okay with anything but first place, and so he worked tirelessly until he achieved the title.


As he grew older, Craig found himself wanting to spend more time with his wife and children and less training for triathlons. However, when his oldest daughter, Lucy, became a runner, it motivated him to start training again. Spending time training with Lucy helped him fall back in love with the sport and stay committed to his training regimen. Craig hasn’t found aging to be a barrier, and plans to continue racing in 2020. He desires to keep supporting the companies that have supported him, keep up his love of the sport, and keep being a great husband and father.


timestamps:

03:17 - Why Craig is still training and racing.

04:58 - How the 'one percenters' make a difference as we grow older, and how Craig is still racing and getting podium finishes.

07:52 - There is a lot of self analysis as a pro athlete, Craig explains the inspiration behind his current training and racing.

11:55 - Craig explains his younger years and why he liked to push himself to succeed.

13:55 - Greg and Craig talk about how ego and self drive impacts a professional athlete.

16:33 - Greg and Craig talk through how they first met.

22:47 - Greg talks about how 'perseverance' has been personified in Craig's triathlon career.

26:35 - Craig talks about his patience and perseverance has been a key to his grit and hard work ethic.

33:14 - Greg and talk about the high prize purses they accumulated early in their careers, and how that allowed them to stay in the sport.

37:30 - Following your passion without having the talent and strengths to match that passion allowed Craig to live his life with full control.

39:24 - The mindset of a high performer.

42:42 - It's an individual sport, but you can not achieve high success without the support and team around. Craig talks about the power of his team.

49:23 - When you truly step up and step outside of your comfort zone, people will come out of the woodwork to help you.

51:05 - Greg and Craig talk about how Craig's wife Nerida (Neri) has played an instrumental role in his career and life.

55:28 - Greg and Craig talk about nutrition and diet in training and racing.

01:01:18 - "All exercises are not created evenly" ... Craig explains how his physio training has helped him as a pro athlete throughout his career.

01:03:37 - Craig and Greg talk about how Craig holds his form when fatigue sets in.

01:06:36 - Craig explains his regime for keeping fit and healthy with a young family.

01:09:09 - Craig and Greg talk about how his training has changed from his early triathlon career to now ...

01:14:57 - Craig talks about his mental shift from being a consistent 5th or 8th ... and how his champion mindset developed as he progressed and one more.

01:23:17 - Greg and Craig talk through the mind and body connection of an athlete.

01:24:14 - Craig gives some swim, bike, run and nutrition tips.



Find Craig Alexander on social media:

Twitter: @CrowieAlexander

Instagram: @CrowieAlexander

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Bennett Endurance is a high-performance consulting business for athletes of all ages and abilities and non-athletes wanting to optimize their performances, health, wellbeing, and longevity.


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With a combined 50 years of racing as professional athletes, 30 years as coaches, and 30 years as athlete managers, Bennett Endurance has the knowledge, experience, and professionalism for intimate one-to-one, small group consultations, and mastermind groups. Helping you thrive and live your high-performance life. Find out more >


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Passion and Purpose. Greg Bennett is driven and cares deeply about optimizing and living a high-performance life. His passion will cause others to be inspired to optimize their own lives. Greg visibly enjoys entertaining his audience with incredible stories of finding his passion, aligning that passion with his strengths, and taking control of his own life. Be ready to be inspired and entertained. You will leave with the tools and tactics to go live your own high-performance life. Find out more >


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An interview podcast show hosted by Greg Bennett. Greg interviews the world’s greatest Athletes, Entrepreneur’s and Executives diving deep into each guest’s life. Probing questions into each guests’ passions, strengths, sleep patterns, teams, nutrition, and everything else in between. These interviews are entertaining, inspiring, and educational. The lessons learned will give you the tools and tactics to optimize your life so you can live your High-performance life. Find out more >


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