Faces of Purple Patch: Embrace the Process

by: Matt Dixon

Specific, consistent, progressive training over time = Results

Scott McMullin is in his seventh season as a member of the Purple Patch family, having been a coached athlete since 2012.

McMullin shares that while he has big aspirations, he ultimately enjoys the process. “If I feel like I’m making progress then the racing is secondary,” explains McMullin, “but having a few races on the calendar helps get me out of bed for 5:30am swims!”

An important part of the Purple Patch training plan and process that McMullin has fully embraced is the ‘continued evolution.' The Purple Patch training program is planned around seasonal progression, rather than preparing athletes for a series of individual races, training pinball-style from one race to the next.

“I’m someone that thrives on consistency so the focus on continued evolution of the plan throughout the year works really well for me.” That consistency and buy-in to the training process is evident in McMullin’s steady improvement year over year.

A lifelong athlete, having rowed crew during high school and for four years at Harvard University, McMullin still appreciates the education component of the Purple Patch program. “It’s tremendously helpful to have a trusted source of information,” says McMullin, “because a lot of what I read online and in magazines frequently contradicts itself.” As part of the coaching program, Purple Patch athletes receive an extensive education component that helps them make the right training and racing decisions.

McMullin is currently based in the Bay Area, and attends many of the group coached sessions with Matt Dixon and the San Francisco squad, however, he spent the first three seasons with Purple Patch living and training in the Czech Republic. “I’m a big fan of the global community”, he explains, “the fact that I can show up to a race and meet others from around the world and cheer for them on the race course is amazing.”

The Purple Patch program recognizes that athletes are busy with family and work commitments in addition to triathlon training. Rather than narrowly following a plan, Purple Patch empowers athletes to take responsibility for their program, designating key workouts in any given week, alongside supporting and optional workouts, which can be missed if life gets in the way. This aspect of the program is something that McMullin has embraced: “while I aim to get all the workouts in, I do treat the optional workouts as ‘optional,' as there are always outside ‘life’ factors that need to be taken into account.” 

Wishing you all the best for a great 2018, Scott!