The Next Big Challenge – IRONMAN Lake Placid

Meet Jeremy – he’s a husband, father and an all around nice guy. Jeremy has a super busy life and a demanding job. He’s also a goal oriented-overachiever. Add in triathlon training and there’s a lot to manage. Sound familiar?

Jeremy came to RTA after being referred by one of his good friends and current RTA coached athlete. He was looking to conquer his next big challenge and after doing his first IRONMAN 70.3 in 2016, he decided hiring an experienced triathlon coach was a wise decision.

The idea was to efficiently use his time available to train to maximize his results, given his very busy life.

The Journey Begins

RTA co-founder and head coach, Elizabeth Kaplanis, started working with Jeremy in 2017. Starting in 2017 through the end of 2018 his progress has been INCREDIBLE.

The two big races in 2017 would be IRONMAN Lake Placid 70.3 and the NYC Marathon.

In 2018, the next big challenge and ultimate goal was IRONMAN Lake Placid.


BIG Performance Gains

In our opinion, it doesn’t make sense to wait until race day to see how much our athletes have (or have not) improved. Instead we have all of our coached athletes perform specific “mini tests” every 5-8 weeks. This allows us to track progress more accurately measure an athlete’s current fitness.  As a result, we can prescribe more specific training and racing parameters.

In 2018 alone here is how Jeremy progressed in his fitness through structured triathlon training:

January –> March –> May

SWIM: 1:36  –> 1:34 –> 1:30

(500 yard test)

Race time: 1:05


BIKE: 192 watts –> 240 –> 262

Functional Threshold Power (FTP)

Race time: 6:23


RUN: 6:41 min/mi –> 6:23 –> 6:17

(3 mile test)

Race time: 4:35


Race Day

When race day arrived, Jeremy was confident and ready to go.

He had attended our Lake Placid triathlon training camp (KYAH) a couple times which provided the invaluable opportunity to train on and learn the actual course. Training camp was also the perfect time to dial in his race nutrition and fueling plan.

Additionally, Coach Elizabeth and Jeremy put together a race execution plan. This plan including specific parameters for fueling, pacing, heart rate and overall out put. The plan also included mental strategies for the inevitable highs and lows throughout the day.

In the end, Jeremy did an outstanding job executing his race and finished his very first IRONMAN triathlon in 12:20.


Jeremy’s IRONMAN Journey – Q & A


Why did you sign up for IRONMAN?

It was a combination of a few things.

  1. One of my good friends did IMLP a few years ago and I saw the profound life-changing affect it had on him and I wanted to experience that.
  2. I wanted to really test my limits
  3. Find the next BIG CHALLENGE


Why did you decide to hire a triathlon coach?

Accountability & Structure (in training).

I know that when I have to answer to someone, I feel a “social pressure” to do what I said I am going to do. I also didn’t know how to structure certain parts of my training in terms of number of times per week – swim/bike/run as well as intensity levels and swim sets.


What was going through your head just before you jumped into the water and started swimming?

I got a littler emotional, knowing how much work I put in to just getting to the start line. I was also very thankful for so many things (family, good health, support system, coaches, ect)


What was the best part of the day?

Seeing my kids at mile 11 of the run and getting to high five them, seeing them so happy and cheering me on.


What was the hardest part of the day?

The back half of the marathon. I felt amazing to start my run but the back half was a real struggle. However, I did NOT stop moving my legs and NEVER WALKED.


What will you do differently next time (if anything)?

Have a stronger second half of the marathon.


What was going through your head when you crossed the finish line and Mike Reilly called you an IRONMAN?


It was a culmination of 7 months of hard training. I was happy I made the most of the time I had available to to train. I was very proud of myself… I am not one to pat myself on the back much, but crossing the finish line was a very proud moment of personal achievement.


I can’t imagine a better place to do an IRONMAN than Lake Placid. The town and surrounding area is something special.  – Jeremy


Learn more about RTA coaching here.



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