How 57-Year Old Carl Binner Qualified for Worlds on the MōTTIV Training App
by Kim Gesell
When 57-year old Carl Binner signed up to the MoTTIV training app in 2019, he had already completed eight full IRONMAN races and a handful of 70.3s.
His dream was always to qualify for a World Championship.
Carl got the triathlon bug more than a decade earlier when his wife suggested they do a short-course triathlon together.
That one short race was all it took to build a love of triathlon.
In the following years, he tried some online training plans, and even worked with a one-on-one coach, but he was still nowhere near reaching his ultimate dream of qualifying for Worlds – at any distance.
His times were decent but despite the number of races he had done and the coaching and plans he had used, he wasn’t getting much faster.
Carl figured he must not be gifted enough as an endurance athlete to reach his goal.
But, in his first season training on the MōTTIV app, all of that changed. In 2019, Carl received a qualifying slot to the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships to be held in New Zealand.
HOW HE STARTED
Carl began his triathlon journey at age 46 when his then-girlfriend asked him if he’d be willing to try doing a Sprint triathlon with her.
His response? “What’s a triathlon?”
After a little bit of research, Carl decided the combination of swim, bike, and run sounded like a great challenge so he agreed to participate. He found a six-week Sprint triathlon template training plan online and dove in.
When race day came, he was as nervous as he’d ever been, but the exhilaration of completing the race was like nothing he’d felt before.
He immediately decided he wanted to do a half-IRONMAN race. He hired a one-on-one coach and trained for his first 70.3, but the race taught him some hard lessons.
Carl discovered that despite the training he had been prescribed, he didn’t have much of an aerobic base and he called the race “brutal”. But that wasn’t about to stop him.
He did another couple of 70.3 races (three in total), before he woke up one day – three years after he’d started, at age 49 – and decided to do a full iron-distance triathlon. He picked a flat course in Ohio, USA, and just went for it.
Says Carl, “Well, you know, it feels terrible (during the race) and you ask yourself why you’re doing it. But after you get through it, it’s like, oh my gosh, I just did that! I felt like I was on top of the world for at least a week after that first race. And then I said to myself, okay, well, can I do better now? How much better can I get?”
Carl’s times were up and down over the next few years.
2014 IM Mont-Tremblant: 12:10:40
2016 IM Lake Placid: 12:29:30
2017 IM Lake Placid: 12:16:14
2018 IM Lake Placid: 12:50:37
2018 IM Mont-Tremblant: 12:36:04
After following Taren for years on YouTube and Instagram, Carl decided to give Taren’s MōTTIV training app a try to see if it could help get him over the hump.
It turns out, that was the turning point.
HOW CARL QUALIFIED USING THE MōTTIV TRAINING APP
Carl signed up for the app in January 2019. He followed the training exactly as it was prescribed, including a high percentage of Zone 2 workouts to build that solid aerobic base he felt he had been missing years earlier.
Eight months after he joined MōTTIV, Carl raced IM Mont-Tremblant, and notched a personal best of 12:04:15 – a full half hour faster than his most recent IRONMAN race.
Then came IM 70.3 Atlantic City in September of 2019.
Carl put up a 5:09:02, the fastest 70.3 race of his life – a time that earned him his spot in IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds.
He has deferred his entry to IM 70.3 World Championships in May 2022 in New Zealand. Depending on the pandemic, Carl is planning to travel to compete in the race.
“When I heard my name I felt like, I can’t believe this happened. After 10 years of hard work, of just putting in the hard work day after day after day, this dream that I never thought would happen actually happened. I did it on that day!” says Carl.
By sheer coincidence, MōTTIV’s founder Taren happened to be doing that race too.
“Taren filmed me that day, and he put me and another MōTTIV athlete in his YouTube video when we got our Worlds spots!”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR CARL
Now that he’s qualified for a race he never dreamed he’d be able to enter, Carl is toying with the idea of trying to qualify for another Worlds – the race of all races, the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
Of course, he first hopes to put up another PB when he is finally able to race 70.3 Worlds, wherever they end up being held (they’ve been postponed and moved due to COVID).
Carl has the last word: “So of course the last dream is to try to qualify for a full (IRONMAN World Championship) but that’s also probably even harder to do. But you know, maybe this year when I hit a new age group and the stars align and I have this great training, you never know. All I can say is you never know, because for me, I just never thought it would actually happen, and yet, here I am!”