Mike will be competing in his third Ironman at Lake Placid this summer and as part of the experience he is hoping to raise money for a few Alzheimer’s-related charities. Mike’s mom has been battling Alzheimer’s for the past couple of years and he’s dedicating this race and fundraising campaign to his parents. He’s dubbed the campaign “Racing for Memories” and you can find out more about it (and follow his blog) at www.racingformemories.com.
What has inspired you to compete?
For me the journey to triathlon and Ironman was really the result of being inspired and encouraged by a close friend who had discovered the sport and fell in love with it. I had done a lot of running over the years, but I hadn’t ridden a bike since high school and I couldn’t swim the length of the pool. Somehow I was convinced by my friend that this didn’t matter and I agreed to sign up for a triathlon (I suspect the decision may have been influenced by a couple of pints).
Why the Ironman distance?
After doing a 70.3, I was certainly intrigued about the idea of doing a full distance race. However, the deal was sealed when I traveled to Tremblant to watch two of my friends complete an Ironman there in 2014. The experience was unbelievable and I just knew that this was something I had to do. On the drive home the next day I signed up for IMMT 2015 as soon as registration opened.
How do you find balance between personal life and training?
I travel a lot for work and I put in pretty long hours in my job, so training and keeping a balance can be very challenging. I tend to do most of my training during the week between the hours of 5am and 7am and I do my best to get out early on the weekends so that I can salvage a bit of Saturday and Sunday. I’ve also gotten used to taking my running shoes pretty much everywhere I travel and I’ve done a lot of laps in small hotel pools (usually while getting funny looks from the people leisurely wading around me).
Which is your strongest and weakest discipline?
I’m probably the most comfortable with the run (given my history with it) and weakest in the pool, but I could stand to improve all three disciplines. To do this, I’m swimming with Miranda through the TTC (she’s fantastic) and I’ve got Nigel Gray coaching me overall (he too is fantastic). I’ve been more of a DIY training guy up to now and I’ve already seen huge benefits from working with Miranda and Nigel.
What was your biggest rookie mistake?
I wore my watch on the outside of my wetsuit during my first ever race (Milton). That made taking it off a little tough. I also put my wetsuit on backwards at the TTF one year. I didn’t realize it until it was almost too late to switch it around. LOL!