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10 Q’s with a Pro: Justin Metzler

Today we check in with three-time half-iron distance race winner Justin Metzler.

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With zero racing action for the foreseeable future and our “Last Weekend Now” column on hiatus indefinitely, we’ll be checking in with a pro every week to see how they’re coping—and hopefully learn a couple of fun facts. This week, the United States’ Justin Metzler checks in from Boulder, Colorado.

My first race of 2020 would have been…
I snuck in one race before everything started shutting down in March. I raced 70.3 Dubai in early February and then went up to Birmingham, England to get in the wind tunnel with my cycling coach Matt Bottrill. While in Dubai the pandemic really started to escalate and my travel home was super intense with everyone starting to get on edge. While I was in the UK, my next race (70.3 Taiwan) got canceled and then I started to realize that COVID-19 was likely going to have more impact on everyone’s plans that perhaps we originally thought.

I’m social distancing with…
My wife (fellow professional triathlete Jeanni Seymour) and my two-year-old dog Milli. I couldn’t ask for a better “quaranteam.”

My favorite indoor workout is…

Right now my number one focus is the bike and particularly my aerodynamics. So my favorite session at the moment is a super hard interval workout focusing on short bursts of power and a super aerodynamic position. I typically load up the session into Zwift to stay on top of the power and set up a mirror to monitor my position.

If I wasn’t a pro triathlete I would be…
Either an FBI agent or a journalist. I love the “all-in” type of focus that you need for both of those positions and see a lot of parallels to the sport of triathlon.

My favorite post-workout meal is…
Whatever Jeanni is whipping up! Some of my favorites include mushroom and red pepper omelets, smoothie bowls with granola, and—if it’s dinner time—gnocchi with a salad.

One change I’ve made that will probably stick is…
Sleeping in. Without having to be at the pool or at the track, we’ve been sleeping in about 1-2 hours later than we normally would and having a bit of a more relaxed morning. It’s been nice to have a bit of a slower pace and the work gets done, but just on a different timetable. Now if I can only convince my coach Julie to lay off the 5:45 a.m. start time for our first sessions—haha!

The last thing I watched on TV…
Ozark on Netflix. We have been waiting on the third season for months and binged the entire season in a few days. Other recent favorites include Outer Banks (Netflix), Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu), and The Last Dance (ESPN).

I knew I could be good at triathlon when…
I started beating my dad. My father started doing triathlon when I was a kid. I would always support him at the races but originally never thought multisport would be for me (at the time I was dead set on making it in the NBA). Despite having the height, I quickly realized once I got to high school that my skills were not quite where they needed to be to pursue that dream. I spent about a year trying a few things and ultimately was challenged by my dad to start training for a sprint triathlon with him. I frequently look back on our 10K “long runs” which took over an hour, we would run with a fuel belt and stop for a gel break half way through. Even though I loved training with my dad, I quickly started to surpass his paces and realized my lifelong dream of being a professional athlete might not be over just yet.

It would surprise everyone to know that…
I grew up the token “fat kid.” I grew out of that phase, but a lot of my motivation in my early triathlon years was to shed that persona that I was known for and turn myself into the person I wanted to be. Maybe there was some underlying talent, but the majority of the success that I’ve had has come from relentlessly pursuing this passion and trying to be the best version of myself.

The last thing that made me laugh…
Milli. She’s the cutest little thing and has the best personality. She makes me laugh every day with her mannerisms and playfulness. Despite the damage she did to the carpet and drywall as a puppy, Jeanni and I are grateful for her every day!

Justin’s sponsors: Quintana Roo, AfterShokz, Shimano, Castelli, First Endurance, AltRed, BlueSeventy, Boulder Sports Chiropractic, and RallySport

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