We sat down with Rolf Prima Pro, Eric Lagerstrom... as he prepares for Escape from Alcatraz and the next half of his season!
From the outside it always seems like it would be an awesome job to be a pro athlete, but tell us what your typical day really is like? What are some of the hardest parts?
Eric: I'd say it's pretty awesome from the inside as well! I try to treat each day like an actual work day; I just work as a triathlete and not as an accountant or whatever. I wake up at 6:30, have breakfast, check out the news, and start work (the first workout) at 8am. From that time until about 6pm I'm on the clock. I'll do two more workouts, making for 4-5 hours of training a day, and in between those workouts I'm answering emails, talking to sponsors, making videos and generally building my brand. Luckily I can do that while sitting or lying down and it's more or less "restful". After the last workout, my girlfriend, Magali and I cook dinner and try to relax with a movie or something before bed.
Do you ever not want to do your work-outs? I mean at your level its serious work, so how do you stay motivated when the body is just tired?
Eric: Plenty of times! I only take 3 weeks off a year, and outside of that, the only days I have off are when am on a plane traveling internationally. So right about this time of the year, "the grind" starts to wear me down and it gets progressively harder to get out of bed and get in the right head space to bring a high effort. I race often enough that there is always a race on the schedule and having something to look forward to is key. I have a typical goal structure that starts with making an Olympic team and drops down to running all my 1k repeats under 3 minutes and getting to bed at 9! It's important to have a sense of accomplishment each day otherwise this job (and any job for that matter) can feel a bit like a hamster wheel.
You've been lucky so far in your early career to get to race in some pretty cool places. What would you say is your favorite place to race so far?
Eric: I would say that South Africa is the coolest place I've raced. The scenery was incredible, and I got to spend some time training in the wine country the week before the race. Actual racing itself, I think Hamburg, Germany takes the cake. The entire WTS race course is in the center of town, and something like 150,000 people watch the race. You can't hear anything but screaming fans the entire run and for most of the bike. It's incredibly inspiring.
Traveling for races and training camps can be tough, what are some of your go-to items that you have to have on each trip?
Eric: I travel super light. I like traveling with just a couple of backpacks and my bike box. If I could highlight my less obvious "essentials", I bring a french press, my kindle, and ear plugs. I like to have good coffee, a book for un-plugging from the world and between plane flights and snoring roommates, ear plugs are a life saver! Lately things have gotten a little more involved as I've started producing videos, so there's some equipment that goes along with that.
Escape from Alcatraz is just around the corner for you. What will the few days right before race morning look like?
Eric: Alcatraz is on a Sunday, so I'm flying in on Friday. Usually I get to races 4 days ahead of time, but since there is no time change to deal with on this one, Friday is just fine. I do some lower volume workouts with some sprints just to feel quick, and then the rest of the time I'm resting, going to the pro meeting and whatever sounds good. I like to keep busy so I think about the race less.
Help us cheer on Eric this Sunday at Escape from Alcatraz and check out his latest videos and blog posts at: www.ericlagerstrom.com