I am happy to share the first nominated entry in the Age Grouper Spotlight series on my blog. A fellow FMCT Falcon, Kane Picken, mentioned this three time Ironman to me a few weeks ago so I followed up and was thrilled this amazing, local athlete was willing to donate some of his time to participate.
Marco Sadeghi is a very dedicated athlete who drives a lot of motivation through the challenges of everyday life. He has battled through adversity and now uses his training and profession as a positive outlet in his new lifestyle. This Toronto based Personal Trainer is currently gearing up for another run at Ironman Lake Placid and is working hard to add another finisher medal to his collection!
10 Questions with Marco Sadeghi
Q1. What made you enter the world of triathlon?
- I was always an active kid growing up. Even when I look back on my early childhood years, I was always passionate about swimming, my bike and running. I always wanted to be the fastest kid on the block and I always admired the guys that were faster than me.
Although, I enjoyed being competitive growing up, I never considered myself an athlete or took part in any sports teams. I did my first 10km running race in 2005 and I loved everything about it. I appreciated the spectators, the inspiration, and the friendly, encouraging atmosphere of the race – that got me hooked! That same summer, I did my first try-a-tri in Grimbsy and it all began there. Even though it was only about a 45min race, I was very proud of myself for taking part in it. I saw a lot of opportunity for improvement and I wanted to train and learn to go longer!
Q2. What aspect of triathlon takes the most of your energy to improve?
- Swimming! Swimming is one of those sports in which the bio mechanics of it doesn’t come naturally to us. I always find that my form and endurance will suffer the most in swimming, if I haven't practiced it for a short period of time, as compared to cycling or running.
Q3. What would be the first triathlon item you would rush out to buy if you won the lottery?
- Specialized Shiv TT bike! Although, I’m still working on building the engine. It would be embarrassing to get dropped on such a bike. Therefore, riding my 2007 Specialized Transition with carbon forks, seat post and aero bars doesn’t make me feel so bad when I get dropped.
Q4. Which race, anywhere in the world, would you love to compete in?
- Kona, Hawaii – Ironman World Championships. I hear their finisher t-shirt is the best one out there! I love the Ironman distance and I’ve had the opportunity to compete in three of them. Kona is known to be the Mecca of Ironman races. It offers the most challenging racing conditions and the most scenic course for 140.6 miles. I’ve heard great stories about the race from my training mentors over the years. To qualify alone would be such a great accomplishment. Also, it would be a great opportunity to race with the best in the sport.
Q5. When thinking about your triathlon training/racing, to date, what are you most proud of?
- I’m most proud of the lifestyle change training brought into my life. I’ve seen my character develop over the years as training became a habit. I learned the meaning of dedication, perseverance and passion through another channel of energy that was greater than myself and that kept me in the game.
Q6. What is your favourite workout?
- My favourite workout has to be the bike, long run combo! I love brick workouts and running is my strength. When I’m building mileage up for an Ironman, I would do my long ride on the Saturday and go out on the Sunday with an easy ride followed by a long run. The real treat is to finish the weekend with a big run off the bike. This type of training has helped my Ironman marathon greatly over the years.
Q7. Who is your biggest influence in triathlon?
- My biggest influences in triathlon comes from all the coaches and Ironman finishers that I admired since day one of training with the Mississauga Triathlon Club. But to choose one person specifically, it would have to be John Boffin. John is a 6x IM finisher and had competed in Kona twice. I admired him greatly for his accomplishments in the sport and in life. He was a positive influence in my life and always encouraged me. I remember getting killed at my first 2hr spin class with him and I asked him how I did – ‘You are a natural, and I hope to see you next week’ he said. He was a great training partner, coach and friend. He taught me everything I needed to know about racing an Ironman and he always made the time to be there for me.
Q8. How do you set up your training schedule?
- I gather information from all different types of sources. From coaches, articles, studies, and other athletes. Of course, we are all unique and we have to find a training program that works best for us. I always make changes to my training and nutrition to be a better athlete, to train smarter and to continue to incorporate the sport in a balanced way into my life.
Q9. Do you listen to music during training? If yes, what are the top three songs that pump you up for a workout?
- I only listen to music when I’m training in my basement on the trainer. Other than that, I never listen to music when I train outdoors. I enjoy being focused and in the zone either listening to the voice in my head, my bike, nature, or just being alert of the dangers of the riding on the road. However, my top three pump up songs would have to be...
1. Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade
2. Rage Against the Machine – People of the Sun
3. Rage Against the Machine – Revolver
Q10. What would you like to share about yourself to help the readers learn a little more about you?
- I have seen my character develop over the years as I have grown with the sport of triathlon. My values, priorities and outlook on life have changed considerably. Life, much like training is an endless journey. As I push my limits and seek the person I want to become, I continue to discover more about the person that I am.
I have made my share of mistakes with respect to training that caused a negative impact on my life. These mistakes were all in attempt to becoming a better athlete, but unfortunately put my health at risk. I had to learn fast and adjust to get back on the right path to success. One of my Ironman mentors, that I still look up to, once told me ‘sometimes we have to crawl in the valley before we climb the peak’.
We have to take time to learn while we are in the valley. It can be a dark, lonely place at times and the hardest part, much like an Ironman marathon, is to keep taking that step forward. Through perseverance and faith – Anything is Possible!
Thank you Marco! It has been a pleasure getting to know you. Best of luck in 2011!
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