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Carl Binner is Getting Older and Still Getting Faster

Kim Gesell

When 57-year-old Carl Binner signed up for 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 70.3 or full IM World Championship. Still, after trying various template training plans and even a one-on-one coach with mediocre results, he figured he wasn’t physically gifted enough to reach that goal.

No matter what he tried, he wasn’t getting any faster. That is, until he joined the MoTTIV training app.

Carl Binner finishing his Ironman race

In his first season training with MOTTIV, Carl found the speed he didn’t know he was capable of and qualified for the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

And he didn’t stop there. Since 2019, he has used the MoTTIV training app to continue to get faster every year, winning his age group in several races and frequently achieving new PBs at different distances.

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.

Although he’d never heard of triathlon before, Carl decided that combining three sports in one event sounded like a great challenge, so he agreed to do it. 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.

Lots of training but no success

Carl discovered that despite committing 100 percent to the training prescribed by his coach, he still didn’t have much of an aerobic base, and completing the race felt “brutal.”  

But, he persevered and did two more 70.3 races before signing up for a full IRONMAN triathlon. He picked a flat course in Ohio, USA, and just went for it.

“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, can I do better now? How much better can I get?” says Carl.

Carl’s IRONMAN times were up and down over the next few years. He was dedicated to training and finishing races but still not getting near his ultimate goal.

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 Mont Tremblant, Carl decided to try the MOTTIV training app to see if it could help get him over the hump.  

It turns out, joining MOTTIV was the turning point.

Dropping 30 minutes off his Ironman personal best time

MOTTIV athlete Carl with this bike ready for his race

Carl signed up for the MOTTIV app in January 2019. He followed the training exactly as prescribed, including a high percentage of Zone 2 Heart Rate workouts to build the solid aerobic base he had been missing.

Eight months after he joined MOTTIV, Carl raced IM Mont-Tremblant, and to his total surprise, he notched a personal best of 12:04:15, a full half hour faster than his most recent IRONMAN race!

How Carl Qualified for 70.3 Worlds using this MOTTIV training app

Then came IM 70.3 Atlantic City in September 2019.

Carl finished in 5:09:02, the fastest 70.3 of his life, and a time that earned a 2nd place age group podium and a qualifying spot in the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds.  

“When I heard my name called as a World Championship qualifier, I couldn’t believe it had happened. After 10 years of 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.

(Due to the pandemic, the 70.3 Worlds were postponed and then relocated. Carl deferred his entry to the 2022 IM 70.3 Worlds in Utah in October of 2022.)

Still Getting Faster, Personal Bests

Due to the pandemic, like everyone, Carl was unable to race in 2020. But he stuck with his MOTTIV training throughout pandemic lockdowns and even did a self-supported IRONMAN in 2020, which his wife affectionately called the “Beardman IRONMAN .”Although not an official race, Carl says it was tremendous to have family and friends support him on his “race day,” which was gratifying.

After a year away from official competition, he raced his fastest time ever at IM 70.3 Maine in 2021, going 5:06:13.  

He also completed two more full IRONMAN races in Florida and Maryland that year.

Carl Gets Older, Qualifies for Worlds Again

Carl turned 60 in 2022, which moved him into a new age group. In August, he raced IM 70.3 Maine with a time of 5:23:03, earning a 3rd place podium finish in his new age group (60-64) and a qualifying spot for IM 70.3 Worlds yet again.

Carl is now toying with the idea of trying to qualify for a bigger World Championship, the race of all races, the full IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

“My dream goal is still to qualify for Kona. I know it's extremely difficult to do so but that's what motivates me to get out there and follow the MOTTIV plan every day. Even if I don't feel like it! I don't consider myself a gifted endurance athlete, so every workout counts.”

The final word goes to Carl:

“I've worked with a couple of coaches in the past, and they were great, but relatively speaking, they were also way more expensive! My MOTTIV plan is always there for me. I never have to ask my coach what the plan is for the week because he/she hasn't filled it out yet.

I love how the app is completely customized for me based on personal data such as heart rate, power, run time, race schedule, and even how many hours per week I can dedicate to training. Because of this customization feature, it's great for everyone! No matter what your starting point, whether beginner or seasoned athlete, you just have to have patience and follow the MOTTIV plan every day! “

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Kim Gesell
Kim Gesell

Kim Gesell is the Director of MOTTIVator Happiness at MOTTIV. While her nickname is jokingly No Triathlon Kim (NTK), Kim has been around endurance sports for well over a decade and understand the unique needs of age group athletes.

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