Being optimistic, recognizing the good in situations that don‚Äôt necessarily go our way ‚Äì those are traits you want to incorporate on a daily basis. According to his coach, our January Athlete of the Month is strong in both of those areas. Coach Martina nominated Frank Garber and indicated that he has had more than one stone rolled his way, but has dodged them each time and persevered. He incorporates his family into making decisions about where he races and it‚Äôs clear how much he appreciates their support. Martina also noted that Frank is a happy person and a pleasure to coach! Sounds like a terrific person to meet, and it is a pleasure to introduce you to Frank Garber.
Enjoy his Q&A.
1. You live in the south, and my first thought is how impressive it is for anyone to race in the south because of humidity. I admire your ability to make it to the finish line, and wonder if you notice it, are challenged by it, or how you accommodate for it when you train and race?
Here in south Louisiana, it is very humid. I really do not notice it much except in the winter. I do not mind the heat and humidity, but the cooler moist air in winter gets the best of me at times. Training in hot months requires frequent water stops and consideration of using electrolyte replacement capsules on really long days. Training in cooler months usually also includes rain and that requires some thought into choosing the right attire. I do not like to train indoors.
2. What accomplishments (or things learned) from the 2014 race season will carry over with you into the 2015 race season?
In 2014 my big event was the Texas Ironman. I was 12 to 13 pounds lighter than 2013, and I shaved off 1 hour 6 minutes off of my time.
My training was better with D3 Multisport support. I think the weight loss made a huge difference. Also, training days that include two events are crucial. In years past if I was tight on time I would do the longer and drop the shorter training event and that was a mistake. So weight and sticking to the D3 plan Martina has set are my focus for 2015.
3. What are your key races in 2015? What are you looking forward to most about those races?
2015 key races are IM Texas in May and IM Wisconsin in September. For IMTX this will be the 3rd time I will do the race, and I just love it because it is such a spectator friendly event ‚Äì all of my family attends. For IMWI this will be my first time there, but it has always been a consideration for our family because my wife is from Wisconsin and we plan to include her family in the triathlon events.
4. Based on your reported athlete results, it looks like you also enjoy running. Is that your favorite sport in swim, bike, run? If so, please describe why, if not, please share which one is!
Actually, cycling is my favorite. I fell in love with cycling when my Uncle Orlando began to teach me about bikes 30+ years ago. I have been obsessed with cycling over the years and my love for it continues on. Uncle ‚ÄúO‚Äù would be proud.
5. What is a top-favorite race memory?
On the swim with about 1/2 mile to go I spotted my family who walked a path along the channel cheering me on as I approached the end of the swim.
6. Who or what inspires you to get up and get going, train and stay focused on your goals?
My friend, Mark Miller, he has completed 30 full Ironman distance races. He is always up beat and encouraging. Always willing to offer support and advice. He just keeps on going as an athlete and he inspires me to get up, get going, finish a program and pick another race. The camaraderie is awesome.
7. What is a favorite bit of training, racing advice (or favorite workout) that Coach Martina has given you?
Martina‚Äôs best training advice lies with her plan. To train with workouts that will benefit me more with shorter workout times, making the best use of time. My favorite workouts are interval focused, especially running intervals and cycling intervals on my indoor trainer (the only thing I like indoors).
8. Is there anything else you‚Äôd like to share about yourself?
Life is busy. With family and work obligations it is hard to get all of my training completed.
I do my best to stick to our plan. I envision a lifetime of health and fitness, hoping to be able to continue this lifestyle for a long, long time. Ultimately, I hope to pass on to my children the love of fitness, training and participating in events such as marathons and triathlons.