Athlete Interview

Interview: Joe Legatz, Amway Employee and Half Iron Triathlete

Joe Legatz is a Lead Instructional Design Consultant working in the Training & Education department at Amway North America. He has worked there since 2009, but in his spare time he trains as a half iron triathlete and enjoys playing soccer. Brand new to the triathlon world just last fall, Joe is competing in the 2014 Grand Rapids Triathlon and plans to do his first full triathlon at this year’s MI Titanium on August 24th.

Q: How did you get started in triathlons?
My first official triathlon was the 2013 Michigan Titanium half distance. Before that, I had done several “backyard” triathlons. Basically, a bunch of friends get together a couple times each Summer on a Saturday afternoon, have a fun race on a course that’s even shorter than a sprint tri, and then hang out together and have a picnic. Soccer has been my lifelong passion – some would say “obsession”. But soccer is a contact sport and takes a toll on the body, and one of these days I won’t be able to compete with 20-somethings anymore. So I’m starting to get into triathlons as a replacement sport.

Q: What’s your favorite discipline and why?
I don’t have a favorite. Before all the training last year, I would have said running was my least favorite… but I’ve learned to enjoy going for a run. I enjoy all three equally.

Q: What was your triathlon highlight moment?
Crossing the finish line last year at the Michigan Titanium with my training buddy, Brian. We met up during the run, and it was fun to cross the finish line together since we trained all summer together.

Q: What’s been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge is nutrition. Right now I’m struggling with figuring out a nutrition plan for the full distance tri, which I’m going to do for the first time at the Michigan Titanium in August.

Q: What does your weekly training schedule look like?
I try to get one long run and one long ride each weekend, along with one shorter run and ride during the week. And, when the weather is warm enough, I swim once or twice a week. Aside from that, I play soccer four or five times a week.

Q: Any pre-race rituals?
Does double-checking and triple-checking my gear (to make sure I have everything) count?

Q: Who inspires you?
I’m pretty much self-motivated. I participate because it’s fun and because I want to challenge myself. I admire anyone who does the work necessary to cross the finish line. And I am very thankful to have an indulgent and supportive wife!

Q: How do you reward yourself after hard training or tough races?
I don’t incentivize myself with any special rewards – I enjoy athletic activity, challenging myself athletically, and competition. Participating is enough of a reward for me.

Q: What are your race goals for 2014?
My number one goal is to have fun. Aside from that, I’d like to manage my race better. Last year – full of rookie enthusiasm – I attacked the bike course. I didn’t have anything left for the run. This year I want to hold back just a little bit when I’m on the bike so I can finish with a good run.

Grand Rapids Triathlon

Grand Rapids Triathlon

We are the largest independent triathlon and proud host of five USAT National Championships over the course of our nine-year history. While our event brings in some of the best athletes from across the country, we have also been named one of the Top 5 Best Triathlons for Beginners in the country according to Triathlon Business International. This triathlon event is a chance for athletes of all skill levels to compete on a scenic riverside course, perfect for the novice through the seasoned triathlete. Offering Sprint, Olympic, and Half distance Triathlons, Aquabike, Swim and Relay events, this USA Triathlon sanctioned event promises heart-pounding excitement from start to the finish.