Before TRIQ became a uniquely built app nearing launch, it started as just an idea. Based on personal experience the idea was to use technology to seamlessly integrate triathlon training into a fulfilled life. What followed is an exciting development journey. Max Zähringer and Philipp Boehringer are going to tell us how everything started.
So, Philipp and Max, we believe that Philipp’s triathlon training is what initially lead to the idea that the world needs a smart app to plan all this training. Please tell us more.
Max: Philipp was a triathlete long before we met in early 2018. He had been pondering for a while about how to overcome the hurdles and challenges of training, planning, working, having a family and balancing all of it. His experience and search for an elegant technical solution lead to our idea to try and build one.
Philipp: I’ve always been an endurance sports guy and did my first triathlon in Zurich in 2013. The combination of three disciplines is just a great challenge and keeps things fun. So I really got into it and took part in about 7 triathlons in the following years and learned first hand about the daily joy and grind of being a triathlete.
We know that you ended up having to quit at some point. Please tell us a little more about what happened.
Philipp: I was training 10 to 15 hours a week. I had a coach that gave me great input. Between working a lot and my family life there were a lot of schedule changes. Things changed all the time. Each change forced me to sit down and rearrange things. Days became even longer. Sessions get cut short, get cancelled, get moved, it’s raining and what if I didn’t swim in two weeks? What does that mean? The coach could also only do so much. It was the planning and constant pondering that got me. The stress grew a little every day. I had to force quit for a while after the 2016 season.
Tell us a little bit about what your initial thoughts were when you guys met and started envisioning TRIQ.
Max: Philipp’s experience had convinced him that the tools available simply weren’t cutting it. When we began talking he had tested different app solutions while picking up training again. But after an in-depth analysis of the training planners Philipp was using and a few others we found them to not only look outdated. Their UI caused extra work instead of giving you an efficient and smart tool to achieve your training goals. With new possibilities of data and machine learning we felt there was a ton of potential to unlock. And we were both at a point in our lives where we felt it could be the right timing to build something.
Philipp: We thought: Why shouldn’t an app be able to rearrange your training units automatically and in a way that makes scientific sense? So we looked into what it would take. Max decided to start triathlon training. He wanted to feel it first hand. I took part in Lake Zurich Triathlon 2018. Max was actually on crutches with multiple broken bones after a severe Tennis accident. But it didn’t stop him from conducting interviews and questionnaires with many triathletes that entire weekend to assess and analyze their level of stress from planning. We wanted to make sure the world needed this app we had in our heads. Turns out: Most athletes said they’d love a smarter way to plan. Training is exhausting enough.
How did you continue from that point?
Max: Well, first of all I really was hyped and started triathlon training and got into shape again. But even though I eventually ended up also finishing a triathlon we were obviously aware that in order to build a world class app we’d need someone with deep training expertise on our team. After getting in touch with some specialists in the field we found just the right training expert to give our idea a truly scientific foundation. He’s a scientist, world-class professional coach and triathlete. His knowledge and philosophy is priceless and was a great basis to give our training engine the needed substance.
Philipp: We started assembling all the functions we wanted the app to have. We wanted a lot and our first attempts to develop TRIQ became a learning process. Much like triathlon, figuring out how to build something so complex required some endurance. By early 2020 we had finally assembled a well-rounded team of some great tech minds and developers, and the app development started to really get traction. And even as we are still working on a lot of details we are now very close to a Beta that will already be a strong tool. And from there, TRIQ will pick up many more functions along the way and give athletes new conclusions and insights while being lean and efficient.
What are you hoping to achieve with TRIQ in the upcoming months and years?
Max: We want to put the athlete in full control of their training, goals and progress. As testing with a larger group of triathletes is about to begin it’s going to be very exciting to see the final details fall into place. We are sure at this point that it can make a huge difference for some of the most hard working endurance athletes out there, and their wishes, feedback and our exchange with them is what will shape and change TRIQ until it’s perfect.
Philipp: And it’s really about much more than training. If we manage to take the hassle out of planning you will be able to have efficient training sessions aligned with your personal schedule and goals, get all the benefits and joys of triathlon into your life and be in great mental and physical shape, without extra stress. As hard as training all the time might be: You’ll have a tool that gives you the freedom and breathing room to enjoy your life while chasing your athletic goals. That’s the ultimate vision.