Fit Friend Friday: An Interview With Alex – A Recent Triathlete!

Another week gone… I don’t know about you, but it always starts out okay: Monday isn’t terrible, it goes by quickly, but then Tuesday comes and it’s painful. The day is slow, I’m always overwhelmed, and there’s too much to do. Thankfully it’s only one day and I move on happily. Now it’s Friday and I can breathe knowing I have the weekend to do what I told myself I’d do earlier in the week :)Doing something a little different today. No Foodalicious Friday. Instead, my friend Alex finished the triathlon that I told you guys about a while ago ! And he kicked butt! I told you I’d interview him and TA-DAA! here is it. I was really excited to learn what it was like to train for a triathlon… especially because I knew Alex would be blunt with me. Take a read! 

-What was the tri called!?
LavaMan 2011 (in Waikola, Hawaii) they have a few out there, given the weather and water temperature its a great place to do it.

-Who did you partner/train with and why?
Team in Training. They are a fantastic organization that helps you raise money for charity, whilst receiving coaching and support. Highly recommended. They have “chapters” around the US and will help you with walks, runs, tris, iron mans… you name it.

-What was the most you had ever done training-wise before this? You were pretty much a newbie, yes?
I had previously “half-trained” for a marathon and ran the Paris Marathon in 2008. I say half-trained because I really did not take it seriously and suffered from mile 21 as a result. Since then, I’ve done a few half marathons, most recently Big Sur (which is a beautiful run). But in terms of consistent, dedicated, and focused training, this was the most, by some distance.

-How long did you train beforehand? How many days/week did you train? Did you ever do more than just biking, running, and swimming?
I started training in November (I think) which gave plenty of time, although given that we had Christmas and New Year’s in between its probably safe to say it was closer to 3 months of intensive training. It was 6 days a week rotating swimming, running, biking and core. I had to give up football (soccer), which was sad and tried to hit the gym for weight training a few times, but it was just hard to maintain.

-How many people did you train with?
I took part with Team in Training, so there must have been around 300 in total from around the US but from San Francisco specifically, 30-50.

-Did you watch what you ate and/or eat with a more specific diet and structure?
This is really where I think I failed. I didn’t change my diet at all. I ate more, but for the most part I was just making sure I was eating before exercising (porridge) and afterwards.

-Favorite training song?
Annoyingly the triathlon itself was regulated by USA Triathlon and so there was no music in the event. But for training there was a fair spread between Foo Fighters (“Pretender”), Dizzee Rascal (“Bonkers”), and songs from my youth like “Hyperspeed Prodigy”.

-Favorite after-training meal?
Shepherds Pie. Just BIG food.

-Favorite during-training snack?
The peanut butter PowerBar. It’s thick and filling whilst not being too hard to digest.

-What was the hardest part of the tri?
The run. It was just so hot, and in spite of what I wanted them to do, my legs simply wouldn’t go faster than they were going. Around mile four, it felt like my head was on fire it was so warm.

-Most memorable part?
Getting close to the end of the bike ride and glancing at my watch and realizing that if I ran 10 minute miles I would get in just under 3 hours.

-Will you do another tri?
Not sure just yet. I’ll be honest, the amount of time the training takes out of your life together with a hectic day job means I’m enjoying getting to spend some time with my girlfriend again.

-Will you continue any of the training regimes?
I’m back in the gym and trying to focus on putting on weight again and doing a bit of all body stuff.

-Advice for tri newbies?
Coach Ted said something on one long (HUGE) bike ride. “Don’t freak out, don’t fight it, just put your shoulders back, relax and accept it’s going to happen.” Honestly it’s such a long way from the first training session to the event that you need to take it one step at a time. Nothing more.

-Notice any body transformations?
Lost a little weight (annoying to hear I’m sure) but I just couldn’t keep up with the calorie burn. I love food but nutrition is the hard part for me.

-What did your friends, fam, and Lara think about everything? Did it ever impact you’re life too dramatically?
Lara’s over the moon that we regained 2-3 hours 6 days a week (as am I) but everyone was really proud and supportive.

Alex, you rock. Thanks for the interview! Anyone else have any questions for Alex? Ask away!

Have a great weekend—don’t forget to get outside and smile 🙂

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