Our featured athlete this month is Jonathan Yance. Jonathan just completed the Surf City Marathon in a time of 3:48:56. This is a 34 minute improvement from his last marathon just 4 months ago and over an hour improvement from his first marathon.
Jonathan’s dedication, discipline, and willingness to do whatever it takes to be successful earned him a spot as our featured athlete. Jonathan is no stranger to hard work, but he recently started down the path of endurance sports less than 2 years ago. Never running more than a mile at once, the distance of a marathon or half ironman triathlon would scare most people away. – Not Jonathan
Notice the rapid growth Jonathan has made in such a short time:
- First marathon in October of 2010 was a 4:51. Just over a year later he busts out a 3:48.
- First half marathon in May of 2010 was a 1:53 and in November of 2011 his second half marathon was a 1:36.
- First half Ironman in July of 2011 was a 5:51 and he is signed up for his second half ironman scheduled for April of 2012 – The Rage.
Q & A with Jonathan
What sports did you play in high school and/or college? I played only Basketball at the Varsity level in HS and played collegiately
What sparked your interest in running? Running was never appealing to me until recently. I couldn’t run anymore than a few miles. Sprinting up and down the basketball court for a game, I was good at, but long distance (>1mile) just wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t really have any interest until I signed up for my first 13.1. Come to think of it, it was probably more fear of failure than pure interest. Not until I got the right guidance and coaching did I really begin to truly be interested in all aspects of running.
You are also a triathlete. What sparked your interest in triathlons? My brother has been doing triathlons for 4-5 years and I never really thought much of it, but was always a little curious. To tell you the truth, I thought he was crazy.
In 2009 I fractured my ankle from Basketball and was in a cast for a couple months. As part of my rehabilitation, I decided to get some low-impact work and jumped in the water. Shortly after that I started to do some light jogging/running and then signed up for my 1st 13.1, which was the OC half marathon in May of 2010. I’m sometimes too competitive with myself and thought if I can do a half, then I can do a full and then signed up for LB 26.2 in October of 2010. After that my brother told me I should give triathlon a shot. If I can do 26.2 then why can’t I do a triathlon, right? So I signed up for my first triathlon which was Turkey Tri in November 2010. My dog paddling and poor performance got me hooked on the sport. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop.
When did you do your first triathlon? Turkey Tri in November 2010. My advice to 1st time triathletes; don’t let your first time in open water be on race day.
What other triathlon distances have you completed? Sprint, Olympic, & half.
What triathlons are you signed up for this year? Rage 70.3, Hawaii 70.3, and planning on Orangeman 70.3
Any interest in doing an Ironman? I have a burning desire to do an Ironman and 2015 will be my year. When I started triathlon, I told myself I wanted to wait until my kids get a little older so that they can somewhat remember. I want to set an example and use it as a life lesson for them.
What motivates you to train? I’ve been physically active for decades, whether it was basketball 5-7 times a week or weight lifting so I’m not new to putting in the work required to perform. Now that I have a family and career, finding the time seems almost impossible for most. I’m asked many times, “what motivates you?” My answer is simple…. My wife and kids motivate me. I want to be around for a very long time, pass along life lessons, and live life.
How do you balance training, family and work? “I don’t have time,” how many times have we heard that excuse? My mother always told me that there’s time for everything, you make the time and prioritize. Family is always first on my list followed by training and work (health before wealth). I always try and fit my training where it won’t directly affect family and work. This typically means getting it done when my family is still sound asleep and nothing needs to get done for work. That means getting up at 3:30/4am to get started by no later than 5. For longer weekend sessions, I always keep my wife in the loop and schedule it around family time.
Tell me about your family. My wife Olivia and I have two kids, a 3 year old boy named Andrew and daddy’s little 7 month old princess named Lauren. My wife has always been supportive in all that I do and I know she’ll always be by my side. She doesn’t come from a sports background, but has done a couple 5 & 10ks and has a 13.1 (Disney) on her resume. She recently started cycling and one day I will get her to do a triathlon (she doesn’t know this). My kids are Ironkids in the making as my eldest is always doing his own triathlons here at home.
What is the biggest training challenge? The biggest challenge for me is altering my nutrition to meet the demands of my training for any given week. Finding my optimal body composition for both training and racing is complicated, but I hope to have that down sooner than later.
Any advice for aspiring triathletes out there? My advice is to do your homework on the sport, sign up for a race, and decide if it’s for you. If you decide it’s for you, get a coach for guidance, advice, and to take you to levels you thought were impossible. Be prepared for a positive lifestyle change as training for endurance events will have a positive effect on all aspects of your life. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the journey.