When it comes to experience, there are few athletes who can equal the triathlete Conrad Stoltz. The four-time XTERRA world champion has been competing since 1988, was at the Sydney Olympic games of 2000 and today, he's still feeling as strong as ever.
Stoltz says he’s just as fit as he was 20 years ago, and the proof is there as he regularly beats guys half his age. He puts it down to smart training and experience.
Says Stoltz, “My power on the bike is as good, if not better than ever.” He says this is partly due to the rigorous training program and partnership he has with his coach, Ian Rodger.
Stoltz also uses Movescount to optimize his training, sharing his stats with his trainer Rodger alongside a thorough report on how felt during and after the session. Rodger then analyses the data, and fine-tunes training for the following day.
It’s effective, he adds, but completely different to when he started out.
“Back then I wanted to train super hard every day, I wanted to race every weekend, and I wanted to win every race! It's simply impossible – I made every mistake in the book, and learned all the lessons first hand.”
And those early years as a pro athlete may have seen him race hard, but they were far from glamorous. According to Stoltz, “I slept on benches and in a Police station (willingly) before a race and I’ve won races on cheap, borrowed bikes.” It’s this hand-to-mouth lifestyle combined with a reputation for being hard on equipment that earned him the nickname “the Caveman”.
He competed in two Olympic games as a triathlete but switched to XTERRA early on. “Triathlon boils down to how much pain you can take — you just go as fast as possible. But with XTERRA there's a whole lot more to it. For a start the courses vary hugely, from volcanic beaches in Hawaii to the mountains of the Alps to the forests of Brazil. That adds a new strategy to it, from your suspension set-up to what tires you select. And along with the lactic acid you get a lot of adrenaline and that's what makes it fun.”
Nonetheless, Stoltz is also well-known as a humble and popular competitor. After winning his 50th XTERRA competition, he remained at the finish to high-five the last competitor to cross the line and share in his accomplishment of simply finishing the race.
While he maintains a pure love for the outdoors, Stoltz readily admits that breaking the tape at the finish line feels great. When asked how he stays competitive he says it’s his experience that gives him the edge but, in the end, it’s his love of sport and a positive attitude that keep him motivated.