Athlete of the Month, September 2013 – Ryan Huges
Athlete of the Month
Ryan qualified for and will be competing in Kona in a couple of weeks! Ryan‚Äôs coach, Jim, is pleased to share that Ryan finished 2nd in his age group at IM Louisville and two weeks later competed at the 70.3 World Championships in Vegas. He is currently working on his PhD and is recently engaged to be married.
What motivated you to get started in triathlon?
While I was in graduate school at the University of Tulsa, I became very good friends with a professor there named Gordon Purser. He had recently starting living a very active lifestyle and attempting all sorts of crazy endeavors. He had starting running marathons, competing in triathlons, etc.,
and he was all about getting his students, family, and friends involved. He begged me for several years to do a triathlon and after avoiding them for as long as possible, I finally caved in and agreed. With no biking, swimming, or running background I competed in a sprint triathlon one Saturday, and followed in with an Olympic on Sunday. Even though I almost drowned in the lake, I was hooked! Ever since I have been slowly challenging myself to longer and harder distances and Gordon Purser has been there with me for every inaugural attempt.
Your best triathlon moment?
My very first Ironman was in Cozumel. It was a bucket list item and something that I just wished to finish. Coming out of the swim I realized I had not put my bike jersey in my T1 bag. Per WTC rules, you must wear a shirt while on the bike. Therefore I spent 10 minutes asking someone for a t-shirt to borrow until I finally found a XXL Old Navy shirt which was used as a towel. I ribbed off the sleeves, tied the bottom in a knot and proceeded to bike 112 miles!
What is your favorite race and why?
Ironman Cozumel. The place is beautiful, the support from the locals is incredible, and it has the most crystal clear waters to swim in that I have ever seen.
If you could spend a day training with anyone, who would it be?
I think I would like to train with my dad. If I wanted it to be a hard training day I would spent it with my dad from 20 years ago, but I would really enjoy the company and the companionship of biking with my dad for a day.
What‚Äôs your favorite workout?
I love speed work on the bike. So my favorite workout would have to be anything that involves pushing myself above threshold such as a 40K time trial
What your least favorite workout?
OW swims or swimming by myself.
What is your current job?
I am a graduate student at Texas A&M University in pursuit of my PhD in biochemistry sometime this century.
How does it affect training?
For me its the opposite. My work hardly gets in the way of training other than having to spend some late nights on the trainer instead of being outside where I would like to be! However, my training does sometimes affect my work. I do find that I am a little less attentive and sometimes not as diligent in my work. After years of trying to balance the two, I finally have an equilibrium of training hard and working hard that still allows to have a normal social life
How has Coach Jim helped you reach your goals?
It was all the little things. How to hydrate properly, how to take in your nutrition, and how to train with a purpose. He made me join a Masters swim class, which is the best thing one can do to become a faster swimmer. He MADE me do all my biking outside. This took some sacrifices but ultimately made me a much better and more confident biker. Ultimately he instilled in me the confidence I needed to go into a race knowing that I was capable of performing my best and competing for podiums.
Tell us something interesting about you!
I have two dogs, a Siberian Husky (Sasha) and a German Shepherd (Karben) and they accompany me on all my recovery walk/runs!