Catching up with Coach Allen Stanfield


What is your athletic background?

I've always been active, basically from 2nd grade through High School I was a mediocre 3-4 sport athlete every year. I was never particularly outstanding at anything, but was basically always in a season. In college, that stopped and the "Freshman 15" became the "Four-Year 50+." I got back into shape in 2009 (at 29) with diet and exercise and started running that fall.


When did you begin competing in triathlons?

I started in 2010 (story of my start available here), with my first race being Mulletman Triathlon (results), an unsanctioned race at the Flora-Bama. I'd talked a few friends into doing it with me, and really enjoyed the event. I ended up doing 9 more Du's or Tri's that year and haven't looked back since.


What are your best 70.3 times?

I've done two 4:16's (Augusta) and a 4:18 (New Orleans).


You race quite a bit. Athlinks has you at 153 races since 2009 including road races, triathlons, duathlons, and time trials. Do you take an off- or out-season?

Is that all? I do race a lot, and I'm actually starting to slow down a little bit on my personal racing. When I was first starting out, I used racing to get fitter, and push myself, and I do believe that is a very successful approach. I think it's normal for the head first, Kool-Aid drinkers like myself, but they tend to settle into more specific goals after a year or two. I think being part of a community with such an amazing Running Club that puts on 25+ well-run and challenging events for $15-30 each makes the number of my races much higher than it would otherwise be.

I definitely do take time off, more so mentally than physically, I will still race and put forth my best efforts on that day, but I lower my performance expectations knowing that I''m limited by current body comp and fitness.


Again, being such a race veteran, what is your mindset like before a race? Do you get keyed up or stay fairly relaxed before the gun goes off?

I really try to stay calm, but confident. Be optimistic but realistic in my expectations and make sure I know what the race entails and what concerns I need to be aware of. There is always a time in a race where you can try and do something that you aren't sure you can actually pull off. Being in a relaxed state beforehand allows you to have focused energy and run through the day. This allows me the ability to make focused decisions as opposed to reactionary ones during the race.


What is your role in the Ticking Tri Bombs? It looks to be a great triathlon community in the Biloxi area. How much of your training do you do solo vs in groups?

I was one of the original founders of the Ticking Tri Bombs. It started as a group of 5 newcomers to the sport in 2010 (MPI Athlete Katya Karpitskaya is another one of them), and has since grown exponentially year over year. We now boast a fairly very large and competitive presence at most regional races. It has become a really amazing group that has led and supported so many in the sport.

In my opinion, training is always more fun with others. I do realize many coached or type A athletes struggle with the balance of following the plan and slowing down or speeding up to train with others. My suggestion would be to find ways to incorporate some opportunities you may have into your structure. Tuesday night Worlds happens most everywhere and can definitely get the competitive juices flowing, and chasing those faster than you will always make you faster!


Coach Allen with coached athletes Matt Storr and David Sullivan


How would you describe yourself as a coach?

Passionate and invested in the individual. I realized my mindset had moved from athlete to Coach when my athletes results meant more to me than my own (and I still care about mine!). I know what they put into their training, and feel a tremendous responsibility to make sure they perform to both my and their expectations.
I believe my biggest strength is objectivity to the many successful methods and the ability to adapt to what each athlete needs. I work to deliver my athletes sessions that they will enjoy, keep them motivated, and deliver the results they want.


Where did you get that disk wheel?!

That disk is just a Zipp Sub 9 with a vinyl wrap from a local sign shop. I just wanted to do something that stood out on race day, and it definitely has. I'm changing wheelsets this year, and I've already looked at a few new designs!


I've heard rumors of ice cream as pre-race fuel. Is there any truth to that? What is your pre-race breakfast?

I had used ice cream as an after pre-race dinner for years, but I actually backed off from that this year. The one remaining constant I have in my pre-race dinner is pizza. From what I've come to understand, the person that eats the most pizza the night before a race will perform the best. That's based on a subject of one (myself).
For 1/2 Iron or less, I basically stick to a glass of beet juice at no less than 2 hours before race, and a scoop of UCAN (over 2 hours) or Execute (under 2) about 20-30 minutes before I'm set to go off.


Do you write out your own training or are you more instinctual in your training? How many hours per week, on average, do you train?

I started with MPI as an athlete under Coach Mark, and that laid an incredibly strong foundation for my personal training and coaching. It is very difficult for me to be objective with myself. I lay out my personal training in a much more macro style and still lean on Coach Mark to dial in the specifics for goal races.
About 90% of my weeks are between 11-14 hours of training.


If someone is thinking about coaching but hesitant to commit, what would you tell them?

There are so many benefits of having a coach. Having an objective opinion on your goals, having the accountability, and having a clear training focus are just a few. Know what you want to get out of coaching, find a coach that understands those needs, talk to their athletes and make clear the relationship and goals you expect.


Coach Allen, a USA Triathlon Level I coach, is based in Gulfport, Mississippi. He has coached Junior Elite Athletes, Southeast Regional Amateur Champions, Boston Marathon Finishers, Ironman 70.3 World Championship Finishers and numerous Ironman Finishers. Allen has completed more than 50 multisport events with more than 15 overall wins. He is an Ironman finisher, Ironman 70.3 Age Group winner and Ironman 70.3 World Championship Finisher. He is the Co-Founder and President of Ticking Tri Bombs, a USAT Club, and Founder of the Road to Tradition beginner triathlete group. Allen can be reached via email at

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