Athlete Spotlight: Tony Huffman

Oh Tony Huffman, what can be said about Namffuh? Well, he’s definitely one of our more outspoken athletes who is never at a loss for words. We’re excited to see him race Ironman Louisville along with fellow BASE athletes Amy Hampton, Tommy Costantiello (featured tomorrow!), and Chris Lang.  His answers are honest and I can attest to talking Tony off a ledge 🙂 GO GO GO!

Primary events: Louisville Ironman…  This will be my first Ironman.  And is my ‘A’ race for the season.  I also did Muncie 70.3 (37.2) which was shortened because of the massive heat.  I ran Cap City Half Marathon (PR’d).  I am planning on a fall marathon, just not sure which one I am doing yet.

What is your athletic background:I grew up playing baseball and I wrestled all through middle and high school.  I was a weekend warrior and played softball and golf.  Once I got into endurance sports I gave up softball and golf.  Needed to concentrate on the endurance sports and got to be expensive trying to do everything.

Why did you choose BASE Tri Fitness as your training program provider:  I had a coach for two years before joining Base Tri.  I needed a coach who was able to give me one on one attention.  LU was able to provide that.  She is ALWAYS available via email and phone.  She has talked me off the “ledge” a few times.  She is always willing to meet and discuss my progress and adjust the plan depending.  Most important she is there to put a foot up my ass when I need it.  She is not afraid to call me out and make me focus on the goals I set at the beginning of the year.

What has been the most challenging part of your training so far: Finding balance… That balance between family, training, work and life is tough.  Training for an Ironman is a full-ish time job.  Being able to handle life and training has been tough.  Fortunately, I have and amazing, accommodating wife, Christine, without her support and blessing I could never have been able to train the way I have.  For the past few weeks (peak training) she has been a single mom on the weekends as I have been gone hours at a time training.  

What has been the most enjoyable part of your training: That sense of accomplishment; looking at my training schedule and knowing that I WILL/HAVE finished it.  There of course have been hiccups, but knowing that I can and have done the training.  Seeing the change in the mental aspect of my training has been amazing.

What have you accomplished so far that you never dreamt you’d accomplish: Being prepared for an Ironman, I wanted to do one last year (2011), but having a baby (Max) made it difficult to train and be prepared.  When I decided to try again I was stressed by everything that came with it.

Also, looking forward to a “short/easy” hour workout.  I used to struggle to get to an hour swim or run without thinking “when will this be over” now an hour seems like it’s too short. 

Swimming the distances I have still makes me smile.  I am NOT a swimmer!

What is your favorite music to train to:I actually don’t listen to music when I train.  For the past few months, since May, I have been headphone free.  I made the decision to go completely input free when looking at my day for Ironman.  It will be a 12-13 hour day with no audio distraction, thus why I left the iPod behind.  However, when I do have the distraction with me on long days, I would listen to pod casts (IM Talk, TWIT, Zen Triathlon, This American Life or Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me) or an audio book it is nice to get lost in the book and run for hours.     

Favorite workout: As far as, the actual workouts, my most enjoyable we the “Heart Rate” runs (Lauren will be shocked by this).  It took me a long time to buy into the concept of Heart Rate training, but when I started to see the results I was hooked.  When I see a “zone __” run I would make a game of it to try to hit the numbers and stay within the parameters in that zone.  It would make the “20 minute warm up, 8 x ½ mile at zone 3 with 2 minutes easy in between, the rest easy” run so much easier and it would go by fast.

Least favorite workout:As I said earlier, I am NOT a swimmer “I only doggie paddle” (think: Andre the Giant, The Princess Bride).  For me the swim in a triathlon is “survive until the bike”.  As I have done the swim workouts I always feel great and amazed that I did them and how far I went in the swim.  That being said, the worst part of the workout is the 4x (50 kick/50 swim).  I HATE THE KICK! I know that it is very important, but I get bored and it slows the workout down.  Lauren can attest that I will routinely put “hate the kick” in my log.

If you could tell other athletes one thing you have learned so far in your training what would it be?  Trust your Coach!!! She has your goals and interest in mind.  She doesn’t make up your training plan for her she does it for you!If you add, subtract, move or change your workout TELL HER!  She needs this information to adjust your plan.  She knows what she is doing, that’s why you hired her in the first place!     

Any embarrassing moments or stories?  “Making babies is the easy part”…  Those that were on the London Strawberry Ride will remember this quote.  We were about 15-20 miles from the finish of the ride and stopped at the last food stop and were talking to one of the local volunteers, He was probably 17-18ish, and my son came up.  The volunteer mentioned that he wanted kids, but he needed to find a woman who he liked, to which I said “you don’t have to like her, making babies is the easy part.”  Then as karma does, as we rode to the end of the ride; I got attacked by a bird!

What is your equipment line up:

Cervelo P1 with Beyond Fabrication carbon wheel set (55mm,88mm)

Giro Aero helmet for shorter races

Giro helmet

Zoot racing flats for shorter races

Asics Nimbus

Halo running hat (which is the BOMB!)