“Rocket fuel” Propels 21-Year-Old Pro Triathlete

“Rocket fuel” Propels 21-Year-Old Pro Triathlete

William-Huffman-cropped-6-15William Huffman’s triathlete career dates back to his childhood days when he would ride his mountain bike alongside his father on recreational runs. They ran their first 5K together when William was 10.

Dreaming of the Olympics

“At that point, I knew I wanted to be a runner,” says Huffman, who joined the cross-country team in middle school, then took up competitive swimming to stay in shape after an injury in high school. “I stuck with those two sports. I had two of the three down for triathlon. All that while, I always dreamed of the Olympics but knew it was pretty unrealistic until I did my first triathlon. I didn’t know until after my second triathlon that it was even an Olympic sport. Once I found that out, I knew I had to give my dream a chance. I earned my pro card during my second triathlon in 2010 and have been racing professionally pretty much since then.”

Huffman, 21, is now ranked in the top 80 triathletes in the world and the top six or seven in the United States. He was champion in the Under-23 Nationals in 2013 and 2014, champion in the Under-23 Pan America, and bronze in the Elite Nationals. Since late 2011, he has been coached by Greg Mueller, based in South Bend, Ind. He met Mueller at an Olympic training center camp and sought him out a year later, when he decided to get a new coach after a year with Dallas-based coach Sean Thompson set him on track for a career.

Triathlon Lifestyle

“I knew pretty quickly after reaching out to him that it was a good match,” Huffman says. “Personal connection is a huge part of a coaching relationship. Greg is great at checking in to see how I do and reading what’s best for my body day to day. I wake up and check in with him, and he tells me what the plan is. You have to embrace the lifestyle that comes with triathlons. I say I’m from Dallas, but in reality, I’m out of the suitcase most of the time.”

He’s spending the summer in South Bend, after a winter training camp in Nevada. Mueller chooses practice locations tailored to the environment of upcoming races – Texas, for example, when the competition is in a hot climate. Huffman is aiming for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but he expects he has a more realistic shot at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“I’ve come a long way in the past five years I’ve been doing the sport,” he says. “I still have a long way to go. The Olympics is really the pinnacle of the sport. You have to be the very best to compete on that stage. That’s my goal and that’s what I’m shooting for. I’m not quite at that point, but that’s what gets me up every morning and motivates me to be my best. Most people don’t peak until their later 20s in this sport. I have plenty of years ahead of me.”

Huffman struggled with hot-weather races until a running specialist in Boulder, Colo., recommended The Right Stuff® (NASA-developed electrolyte drink additive) in 2012. He introduced it to Mueller, who has shared it with other athletes.

I was amazed at the technology behind it (The Right Stuff) and the science.

“I could not get hot weather races down,” he says. “I’d get tunnel vision, I’d get dizzy, I’d be really slow in those races, especially the longer they went on as I got into the run. They just never went well. kiwi_strawberryI was amazed at the technology behind it and the science (Editor’s Note: Summaries and links to numerous NASA-published studies are available at www.TheRightStuff-USA.com) . Since then, hot weather races are my favorite ones to target. I just feel a phenomenal difference in endurance and strength in hot weather.

“I’ll use the product the night before and 3 hours before with water. If I do that adequately, I’m set for the race; I’m good to go. I just have some water, and I don’t even need that much of that. I don’t end up as thirsty during the race. I don’t get as hot. I have better thermal regulation. I feel stronger. I can breathe more easily. It’s just incredible the difference I feel. It’s like rocket fuel.

National Champion High Jumper Set the Bar High!

National Champion High Jumper Set the Bar High!

Dusty Jonas USA over barNearly two decades ago, when Dusty Jonas was in grade school in Texas, he tried a variety of sports through CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) before he focused on the high jump in track.

“I started pretty young playing a lot of different sports,” he says. I had my first track meet, which down there we did it through CYO. I did soccer, basketball, track. At that age, 9 or 10, I wasn’t particularly good at any of them but I wasn’t bad either. I dropped soccer – too much running for me. I’ve been high jumping since then. I didn’t really get to an elite level until high school,” where he improved nearly a foot – from 6 feet 2 inches to 7 feet 1 inch – between his sophomore and junior years.Nebraska Cornhuskers

Jonas won a national championship with the University of Nebraska and made the U.S. Olympic Team as a high jumper in 2008 (Beijing) but sat out 2102 with an Achilles tendon injury. Now he is aiming for a spot on the U.S. 2016 Olympics.

