Featured Athlete, July 2019 - Jack Toland

Triathlete in aero on the bike portion of an Ironman
July 18, 2019

D3 Staff



Success on and off the race course - that's just what Jack Toland has been experiencing and we are proud to turn the spotlight on him!  His Coach, Brad Seng, noted that he's had a really strong year as an athlete and a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

In May he was awarded the most outstanding senior in CUs Aerospace Engineering program. Which is amazing recognition!  And, Brad shared that Jack's work ethic and commitment truly embody the D3 spirit of desire, determination, and discipline.  And the icing on the cake has been that his racing has been pretty incredible!  Recent stats include: include 4th OA and 1st AG earning a Kona slot at IM Santa Rosa in May, 1st OA amateur & 1st AG at the Herbalife LA Triathlon, 1st OA at the San Diego International with a 10k run PB of sub 35’, and that was on a borrowed bike!

If you want the secrets to his success, read through these four questions and his answers and you'll be ready to go fast too.

1. Congratulations on earning your spot to the 2019 Ironman WC!  Please tell us what that meant to you and how long you were pursuing the goal. 

Thanks! There are lots of variables and unknowns in an Ironman. Walking away with a great race execution and Ironman WC slot will always be very satisfying. I previously had the opportunity to take a spot for the Ironman WC after completing my first Ironman back in November 2015 (Arizona). However, being in my freshmen year at the University of Colorado, I decided that wasn't the right time. At that point, I decided I would race Kona down the road. With academic loads finally starting to subside, Brad and I decided this was a great year to go for it. I was excited to punch my ticket during my first "attempt". 

Jack shared an insightful race report from Ironman Santa Rosa on Slow Twitch and has given us permission to share it with our readers.

2. In May, you received a nice compliment from the University of Colorado, Boulder as the Outstanding Senior in CUs Aerospace Engineering program.  Please tell us about that and we would like to know: What's next and what is one thing you've learned as a student that translates to triathlon - or maybe vice versa? 

It was an honor to be recognized as the Outstanding Senior at graduation this year. Triathlon has taken a bit of a back seat over the past few years as academics became my primary focus and commitment. However, with Brad's help, the support of all my Aerospace Engineer peers, and the support of my CU Triathlon teammates, I've been able to find a great balance between academics and triathlon. Being recognized for that commitment was really special.

I'm in the CU Boulder Aerospace Engineering 5-year BS/MS program. I completed the undergraduate portion this past May and will be finishing my masters next May. I've got some exciting opportunities ahead and I plan to jump into a full-time position in the space/satellite industry after graduating next May. For now, I'll be focusing on finishing my degree and returning to race with CU Triathlon next spring.

In combination, I feel that triathlon and academics have really instilled a respect for the importance of both consistency and efficiency. I've now been racing triathlon for six years. Not all of that time has been spent dialed in with a full training load, but at the same time, I've been training close to year-round through the entire duration. I'm really starting to see the benefits of that consistency in durability, recovery, and fitness as I now ramp training back up. Efficiency has been the key to unlocking that consistency. When needed I can really trim down the overhead involved with getting my swim, bike and run workouts done. This allows me to keep some training going even when working to have more time for academics, other pursuits, and time with friends and family. 

3. Your coach, Brad, recognizes your work ethic and commitment both on and off 'the course'.  He notes that those characteristics embody the 3Ds.  Which of the 3Ds do you relate to most/best (desire, determination or discipline), and why?

That's a tricky one! I can pretty quickly narrow it down to determination or discipline. I feel that discipline really stands out and relates to the consistency I've been able to achieve in triathlon. While I feel many immediately associate discipline with not skipping workouts, I believe it is a little broader than that. Discipline is required to stay focused on the big picture plan. Workouts will shift, change, and get rearranged, but at the end of the day the work must get done - day in, day out.

4.  What's your preferred pre-race (night before) meal and breakfast the morning of a race (you've had a lot of wins lately, and I'll bet others want to know too!).

I don't do anything too fancy here, if anything I really try not to even think about it. As endurance athletes, we already eat and train everyday without issue. Sometimes you just wake up and race instead of train. As such, I'll make sure I'm not trying anything new the night before a race, but otherwise, I just eat as I would any other day. Race morning I will normally have some combination of bagel, banana, and Gatorade. Quantities vary depending on start time and distance. 


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