Taking it Outside of My Comfort Zone with Triathlon

Bob Brown is like most of the people we coach. He’s a family man, has a successful career and he is goal oriented. He is the classic, “over achiever,” who decides what he wants and figures out how to go and get it. Perhaps you can relate.

This was the year Bob wanted to break into triathlon. However, he didn’t want to “just do a sprint” triathlon.  He wanted to do a half IRONMAN or 70.3.

“I like signing up for things that are way out of my comfort zone and challenging myself to get them done,” Bob told us. “I constantly preach to my kids that they can do anything they want if they try. And I try to lead by example.”  We can DEFINITELY respect that!

Bob reached out to us back in February when he was interviewing coaches. After a conversation with Coach Elizabeth, he decided to give us the opportunity to help get him ready. Game on!


Curve Ball!

Then 2020 struck and it threw Bob a giant curve ball soon after he started training! Together, we adjusted his goals, training schedule and created a new plan of attack. We ultimately set a date for him to stage his own half ironman.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, triathlon and sport in general, has a way of forcing us to adapt and overcome. This is exactly what Bob did and he eventually completed his own half ironman / 70.3 race. His friends and family greeted him at the finish line and his son followed it up with a memorable speech… “I’m proud of you. Good job, Dad!”


Below is a quick Q & A with Bob on his first year in triathlon, staging his own half Iron-distance race and his plans for the future.


Q & A with Bob Brown

How and Why did you get into triathlon?

I got into triathlon to change things up a bit and I like challenges.

I’ve done some cycling and running in the past and I had just finished running the NYC marathon. Triathlon seemed like a good fit.

A few years ago, I heard about IRONMAN races.


Why did you decide to hire a coach and more specifically RTA to help prepare you for your races?

I knew I wanted to try a half ironman and possibly a full one day but I had no idea where to start. After briefly searching, I found RTA online, I called them and they returned my call immediately. I spoke to Elizabeth and after a brief conversation, I could tell she knew her stuff so I hired them the next day.


You recently completed a solo mission of 70.3 miles (half ironman), what was that like?

I happen to have some amazing friends who came out and supported me. Going solo wasn’t bad because I did most of my training alone. The worse part was the pouring rain on the bike. Fortunately, the race director allowed sock changes halfway through the bike!


What was the best part of the day? 

For me, there was two. Coming out of the lake and having my family standing on the dock cheering me on was an amazing moment. I am a new swimmer and have struggled with it so knowing I just completed the swim was a great feeling.

The second was crossing the finish line. I had a bunch of friends and family that came out to support me and my kids put a homemade medal on my neck. My 5 year old made a little speech and that was the best feeling in the world.



What was the worst/hardest part of the day and how did you overcome it?

The worse part was getting off the bike and starting the run. During transition from bike to run the rain stopped and it got hot and humid. I struggled getting my pace up to where I wanted it to be. I had to accept the fact that I wouldn’t be able to run as fast as I planned.


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

First, I would make sure that if it rains, I wouldn’t let my Endurolytes (electrolytes in pill form) get wet! Nasty!

Second, I would get my nutrition plan a little more dialed in. I had a great plan going in, but I was getting nauseous on the run when I tried to increase my pace.


What was going through your head when you crossed the finished line?

My head was spinning.

Training was an emotional rollercoaster. With COVID shutting down the gyms and pools, races getting cancelled and then deferred to other races, then cancelled again, it was great to finally get this done.


What’s next for you?

After I finished my race, as I was walking to my transition area (which was the back of my truck), I said to my wife “good news Bec, I have no interest in ever doing a full ironman” and she said “GREAT!”

Then a few hours later, I changed my mind. After a few weeks of negotiating with my wife, I am now registered for IRONMAN Lake Placid in 2021. I have a LOT of work to do!


Any general advice you’d give to others thinking about doing a half ironman / 70.3?

Hire Chris and Elizabeth and they will get you across the finish line! All you have to do is follow the plan and show up!

Go for it!




Are you interested in doing something EPIC? We work with a variety people with all kinds of goals. Whether you want to prepare for your FIRST triathlon (or run race), looking to go FURTHER and/or go FASTER. OR simply get in the BEST SHAPE OF YOUR LIFE… we want to help YOU!

Learn more about RTA triathlon / run coaching HERE and contact us for a FREE, no obligation training consult.


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