I was an around-the-neighborhood “play” triathlete years before my first triathlon.
Spent a lot of time as a kid . . .
- swimming on the neighborhood pool team
- biking with friends around dirty construction sites, and
- running around playing tag, soccer and chasing balls we smashed over fences and into other people’s yards.
In 2008, friends approached me while I was an officer in the student body association at BYU and asked for help to start a club: the BYU Triathlon Club.
My pediatrician was a triathlete — an Ironman, and had posters and race bibs framed in the office to prove it — so I knew about these swim-bike-run events from the time I was very young. I was maybe three or four when I formed my aspirations to one day become an Ironman.
Pointing these friends in the right direction to charter an official student club was the first bit of energy given to a dream long on pause. In just a few months, I officially became a triathlete finishing the inaugural True Cougar Tri, taking 6th in the men’s mountain bike division.
Yup, ask almost any triathlete about their first race and you’ll find out they raced on whatever bike was available to them, often a mountain bike.
I did the race again in 2009, volunteered at IRONMAN New York City in 2012, did a 70.3 in 2013, and in 2014 trained for and finished Ironman Maryland in 11:54:47.
The rest is history.
Triathlete: My Training, Racing + Community Manager
I’m also the U.S. Endurance Community Manager for Suunto. More on that here.
Before you order gear from any of the displayed companies (plus Newton Running), holler at me. I probably have a discount code and am happy to share it.
I didn’t know several of these brands before joining the team so here’s a quick summary:
- TriggerPoint: foam rollers and other tools for self-applied massage and myofascial compression techniques (MCT). Best way I can explain MCT is by relating it to brushing your teeth. We brush our teeth to remove stuff that builds up naturally throughout the day and as we eat (e.g. plaque). Similarly, our muscles have build up throughout the day from normal use and even more from exercise (e.g. lactic acid). MCT is like tooth brushing for your muscles. You get in there with a roller or a ball and move the muscles around a bit to help flush lactic acid and other byproducts. Keeps things fresh. (The TP education pros are rolling their eyes at me … but hey, this is the best I can explain it right now).
- Implus: parent company of TP and … Sof Sole, Balega, Harbinger, Perfect Fitness, Yaktrax and others
- Skratch Labs: plain, simple, good nutrition products without the junk
- ROKA: pretty baller swim gear, primarily wetsuits and goggles
- Newton Running: shoes that promote healthy running gait (forefoot action, landing with foot under body and not extended); I’m on my first trail and third road pairs, and love them
- Balega: makers of sweet athletic socks, so comfy
- ISM Saddles: if you’re a triathlete or a time-trialist, check out these makers of sweet saddles for us (they’d probably also say general cyclists); I bought a Time Trial model last year well before joining the team and am very happy to have it as it is more comfortable when in aero position
- FuelBelt: for carrying liquids and solid nutrition on your person while running
- ICE Friction Tech: on race day, use a bike chain from these guys and you’ll get 6-10 watts back just because the wax lube on their chains has a way lower friction coefficient than traditional chain lubes
- 2XU: workout, underlayer, and compression gear; I bought full compression socks and calf sleeves from them in 2014 and have been happy with the product
#TeamTriggerPoint is a beautiful family of people.
Favorite Races + Training Routes
As a triathlete, I’ve raced across incredible terrain in 11 states and worked out or done other events in another four. Here are a few of my favorites:
LOTOJA (Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY; double century)
The Alpine Loop (American Fork, UT to Provo, UT)
The Nebo Loop (Payson, UT)
BCC > Guardsman > Park City > Parley’s (SLC, UT)
Intervals on the Bountiful Dump Road (Bountiful, Utah)
Black & Blue (Boone, NC; double century relay)
Central Park Loop, (Manhattan, NY; 10k)
Mt Juneau Half (Juneau, AK)
Mt Roberts (Juneau, AK)
The Haunted Half SLC (Emigration Canyon)
Big Cottonwood Canyon (9 miles up from the parking lot, 9 miles down)
Little Cottonwood Canyon (Bell Canyon trailhead to Alta)
Mt. Olympus 10k (ok, this is more like a hike + climb)
Highland to Suncrest (UT)
Riverbank State Park (Manhattan, NY; for speedwork)
My Race History
Full triathlete + race history here
Currently training with Andrew Stasinos of Balanced Art Multisport. Maximizing speed is the game.
