MaccaX: The New Coaching Frontier
In his 20-year triathlon career, Chris McCormack has always played the maverick. He came into the pro scene in 1996 with a wild card into his first World Cup race, and proceeded to make his own path into triathlon history with four world championship titles across short-course and long-course. He was also one of the first professional triathletes to engage on what is now known as social media, amassing followers from around the world.
While the next logical step would have been just to start selling training plans and coaching to his followers, instead Macca sat down and thought about what else he could offer that had never been done before.
“My vision was a global racing team that had available to them the same resources that we as professionals had available to us, regardless of their athletic ability,” he says.
“I had access to some of the best coaches and experts in the world, a team working meticulously to help me pursue my own personal excellence. Why could this model not be applied to all athletes who compete? More than this, why could it not be provided in a way that was fun and engaging, purpose-driven, and — more than anything — affordably?”
And so MaccaX was born, bringing together athletes from all over the world onto a global platform where they could access Macca, his team of experts, and most importantly one another to help them progress faster and more efficiently in sport while fostering friendships and creating a worldwide family for support.
With a massive base of nearly a thousand members, an athlete from one part of the world could race elsewhere and find MaccaX members to share the experience with. “In 2014 I raced in seven countries and every race I went to there was a team member,” shares Jenna-Caer Seefried.
Athletes flagging in motivation could take inspiration from their fellow members, and stay accountable. “I didn’t know what to expect when I joined the team as I was brand-new to tri,” Edward Haigh says. “The wealth of knowledge from following the stories of other members is useful and motivational.”
MaccaX brought the kind of community support normally found only in location-based tri clubs into the lives of triathletes living in isolated areas or where triathlon participation is low. “I depend on this team due to my geographic scenario,” notes Simon Shurey. “Due to this group I have created some really fun triathlete friends. I live 30 miles out to sea on a small island called Nantucket. I cannot just drive somewhere to meet up. We have a Facebook chat group checking on each other and finding out how the training is going. I am running Boston Marathon this year with Team Hoyt due to my friendship with Dennis Charles who I never would have met without this group.”
MaccaX is also linked up with a charitable component, allowing its athletes to train and race for a cause. A percentage of the monthly membership dues goes toward the MaccaNOW Foundation set up to offer direct assistance to families fighting breast cancer. The team has also contributed to Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts and an underprivileged Thai child’s education and multisport development.
Macca crowdsourced from MaccaX to find out what they needed as athletes, resulting in the launch in 2014 of more than 40 training videos for swim, bike, and run, and periodized triathlon training plans in 2015 for Olympic, half-distance, and full-distance races. His role as Challenge Family ambassador also paved the way for MaccaX to become the official training partner for Challenge’s international series of races.
MaccaX also runs yearly training camps where members can meet in person, learn the tricks of the trade from Macca, train and race hard, and then kick back and have fun with their newfound friends. Khiro Sanchez joined a training camp leading into a Challenge race. He says, “I learned a lot about pushing myself and my potential being so much more than I thought it was. I also confirmed what I believed about Macca professionally: not only is he one of the best strategists in this sport, but also true in his intentions to make MaccaX about the members, inspiring us, and helping us through our own journeys.”
Macca is continually breaking new ground for triathlon with endeavors that create a complete ecosystem for the sport to grow professionally and participatively, and MaccaX is the age group driving force.
“The key to empowering people to compete and grow athletically is to provide them with the information and resources that build confidence through understanding and clear guidance,” Macca says. “When you further frame this with a foundation of support, you cannot lose.”
Breast cancer survivors Susan deKeyser and Deirdre Robbons are racing the 2016 Challenge Roth as part of the MaccaX contingent.
Camps bring together MaccaX members from all over the world to learn and have fun.
Members have direct access to Macca and his team of experts, including ironman power couple Belinda and Justin Granger.