Athlete of the Month, March 2014 – George Epley
Athlete of the Month
We are excited to introduce you to George Epley, our March ‚Äô14 Athlete of the Month. In his nomination, his coach shared how truly impressed she is with his commitment to training. He does not let challenges stop him from getting the work done: busy work schedule, crazy east coast weather, no problem! George truly listens to her advice, and finds himself getting stronger week-after-week!
Enjoy the Q&A with George.
Please tell us about the race season you have planned?
South Beach Sprint, NYC and Chicago Olympic, Engleman, Timberman and‚Ä® Austin 70.3, a few USAC events and hopefully a full cyclocross season. I‚Ä® also built a track bike this winter, so I‚Äôm hoping to get a few races in‚Ä® on the velodrome. Oh yeah, and I‚Äôm in the NYC Marathon lottery (fingers ‚Ä®crossed).
Which race are you most excited about?
Two, really. Timberman 2013 was my first 70.3 and I was full of doubt,‚Ä® so I‚Äôm looking forward to racing it this year with more confidence. The ‚Ä®other one is the NYC Olympic. The transition area is one block from my‚Ä® apartment, so I get to sleep in a bit longer on race day!
I really enjoy the muscular balance triathlons provide and the ability to‚Ä® train at a high volume, but minimizing overuse injuries. Plus, every day ‚Ä®is different with a lot of variations, and that helps on the motivational ‚Ä®front.
What motivates you to keep training?
I was very deconditioned for a number of years; obesity, hypertension,‚Ä® high LDL, low HDL, pre-diabetes and sleep apnea combined with taking a‚Ä® hand full of George E swimmedications to make it all better. After a big wake up call ‚Ä®in 2011, I lost 80 lbs. Motivation during the weight loss was easy for‚Ä® me. However, getting motivated in the first place was the hard part, but I‚Ä® thank Rich Roll and his book ‚ÄúFinding Ultra‚Äù for that. I so related to‚Ä® Rich‚Äôs story. An other big motivator for me is the fact that we, as a‚Ä® country, are closing in on a 35% obesity rate and its mind boggling how‚Ä® poorly this country eats. I mean, if you want motivation, go hang out at‚Ä® a food court in any mall in this country. It‚Äôs a very scary sight.
Please tell us about your work and/or family.
I started my 25th year at MTV this year and it‚Äôs been an amazing‚Ä® experience. I work with some great people and really love my job, and yes,‚Ä® I have some great stories. I have 3 daughters one of them is massage ‚Ä®therapist and the other is a nurse (almost) ‚Äì so I‚Äôm putting together a‚Ä® good race support crew.
How are you balancing your training with the rest of your life?
I don‚Äôt stress over balancing my training schedule with the rest of life. ‚Ä®I think being flexible is really important. Some nights I have to train ‚Ä®late at night ‚Äì it‚Äôs just part of the deal. I discovered this winter‚Ä® that only viewing two weeks of training at a time on my TP account is‚Ä® the right amount of information. If I see more than that, I feel‚Ä® overwhelmed; if I see less than that, I feel out of control. Also, I try‚Ä® to get business trips on the calendar as early as possible so my coach‚Ä® can see busy weeks and plan accordingly. I have so much respect for all‚Ä® AG triathletes and their time management skills, but like any skill, it‚Ä® needs to be worked on.
Who is your coach at D3 and how has your coach helped you with your goals?
Martina is my coach and the very first thing she said to me is ‚Äúdo what I ‚Ä®say and you will get faster‚Äù, so I started listening, and guess what? I‚Ä® got faster! Also, she had me work on my posterior chain over the winter‚Ä® and it‚Äôs really improved a weak area in my game. Coach Martina knows what‚Ä® training my body needs for development and applies that training on a‚Ä® daily basis. It‚Äôs been great working with her and I‚Äôm looking forward‚Ä® to our first racing season together.
If you could write a workout for your coach, what would you include in that workout and why?
Martina and I both enjoy cold, rainy, muddy training sessions so maybe a ‚Ä®few cyclocross intervals in a mud pit would be fun. Based on the‚Ä® transition area at Austin this past October, it actually may be of ‚Ä®benefit to our triathlon program.
Share a favorite race moment.
The moment that stands out the most was my fist triathlon, the South‚Ä®Beach sprint, last year. It‚Äôs an Ocean swim and the surf was very rough. I was in cue‚Ä® for the swim start just full of fear and rattled nerves, and a few AG waves in front of me the paratriathletes started the swim. I‚Ä® don‚Äôt think I have ever been more in awe of the human spirit than at ‚Ä®that moment. It made all of my fears seam really unimportant. All the‚Ä® paratriathletes are so amazing!
If you had to pick spending a training day with Dave Scott or Scott Molina, who would it be and why?
No disrespect to those guys, but any age grouper with a 70+ on his left ‚Ä®calf during a race is a guy I want to train with. I‚Äôm really interested‚Ä® in the post 70 athlete. I think that‚Äôs an AG category that‚Äôs just going to‚Ä® keep growing in numbers.
Is there anything else you would like to share or we should know about you?
For me triathlon has not only opened some amazing physical opportunities, ‚Ä®but some cognitive and social opportunities as well. I spend as much time‚Ä®training as I do learning about the effects of training on the body. As‚Ä® coach Mike says ‚Äù we never stop learning‚Äù. As a result I have recently‚Ä® earned my USA Cycling level 2 coaching certification and I plan on ‚Ä®taking my ACSM-CPT certification test in a few weeks. For me it‚Äôs so ‚Ä®important to give back to a sport that has given me so much.
George also finds time to enjoy a little fishing!