Season 4, Episode 4: Mark Allen is the arguably the most successful triathlete of all time having won the IRONMAN World Championships® 6 times, the Nice International Triathlon 10 times, and the first recognized Olympic Distance Triathlon Championship. He went undefeated in 21 races for an astounding two-year winning streak from late 1988 thru 1990. He has been inducted into the Halls of Fame for IRONMAN, USA Triathlon, and the International Triathlon Union. In 2012 Mark was voted “The Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time” by ESPN.
Post retirement Mark has devoted his career to coaching athletes of all levels and to sharing the lessons he learned about preparation, perseverance, and living up to their full potential.
Claire and I wanted to chat to the legend that is Mark Allen about his infamous performances in Kona, which of course include the race known as the 'Ironwar', about quietening the mind, how Shamanism helped him reach his potential and finally about how he is using artificial intelligence to coach athletes
What I’ve Been Watching
Whilst on a plane recently I watched The Father, a film where Sir Anthony Hopkins plays an elderly gentleman with dementia. What makes this so interesting is that it is watched through the eyes of the dementia sufferer and goes some way to demonstrate the scary confusion this dreadful affliction causes. This film is equally brilliant, thought provoking and upsetting, and something I would highly recommend to all, if for no other reason that to bring awareness of this sad disease.
What I’ve Been Reading
I love listening to running books while running. In fact, I usually have a running book, a driving book and a cycling book on the go at any one time, as my ability to think, my appetite and of course take notes differs in each.
I’ve recently finished In it for the long run: Breaking Records and Getting FKT by the incredible ultra-runner and former TRIBEathlon guest Damian Hall. As a journalist, his story telling is predictably excellent, but his career is fact full of both funny, inspiring and educational stories. If you like running, you’ll love it; and I’d definitely recommend listening to it while running the trails!
TED Talk I’ve Found Interesting
In her TED talk Every kid needs a champion, Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids". Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like". A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level. In this touching TED talk, Rita really highlights how educators can truly impact their students, as opposed to just educating them.
Quote of the Week
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
- Michael Porter
Finance Theme of the Week
When we think of the above quote and apply it to the world of finance, it makes me think of all of the fads that come and go within investing. Whether it is crypto-currency, watches, classic cars, traded endowments or peer to peer lending, there are trends that come and go, and then there are things that have always worked.
You may look at me with surprise when I say a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, property and commodities has always worked, given that at the moment we have seen a market fall, but since Harry Markovitz developed the Modern Portfolio Theory in the late 60’s, through the ups and down of the market, a diversified portfolio has continued to deliver positive returns. It doesn’t mean it always will, but it always has to date.
There are always new fads coming into the investment world that are ‘currently working’, but invariably they have their time, and then crash horribly. It may not be a sexy, but we’ve always had the approach that we stick to what has always worked, not the latest craze. If you are worried about where the markets are now, just remember that a well-diversified portfolio, which is what all of our clients have, has never failed to recover from a market blip; and personally, I doubt it ever will!