Train-or-Tri Sponsored Triathlete:
Chris Hughes – Why Tri?
Until the age of 29 I would only have described myself as a computer geek. I never played any sports at all. And when I mean no sports, I mean I didn’t learn to dribble a basketball until I was in my mid-20s. My fortune changed when I tore my ACL while trying to learn to snowboard.
The process of rehabilitating my knee after surgery was a big eye opener for me. I was so out of shape that simply doing the rehab exercises would exhaust me. At 28 years old I was unable to do 50 jumping jacks or even run ½ a mile. I needed a change quickly.
As a low impact exercise I started to teach myself to swim and really enjoyed it. I found myself going almost every day. My PT at the time suggested I get a bike. Having never ridden a road bike I went and got the cheapest one I could find and started riding around Bellingham.
Somewhere along the way someone dared me to try and compete in a triathlon. I had never run, so I got a pair of shoes and started running around lake Padden after work.
Fortunately before my first race I had the fortune of meeting Mo who informed me that the water would be very cold (my first race was in May) and that I should get a wet suit, and that my cargo shorts were not going to cut it. She also brought me into her spin class and taught me how to properly ride a bike.
I did my very first race and to my surprise placed 2nd in my division. A week later I decided to race in the Lake Padden Triathlon. After finishing Lake Padden I knew I was hooked on triathlon. I sold my 10 speed and purchased the best TT bike I could afford. From there I started to sign myself for more and more races, and longer and longer distances. I spent the next several years dropping 50+ pounds and slowly working to improve myself athletically.
My attitude towards triathlon has always been to try and be humble yet competitive. I like to see everyone do the best they can, and my primary goal is never to beat other people. Only to do better than I did the previous time. I work hard to make sure that people feel welcomed into the sport and not intimidated. I remember being out there with a cheap 10 speed and toe straps. I make it a point at races to walk around and encourage people who look nervous or unhappy.
I’m certainly not the fastest athlete in the world, but I have managed to work my way into the pointy end of the competition without losing sight of what’s important. Racing is supposed to be fun and I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do it.
My training approach is a quality over quantity approach. I train 8-14 hours a week depending on the time of year. I work hard to make sure that the time I train is not time I’m sacrificing with my family or my career. Balance is my approach, and I try to express that to people as often as I can.
Some comments about Mo Trainor, from Chris Hughes:
Having been an triathlete for several years I wasn’t even sure I needed a fit. But after odd pains and aches that kept coming up and looking to improve my performance I asked Mo to look at my fit. The hours she spent …dialing in my fit to perfection showed her skill and attention to detail. She truly understands the art and science of fitting triathletes on bikes. I was nervous with the dramatic changes that were made. However, Mo assured me I would feel much better on my rides.
To say I was blown away with the difference would be an understatement. I train with power, and the difference in wattage was almost unbelievable. I actually got off my bike and re-calibrated everything just to make sure everything was reading correctly. Not only did I feel better but I was pushing a lot more wattage with the same effort.
People often spend thousands of dollars for minor speed gains on a bike. Mo gave me more performance gains in her fitting than any aero equipment or gadget at a fraction of the price. I can say 100% that my fitting from TRAIN-OR-TRI was the best investment I made in my cycling in a long time. ~ Chris Hughes