Congratulations to Anton Jager, the D3 March Athlete of the Month!
Coach Jim Hallberg nominated Anton and noted that he is consistent with his training plan (which as we know yields great results!) and he communicates well with his coach about the workouts, recovery and progress. Essentially, he embodies the athlete-coach partnership perfectly and it‚Äôs a pleasure to share his triathlon story. Anton is on his way to a successful season!
1. Why is triathlon an important part of your life?
I have been participating in triathlons for the last ten years. It keeps me mentally and physically fit. Having a demanding job, I use the training part as a form of relaxation and to get away. Not just physically, but also mentally. It keeps me fit and I am also fairly injury free, because I am changing up the routine of exercising.
2. What races are you focused on in 2015?
The main race I am focusing on is Boulder 70.3. I am doing my best to get a spot for IM70.3 Worlds in Austria, where I would be racing in my home area/town.
3. One of the reasons you are being recognized this month is for your ability to stay connected and communication with your coach. What advice do you have for other athletes and their communication with their coach?
I think communication is a key to success. I think it helps your coach know how you feel, if you are hurt, or just physically or mentally worn out. Your coach wants to get the best out of you as well, so it makes sense to communicate to him about progress (good or bad). Your coach can also be a good way to get you back on track physically as well as mentally. As long as he/she knows.
4. What‚Äôs your favorite piece (or two) of triathlon equipment and why?
My most favorite piece/part in triathlon is the bike. It‚Äôs because I feel I am a very strong rider and it does give me time to ‚Äòrelax‚Äô a little and I like to ‚Äòtune‚Äô in to the sound of my wheels.
5. If you could race anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
I love racing in Austria. I have done that race 4 times already (new and old course). I think it is a great course and it is fast. The spectators are great and there are lots of them, even on the bike course. They really help you get through some tough times, they keep you going.
6. Do you have a mantra or motivation strategy that goes through your mind when things get tough ‚Äì either in training or during a race?
There is no particular strategy or motivation I use. I think it depends on the race and what shape I am in physically or mentally. I always like to have the finish line on my mind. Friends and family that are waiting there for me. They also have a tough day. It is not easy for them either. Sometimes I start to break up the race into sections and take one section at a time, or I start to imagine I am running on my most favorite trails ‚Äì I envision the trees and turn by turn am going through the forest. Also, the pain in a race is short lived. The rewards are so much greater.
7. What is a favorite workout that Coach Jim gives you?
When I started this year, my most favorite was the swim. Jim just had a way to get me motivated to do 30 swims in 30 days. To be honest I think I swam as much in the 30 days as I swam all last year. Swimming was never my strong side and the least liked event in triathlons (in some ways it still is). Maybe it is because it is so short (in relative terms). Now I swim 3 days a week and I have gotten better at it. However, in the long term my most favorite workouts from Jim are the bike workouts. He does make them fun and he can make them challenging. Sometimes they are short and sweet and sometimes they are hard and a grinder. The work he/we put in does pay off.
8. What is something we should know about you (or you would like to share) that I‚Äôve not asked?
Anton with wife 1I started to get into sports when I was 40. I weighed 210 lbs and was not feeling to healthy. I started running and lost 30 lbs within a year. After about 3 years into it I got hooked on triathlons. This helped me to stay more injury free. I have a beautiful wife and 2 daughters. Both of them are grown up and out of the house. It did and does take time away from them, especially the Ironman training. I am very thankful that they put up with me throughout these times. I could not do this without them as well. They are there at the races cheering me on, waiting for me and being supportive.