Spotlight: Fezzari Triathlete Heath Thurston
Heath Thurston grew up a swimmer, but like many, gained some extra weight after getting married (50 pounds to be exact). In 2001 he started competing in triathlons as a way to get back into shape and has since won the St. George Triathlon five times as well as competed in seven Ironman events as well as numerous ultra-distance marathons. His personal Ironman record is 9:26. As he preps for one of his last contests of the 2011 season, the Austin Ironman 70.3, we thought this would be a perfect time to learn how he trains, especially during the off season.
1) What have been some highlights of your biking career so far?
Biking a 4:45 Ironman bike split in Ironman Florida in 2008. Being the first biker back to Sundance two years in a row at the RANATAD 165-mile bike ride. Biking around the South Island of New Zealand. Training for triathlons with Ironman World Champion Scott Molina.
2) How many miles did you ride last week?
Probably somewhere around 520-550 miles
3) What is your favorite race?
It’s probably a tie between St George Triathlon the Scofield Triathlon. (Heath is a 5-time winner of St. George Triathlon).
4) When did you start biking?
I started biking in 2001
5) What was your first bike?
First road bike was a super-sweet Schwinn Paramount with Scott aerobars (clipons).
6) What bike setup do you ride now?
I ride mostly Time Trial/traiathlon specific and some road bikes.
7) Why do you bike?
I am a pro triathlete and coach, and I love riding smooth and fast.
8 ) What is your favorite ride or route?
Southfork up Provo Canyon, and The Alpine Loop also up Provo canyon
9) What is your favorite time of day to ride?
Midday or afternoon, except for warm summer morning, I love getting out in the perfect cool morning air when not many people are out and the roads are clear.
10) What is your biggest goal with cycling?
To be able to come off the bike with some of the best triathletes in the world so I am in the mix for the win of the race.
11) What does an average training week look like for you?
3-4 hours a week of swimming, 10-15 hours of biking 100-200 miles and 5-10 hours of running 30-60 miles.
12) What do you do for training during the winter?
A lot of indoor and outdoor training, mostly on bike trainer rides.
13) What do you do for nutrition on long rides?
I do anywhere from 300-400 calories an hour in mostly liquid nutrition
14) What races did you do or have planned for 2011?
March-Buffalo 50 miler run 7th overall in 7:23, May– Ironman St George-finish time 10:09, May-Timp trail marathon 5:09, June-Salem Sprint Triathlon 1st overall 58:10, June-Boise 70.3 16th overall 4:15, July-Scofield Escape Triathlon, August-Lake Stevens 70.3, October-Austin 70.3