Eat, Sleep, Train – A Day in the Life of John Baldwin

Posted: February 16, 2015 at 3:15 pm, Last Updated: February 16, 2015 at 3:17 pm

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John Baldwin is not your average college senior. In addition to preparing for graduation in Applied Information Technologies in May, and working up to 20 hours per week as head guard for the Aquatic and Fitness Center, he’s also preparing for his 5th ½ Iron Man. So how does he fit everything into a 24 hour day?

John grew up in a family of swimmers. From the age of 6 until 18, he swam as much as 23 hours per week. Growing up with swimming being a part of his family life, this lifestyle just seemed natural to him. But at the age of 18, John decided to find a more total body way of competing and decided to pursue triathlons: swimming, cycling and running.

That same year, John competed in his first ½ triathlon as well as his first marathon and that’s when he fell in love with the competition of swimming, cycling and running. By his 21st birthday, he’d prepared for his first full Iron Man held in Lake Placid. He admits he didn’t train or diet properly for the race and after a grueling 23 mile run, he decided he was going to finish for his family who was waiting for him at the finish line. That’s when he decided to get serious about his training and nutrition.

John acquired a running coach to increase his speed and to work on his nutrition. He says he’s very futuristic, “Everything I do one day affects what happens in the next few days. Every workout I skip affects my results. I basically eat, sleep, and train.” To prepare for his upcoming ½ Iron Man in Puerto Rico, most of John’s workouts are indoors since the climate is very warm in Puerto Rico in March. To prepare for the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run, he works out where he can and when he can.

John’s routine consists of lots of planning and scheduling to fit everything in. The following is an example of his daily routine:

  • Early morning workout
  • Schoolwork
  • Mid-day workout
  • Classes
  • Evening workout
  • One hour of “fun”

Depending on what his workouts consist of determines what his daily food intake is. He says his diet is “clean” and is usually around 3500 – 4500 calories. He says he prefers to drink his calories since chewing that many “clean” calories is hard to do. He has homemade smoothies throughout his day to maintain his energy.

His current training focuses on getting his speed up for ½ Iron Man’s so he can eventually move back into full ones. Since 2012, he’s achieved is own personal records in all the races he’s competed in. He says he uses the competition to make him faster. Instead of zoning out, which many competitors do, John stays focused on who’s around him and maintains a certain amount of pain he knows he can tolerate.

During the World Championships in Canada last year, John placed 46th overall in his age group of 2600 competitors and placed 13th in the swim. He hopes to compete again this year in the 2015 World Championships being held in Austria.

John says this is a lifestyle for him. His family members and friends are all athletically active. But since training can be somewhat isolating, he’s trying to spend more time with people. He says he’s seeing an increase in his energy levels since adding more face time with friends and family to his busy schedule.

John sees himself doing this forever. “I don’t mind winning or losing. I just like to know I’ve given it all I can.”

John’s Puerto Rico 1/2 Iron Man will be March 15. Wish him luck!

By Jennifer Lehman, MS RYT