Aiming for the U.S. 2016 Olympics

“They say the prime age for a high jumper is 28 to 30,” Jonas says. “I’m right in that right now. I feel good. I’m starting to really feel confident in what I’m able to do. Strength levels are good.”

Jonas has volunteered as a track coach at the University of Nebraska for the past five years, drawing on his own experience to help others as he adopts a final-year training regimen for his own Olympic hopes.

Dusty Jonas going over the bar“I started as a long and triple jump coach,” he says, “I did high jump, long jump, and triple jump in college. I really enjoy the vertical jumps as well. As a developing coach that really wants to learn, you want to have a broad knowledge of all the events. This year I’m working with my high jumpers and working with the men’s short sprints and hurdles. We’ve got a really good squad.”

A nutritionist at the University of Nebraska introduced Jonas to The Right Stuff early in 2014.

I get less muscle soreness and I feel a lot better hydrated during my workouts

“I got my hands on it from being around here,” he says. “I notice that during my training, especially days when I am running, days when it is hot, I get less muscle soreness I feel a lot better hydrated during my workouts.”

Jonas has already jumped 7 feet 8.5 inches this year, close to a personal best and a sign of successful rehab after his injury.

“I’ve jumped the highest I have since 2008,” he says. “This year will be the third year of my four-year cycle. The intensity is going to ramp up a little bit. I’ll start fine-tuning some things. It’s back on the up-and-up. I think I’ve got some good years left in me. And, The Right Stuff is unique in the way it really helps me to meet my hydration needs

How to Overcome Exercise-Caused Dizziness? Olympian and Ironman Champ Shares How

JZ-Wins-Half-MarathonJoanna Zeiger, who had been swimming from age 7 through college, got hooked on triathlons when she won her age group in her first race in 1994.

“I was looking for a new challenge,” she recalls. “Once I did my first race, I got hooked. I knew early on I had some talent for triathlon. When I first started running I didn’t like it much. It took several years before my running legs really came under me. I took to cycling pretty quickly. When you come from a swim background, you’re going to have an advantage in the swim over people who start later in life. I came to balance out my bike and run as well.”

Zeiger turned pro in 1998, after winning her age group at the Hawaii Ironman. She raced 10 to 12 triathlons a year, placing fourth in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and 5 weeks later placed 5th in the Hawaii Ironman, making her the first person to compete in the Olympics and the Hawaii Ironman in the same year. Zeiger’s diversity led her to national championships in three distances: Olympic in 2001, Ironman in 2005, and 70.3 in 2008. In 2008, Joanna won the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in world record time.

I’ve been able to manage the dizziness better with the product (The Right Stuff).

Zeiger had experienced ongoing light-headedness and dizziness during races which peaked in 2009 during a triathlon in Boulder, Colorado.  She passed out and was taken to the hospital.  She found and researched the NASA-developed formula and began using The Right Stuff to solve the chronic racing-induced dizziness. “I was looking for some different sources to get more sodium intake,” she says. “I knew that increasing my sodium intake helped with the dizziness.  She tested it twice before implementing it into her race regimens.

The first time she used The Right Stuff was while training for a triathlon during a five and a half hour bike ride plus an 8-mile run.  She said she felt great!

The second test was a 100-mile bike ride with 1000’s of feet of climbing. It really solved her issue and she still uses it regularly. I’ve been able to manage the dizziness much better with The Right Stuff. I recommend it to the people that I coach; most of them end up doing better when they use The Right Stuff to help increase their sodium intake.”

Joanna retired from triathlons in 2010 after an injury during the 70.3 World Championship but continues to run – setting a Colorado state half-marathon record in her age group at the Revel Rockies Half Marathon in 2014. JZ-Run-cropped

Meanwhile, Zeiger, who has coached since 2003, established Race Ready Coaching (www.racereadycoaching.com) two years ago.

“We coach athletes of all ages and all abilities for all distances,” she says. “All my years of experience have made the coaching fun. It’s fun not only to work on your own goals but to see other people achieve their goals.”