There aren’t many people who have done so many triathlons they don’t remember exactly how many they’ve done. But David Althoff, IT support technician at VISI (a hosted and managed services company that is part of TDS), can’t come up with an exact number off the top of his head. He thinks he’s done, “around 20,” since he started doing triathlons in 2006.
What makes David’s story extra amazing is he only started training for his first event as a favor to a friend (who ended up backing out before the race). Prior to his first triathlon David wasn’t particularly into running, biking, or swimming. But, he finished that first race and has been hooked on triathlons ever since. David’s next event will be one of the most well-known triathlons in the world—the Ironman.
The Ironman triathlon, in David’s words, is special. There is a definite mystique about finishing one of the longest triathlons around. The Ironman requires participants to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles in less than 17 hours. The next Ironman will be in Wisconsin, in the Madison area, on September 8, 2013.
While you could argue that simply completing the grueling event is a win, David’s goal is to finish the Ironman in less than 12 hours. He’s been training since December of 2012 to make that goal, long before he started working at VISI in April. But perhaps that job change was meant to be because, when he was scheduled for New Employee Orientation in Madison, Wis. he came a day early so he could practice the nearby Ironman bike route.
Biking isn’t the only training he’s done though. He’s been working to increase his running, swimming, and his biking to build his endurance. His training hours peaked in mid-August at 20 hours a week, followed by incremental decreases in the weeks following to let his body rest a bit before the event. David said with a laugh, “Welcome to my part time job. Triathlons are definitely a lifestyle.”
If you’re in the area, be sure to come out and cheer David on. He says he’ll be wearing the same black, white, and red “Now” outfit he’s wearing in the photos and will be bib number 1804. But, even you can’t watch the race, you can be sure he’ll have a big smile on his face at the end when he hears the words, “David Althoff, you are an Ironman!”
Fun training facts: last year David ran 862 miles, biked 1117, and swam 13. So far in 2013, David has already put in over 2,500 total training miles—the same as the distance between Chicago and Caracas, Venezuela!