I’ve known Jeff Spires for several years. Mostly from times I’ve seen him on podiums for winning his age group at road races. He has a great story that I’m thankful his was willing to share.
I don’t know a ton about your training background but I believe you started running/training later on in life. Could you tell us a bit about your training history and how you started running and performing triathlons?
I was a two pack a day smoker. At 30 the doctor told me I had the lungs of a 70 year old man. I couldn’t walk three flights of stairs without giving out of breath. A collapsed lung and weighed about 119 pounds. The first year of the augusta half marathon my sister wanted me to run it with her. I agreed and tried running the next day and literally couldn’t run a hundred yards. I had to walk back to my truck and almost passed out. I knew then I had to make a choice. I never picked up another cigarette. I completed that half marathon and I’ve went on to complete multiple 70.3 half Ironmans, 140.6 Ironman Florida, the Savageman 70, a 50k trail run, a marathon and several half marathons. My life is a complete 360.
Are you training for any particular even or race at the moment? Any fitness goals for 2018?
I’m training for the USAT Duathlon Nationals in Greenville SC in early April. Also the GA tri the parks series and the Augusta half Ironman.
Do you like to perform any sort of training outside of swimming, cycling, and running (lifting, plyometrics, circuit training, etc)?
Weights, hiking and some yoga.
Have you had any injuries over the last few years? If so, would you mind sharing how you managed to bounce back from it? Do you do any form of regular injury prevention?
IT band problems. If it hurt to run on a hard surface, I ran in the pool. Also resistance band exercises to strengthen the hips and IT. Also proper rest (the hardest to do. )
Favorite things about running. What’s your favorite…
Place to run? The NA Greenway
Running shoe? Brooks Adrenaline
Favorite triathlon gear? My Giant bicycle. Xterra wetsuit and a good kit(tri top and tri shorts.) and my carbo-pro endurance fuel
Running workout (tempo, intervals, long run, etc)? Race distance will determine the training type but I usually mix in tempo, distance and hill work.
Race distance to run (5k, 10k, marathon)? I run 5 and 10k’s but I like the longer distance endurance events
Favorite local race (as in a specific race; not a distance)? The Augusta Half Ironman
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start running or training for a triathlon?
Just do it. Seriously, if someone like me and the shape I was in can do it, then anyone can. Maybe look into hiring a coach or if finances are an issue, consider joining a local running or tri club. I recommend these two most of all. And a local masters swim class will be very beneficial also. And read, then read some more on everything you can, related to the sport you are considering. Running, cycling or triathlon shows no favorites and favors no one person or body type. It favors the one willing to train and work. It will give you nothing that you don’t earn through work. Hard work but worth it.