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Height/Weight: 5’10”/165 lbs
Hometown: Des Moines, IA
Occupation: Professional Triathlete
Hobbies: Cooking, Reading
Ironman competitions began in 1978 as the result of a group of Navy Seals trying to settle an argument over who the fittest athlete was, and, since then, it has come to be known as the most prestigious one-day endurance event in the world, according to ironman.com.
The Ironman 70.3 events that TJ has competed in consist of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run, which all add up to 70.3 miles. There are 31 events worldwide that qualify triathletes for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, held each November in Clearwater, Florida.
Lately, TJ has been turning his focus toward longer races. The Ironman Series consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. The series includes 22 events that qualify triathletes for the Ford Ironman World Championship held every October in Kona, Hawaii.
TJ has been using HMB supplements for a number of years to help him recover from tough training sessions and minimize the fatigue and damage to his muscles. As part of our continuing series on Team HMB athletes, we interviewed TJ to see what’s going on with him and how HMB helps him compete.
Why did you decide to start competing in triathlons?
I had a college roommate who spent a summer in Australia and returned to convince me to sign up for a race. I was a competitive swimmer and runner in high school. It was a natural fit.
What in particular motivated you to start doing the Ironman series?
Ironman is really what triathlon is all about. I never thought I would do an Ironman because I didn’t think the length of the race suited me well, but the dream of racing in Hawaii is really what triathlon is all about. I wanted to take my time and gradually ease into the Ironman racing, so last year was my first year racing a full Ironman.
How do you train for your triathlons?
I train about 30 hours a week consisting of 20,000 meters of swimming, 300 miles of cycling and 50 miles of running.
What keeps you motivated during races? What’s going through your mind?
Racing is the reason I train, so I try to bring a high level of focus and motivation to the race. During an Ironman, you experience many highs and lows so it is important to break up the race into manageable tasks so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the entire race. Making small goals like focusing on my cadence or nutrition for the next 10 miles on the bike helps break up the race so I can accomplish tasks while performing at my best.
What is your favorite memory from your triathlons?
Winning my first triathlon in 2003 is my favorite memory from the sport. It was the NEMO triathlon in Kirksville, Missouri. I was working hard and really dug deep to win the race. Crossing the finish line first is a very addicting feeling.
I know you like to use HMB to help your muscles recover from tough workouts. How does HMB give you a competitive edge?
Every professional triathlete trains hard and races hard. What gives me the edge is the ability to train hard and recover by building lean muscle and protecting my muscles from damage by using HMB. There simply is no better supplement than HMB for intense training. You will see massive improvements in training and recovery when using HMB.
What’s ahead for you in the future?
Ironman Hawaii World Championship