TriUtah Brineman – Utah State Tri Champs – Olympic
TriUtah Jordanelle – Sprint
USA Triathlon Nationals – Oly/Sprint
Deseret News (Pioneer Day) This is the Race 10k
TriUtah Echo Triathlon – Olympic
TriUtah East Canyon – Sprint
US Tri Sports Daybreak – Olympic
Run of Remembrance 1-Miler
RaceTri Utah Lake – Olympic
RaceTri Salem Spring – Sprint
Run SLC 15k
Run SLC 10k
Frigid 5k [2nd AG // 7th OA]
2017 – UtahTriBuzz Ranking: 3rd (M30-34)
T3 Turkey Tri Reverse Sprint [DNS, injury]
Runstastic Haunted Half Provo [2nd AG]
Runtastic Haunted Half SLC [1st AG // 10th OA]
BYU Cougar Run 5k [1st AG]
ExtraMileRacing TOSH 5k [3rd OA]
Fallen Officer’s Memorial 5k [3rd OA]
TriUtah Brineman – Utah State Tri Champs – Olympic [3rd OA // 2nd AG]
TriUtah Jordanelle – Sprint [3rd OA // 1st AG]
Deseret News (Pioneer Day) This is the Race 10k
XTERRA Beavercreek Mountain Champs 10k [3rd OA // 1st AG]
TriUtah Echo Triathlon – Olympic [3rd AG // 9th OA]
GoPro Mountain Games Ultimate Mountain Challenge [17th OA Men (8-way tie) // 4th AG]
GoPro Mountain Games Road Bike TT
GoPro Mountain Games Mountain 10k
GoPro Mountain Games Mountain 5k [3rd M30-39]
Run of Remembrance 1-Miler [1st OA]
RaceTRI Salem Spring – Sprint [1st AG // 11th OA]
RaceTRI Ice Breaker – Sprint [1st AG // 7th OA]
BAM Indoor TT Series 40k [5th M // 3rd M series overall]
BAM Indoor TT Series 20k [6th M]
BAM Indoor TT Series 10k [9th M]
— Began training with Andrew Stasinos of Balanced Art Multisport —
— Finished coaching myself —
— Retired as a coach —
Millcreek Cold Turkey Run 5k [3rd AG // 9th OA]
T3 Turkey Trot Reverse Sprint [2nd AG]
Lake Powell Sprint [1st AG // 4th OA]
Temple 2 Temple Steeplechase 5-Miler [2nd OA]
TriUtah Jordanelle Sprint [1st AG // 10th OA]
Book It! Fun Run 5k [2nd OA]
Utah Valley Marathon
Run of Remembrance 1-Miler [2nd OA]
Salt Lake City Marathon
The Haunted Half SLC [1st AG]
— Began coaching myself —
— Finished training with Garrett —
LOTOJA (200 miles)
USA Triathlon Olympic Nationals
Aukeman Sprint [2nd AG // 9th OA]
New York City Triathlon – Olympic [14th AG]
USA Triathlon Mideast Olympic Regionals
Be The Change 5k [2nd OA]
Equinox Indoor Sprint [Qualifier for Nautica Malibu Triathlon]
Race on the Base Reverse Sprint [1st AG]
— Began coaching —
Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day 10k
— Began training with Garrett Smith of DFS —
— Finished training with Alan —
Mossman Sprint Triathlon
— Began training with Alan Gulledge of TriFit Evolution —
Black & Blue Double Century (100 miles)
New York City Half Marathon
Black & Blue Double Century (75 miles)
VTS Kinetic 70.3
Volunteer at Ironman New York City
True Cougar Tri (super sprint)
True Cougar Tri (super sprint)
Painter’s Half Marathon
Coach: Endurance Training
After coaching the 2015 and 2016 seasons, I hung up my triathlete and multisport coaching hat November 2016. It was never a big part of my life.
In the fall of 2016 I made a list of all my professional commitments and saw the 80:20 rule was real: 20% of my commitments were yielding 80% of my results and taking about 80% of my time. I decided to crop out, one by one, the bottom 80% of commitments to get even better results. Coaching was among that list.
The bottom line is: the people I was coaching will be better served by coaches who make triathlete and multisport coaching their life’s work. As much as I’d love to get an exercise science degree and continue studying and learning in that realm to teach others, I’d rather be a triathlete, learn what I need from my triathlon coach and invest time in my primary craft: marketing and storytelling.
Looking for a coach?
I recommend every triathlete or one with more than a super casual interest in endurance sports get a coach.
Here’s how I suggest finding a triathlete and multisport coach that fits you:
- Before contacting any coaches, get your life priorities straight as they are for you. Write them down. And understand before going into it that a coach most often falls into the realm of “physical/athletic performance” which is distinct and separate from you being personally responsible to maintain baseline wellness. If you’re hiring a coach to help you with basic, fundamental wellness and you don’t care about performance, make sure to tell them that. My priorities, for example:
- Core relationships (dating & romantic partners, people I live with, people I interact with 6-7 days a week)
- Baseline wellness (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual)
- Material safety (do honest work for honest pay to cover my necessary material costs: food, shelter, transportation)
- Athletic performance (speed, form, strength, competition)
- Career success (fulfillment, growth, profitability, ongoing growth and development)
- After looking at all that, decide how much monetarily on a monthly basis it’s worth it to you to have a coach to support you as a triathlete or endurance athlete. Write that number down. That is your maximum. That number ought to be a little uncomfortable, but it should not disrupt or strain you taking care of the priorities higher on your list. If it does, you will resent your training and your coach by agreeing to spend money on a lower priority that ought first to be spent on a higher priority. That simply won’t work long term.
- Shop the platforms, make a short list (Target: 3. Five is fine. MAX 10) of people to contact. Lean toward people that you could, without great expense, visit in person. Most of your interactions will be virtual, but it does help a lot to have someone you could meet with so they can look at your form.
- Contact all of them. Let them know you are interviewing coaches. Have a tops 30-minute conversation with them. Ask about their training philosophy. Before revealing your life priorities, listen to them and see if it sounds like / feels like they have similar priorities to you or at least respect that they are coaching a PERSON with a LIFE, not that they are coaching an ATHLETE whose life IS training. Unless you are a pro athlete, that is not the case for you. Endurance training with a coach isa LUXURY to be used to increase the overall quality of your life. I highly NOT recommend that it become your life. Relationships and work that adds value to society and your community are far more important than you going to Worlds or Kona.
- Immediately rule out anyone whose price is above your # in . If you really like them, say, “I got your price is X. When I started my search, I wrote down [Y] as my limit. To respect the work I did to look my priorities, I can’t go above that. And I respect your work as a professional, so I wouldn’t ask you to lower your number and diminish the value of your expertise. It’s OK if this doesn’t work between us right now. Are there any parts of your service that aren’t necessary, that you could cut or limit to make it work?” If so, cool. Figure it out. If not, cool … thank them for their time. Move on.
- Keep looking until you find a match for your priorities, what you’re looking for, healthy interaction where you feel respected and you feel you respect their expertise, and where their number is a match for yours.