>There are few professional triathletes today that are as well known for their swim as is Andy Potts. He is typically among the first athletes (if not the first) out of the water at all of his races. He was an All-American swimmer at the University of Michigan. The reality is, though, that Andy Potts, the triathlete, is so much more than just a swimmer.
While being the first athlete out of the water may proffer a few moments of lead coming out of transition, as we all know that triathlons are won during the last two legs of the event. Potts success has come not just from his ability to swim fast, but rather his ability to put together complete races.
Potts has had a prolific career at every distance imaginable. He was an Olympian in 2004. He excels at ITU, and in 2006 finished the season ranked third in the world. Potts is extremely strong at the 70.3 distance – with victories at New Orleans, Boulder, Steelhead, and Timberman in the past two years. 2010 has been a breakout year for Potts at the 140.6 distance – he won his first Ironman race this year at Coeur D’Alene and followed that with a victory at Cozumel last month.
Sit back and enjoy this week’s “Ten Questions With…Professional Triathlete Andy Potts”.
|Photo courtesy: Gazette.com|
TM: First off, congratulations on an outstanding 2010 season! Victories at New Orleans, Boulder and Timberman, plus your first Ironman win (at Coeur d’Alene), and your Ironman Cozumel win. What stands out as your highlight of the year?
AP: The highlight of the year for me was winning my first Ironman in Coeur d’Alene. It was a huge win for me and one that I will always remember. My family was waiting for me at the finish line and it was such a joy to celebrate with them.
TM: You’re well known as a super stud swimmer. You swam at Michigan and were a 6-time All-American. You swam in the 1996 Olympic Trials (400 IM, 400 Free, 1500 Free). What was your favorite distance/stroke?
AP: My favorite event was the 400 IM. It show my versatility and my strength as a swimmer.
TM: I’ve read that you also ran track for Michigan. What events did you compete in, and how successful were you?
AP: I wasn’t very successful as a runner. I walked onto the team in my fifth year at Michigan. My biggest asset to the team was that I was dependable in practice and I could push our better runners. I would always rub it in when I got the best of them in a workout telling them they got beat by a swimmer. I ran mostly the mile (4.20 was my best).
TM: Why do you think former competitive swimmers turn out to be such good triathletes?
AP: I think swimmers are really tough and that toughness translates directly to triathlon.
TM: You’ve raced everything from ITU to IM distance races now. What’s your favorite distance and style (drafting or not) and why?
AP: I’m a fan of anything that involves swimming, biking, and running. I don’t really have a favorite distance. I think I like the challenge of trying to excel at all types and distances. It keeps me motivated and excited to compete.
TM: You finished 21st at Kona last month, in your third race on the Lava fields. Your swim was epic at 48 minutes. How would you describe the race and your strategy that day?
AP: My race strategy was go hard from the gun. I walked away from Kona this past year with a lot of lessons learned. I was very disappointed with my race as a whole. I was hoping and planning for a lot better performance.
TM: How do you approach race day nutrition (in general)?
AP: I try to be smart about my nutrition but also not over think things. I don’t want to complicate an already difficult day. I try to keep things simple and fuel as much as my body can handle.
TM: What workout causes you to cringe the most when you see it on your training plan (because you know it will hurt the most)?
AP: I don’t do much cringing when it comes to training. I don’t necessarily get excited about 5 hour bike rides but I try to be positive and make the most out of it. The minute I get negative is the day that I retire.
TM: What is your 2011 race schedule shaping up to look like? Will you continue your focus on 70.3, or will you do more 140.6? Maybe Rev3?
AP: I haven’t given much thought to 2011 yet. I know it will include races with a wide range of distances (sprint all the way up to Ironman). If it involves swimming, biking, and then running I want to do it well.
TM: If you could give one tip to a “typical” age group triathlete, what would it be?
AP: I’d say to try to maximize your time in training by doing combo workouts – run after you ride, ride after you swim, or even run after you swim.
TM: How do you spend your non-triathlon time?
AP: I hang out with my family! I have an awesome wife and two kids – a son and a daughter. I really enjoy my time as a father and husband.