Race, Triathlon & Lifestyle Training


Blog 25: Keith Weidman Feature

What is your background in sport? 

I played sports my entire life and it was a huge part of my childhood.  I played organized baseball, soccer, and golf in high school.  My free time was spent playing whatever sport my buddies and I could drum up.   I love to compete so sport was always a great outlet for me.

How did you get into endurance sport? 

As a kid the only organized school sport that we had in middle school was track and field.  I was playing club baseball and soccer, but decided to run track for the school.  In soccer I was midfielder and I could run all game not get tired and hated to be subbed out, so I decided to run distance.  The mile was the longest event offered so I specialized in that.  I ran track for 2 years and PRd a 5:10 mile in 8th grade setting a school record and going to the PA state championships.  However, baseball was my first love and the seasons in high school overlapped.  At that time, while I liked running, and I was probably better at it, I loved baseball so I took a 20 year break from competitive running!  I started back up with my first run at age 35.  I put on 50 lbs. over the years really focusing on my career and not my health.  We just had our 2nd child and I just know I needed to make a change to be mobile with my kids.  On April 1st 2012 I ran 1 mile, or more like .75 miles and walked the rest out of breath.  However, I committed to running a 5k in 6 weeks at Run Ballantyne.   I jumped right in and worked my tail off and went 22:57 and I was hooked!  I didn’t realize how much my competitive drive would come back.  After that I ran with a local running group and completed two ½ marathons and one marathon, but I was always injured and knew I was missing out on the right approach to training.  I wanted qualify for Boston and met Meghan to train for Philly Marathon.  That year I also biked and swam for the first time ever in my life in 2014 cross-training for my Marathon that fall.  My buddy Matt Bush was nice enough to teach me the ropes on the bike and despite some initial reluctance I really enjoyed it and have gotten much much better.  I started to swim too, and that’s all I’ll say about that! The swim is my challenge. So after we nailed the BQ goal at Philly I went all-in on Triathlon and here I am 3 years later way faster and healthy.  It has been an amazing journey.

What has been your biggest accomplishment to date? 

Qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in my 2nd year of Triathlon at Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 in May 2017.  This was even more special given best effort I ever put forth in race turned out to be narrow miss in WC qualifying the year prior in my “A” fall race.  I raced Ironman Augusta 70.3 2016 in completely brutal conditions of 95 degrees and 95% humidity and finished 5th AG (1 spot back) and 16th OA  (any other AG I finish 2nd) and missed out on a WC spot because I basically passed out at the finish line due to an electrolyte imbalance (I didn’t take enough salt).  The idea of having that race not get me there made qualification even more special when I finished 3rd in Choo.

What is your favorite workout and why? 

Lactate threshold runs.  These workouts super charge my run fitness so quickly.  I also love the mental challenge of getting comfortable being uncomfortable while hitting a goal.

How do you handle pressure while racing? 

It’s very difficult because I care so much and have really high standards for myself.  I have grown in this area over past few years with Meghan’s help.  I focus on process goals and things I can control.  I don’t get worried about not being perfect, but rather having a response to all sorts of imperfect situations that may develop.  I am very self-motivated and willing to dig deep so that is a huge asset, but removing the negative talk when things don’t go right allows that motivation to shine through every race.

What is your day job? 

Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development at Form Technologies and international precision engineered component manufacturing company headquartered in Charlotte.  In my role I am responsible for accounting, financial planning and Merger & Acquisitions.  Every day I face new and exciting challenges that really keep me engaged and excited.  I do travel quite a bit around the globe which is challenging for training but incredible to see new places and cultures.

How has your triathlon training helped you in the real world?

Training is my stress outlet, first and foremost.  Without it I go a little batty.  The work ethic required and ability be disciplined and persevere translates to everyday situations all the time.  I think the ability to work through tough times in a race or training translates so well to when life isn’t easy.  It also makes you adaptive to situations.  A million things can go wrong in a race/training and you adjust to make the most of the situation, which directly applies to every day for me, it’s never smooth sailing!

What excites you most about the year ahead? 

I am taking a break from Triathlon this year.  We have some family matters that I need a more flexible schedule for in 2018.  As a result, I am doing a single sport focus.  I like the idea of seeing how good I can be in the isolated sports, plus I have gone back to my first love of running!!  My main race will come early as I am running Wrightsville Beach Marathon and targeting 2:55.  I love the challenge of setting a big PR that is a stretch goal.  Next will be a bike block of focus for Blood Sweat and Gears and later in the year I’ll be focusing on SwimRun NC which is an amazing race.

What question did you hope I would ask but didn’t? And what is the answer? 

What is your favorite part of Triathlon?  That question is near and dear to my heart.  The answer is that I love the relationships it brings to my life.  I train almost every day with Eric Smith, another Fillnow athlete and the other guys in our racing group, BLC Racing.  My buddies Eric, Chris Davis, Matt Bush, Matt Kerley and the other BLC guys have traveled hundreds of miles to be there at my races and support me.  I know I wouldn’t be as strong or enjoy the journey nearly as much without these guys.  It really is amazing.

Anything else you want to share with us? 

I have an awesome and busy family life too.  I am married to my best friend, Michele and we live in Weddington with 3 great kids.  My oldest daughter Lilly (10) is an amazing kid and rising athlete.  She is a cheerleader at Impact One All Stars, played Academy Soccer and has competed in a number of 5k races with a 27 min PR and won the Tri Ballantyne Kids race.  Ella (6) is my middle child and is such an empathetic and wonderful child.  She has such a unique ability to make everyone feel special and is very talented in so many ways.  She can fly on the run too!!  Connor (4) is my little buddy.  He is so excited to play baseball and he can always make me smile, he’s all boy!  I truly hope that the time I devote to training, despite it taking me away from them at times, sets a good example for the kids to pursue their passions and maintain a healthy lifestyle.