Ambassador Spotlight: Ben Williams

Ambassador Spotlight: Ben Williams

Get to know pro triathlete, Ben Williams!  He talks training, racing, and transition from age grouper to pro.What does your standard training week involve?

Training weeks are always changing, but the recurring goal is to always include enough sleep and food. Sometimes training focus is on one discipline, other times it is a balance of getting everything in. Running has been my strength in the past, so a lot of training lately has sacrificed run training to get in more time in the water and on the bike.

Favorite training venue/environment?

Variety is the spice of life. Living in Hawaii I am fortunate to get beautiful open water swimming conditions to compliment time in the pool. On the bike it can be tough to get in the miles in Honolulu, so whenever possible I will head to the Big Island. St. George, Utah will always be near the top of the list. There are several 6 hour rides where you don’t have to put your foot down once and the community is incredibly bike friendly. Running is easy, give me a decent track and I am a happy camper.

Favorite 2XU garment, when you use it and why?

My 2XU race kit. It fit perfectly right out of the package and does everything I need it to do. I’ve always believed that great gear does its job and isn’t a distraction, the 2XU tri kit does just that. The 2XU recovery compression tights are critical to bouncing back from the tough days and have completely changed the way I travel.

Favorite training accessory (ie. heart rate monitor, power meter, pool buoy)?

Bicycles are the perfect combination of art and science. A well-made bike will be beautiful to look at and ride like a dream. I am a sucker for a nice bike.

Toughest experience in your career and what you learned from it?

The transition from age grouper to pro. They are completely different races at an entirely different pace. Heading into my second year as a pro, it still blows my mind how fast the front of the race is moving. It has changed my approach to training and redefined my perception of intensity.

What’s the most common training mistake you see on the circuit? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?

I am not experienced enough to speak for others, but a big mistake of mine was with pacing during workouts. I would often head into an interval workout at my goal pace, instead of the reality of where I was at. These workouts regularly ended in disappointment from blowing up before the workout was over. With time and patience I learned to build into workouts in order to finish them. After months and months of this training I was able to find the right pace to start and end the workout to get the most benefit.

What motivates you to train and race harder?

With few exceptions, every race has been an improvement over the last. At the end of each of those improved races I can look back and see where there is still room for improvement. I know that I am far from reaching my potential, and getting a late start to the pro ranks of the sport will require patience. However slightly, it is motivating to see the progress. It is easy to fall in love with the lifestyle, and racing is a way to justify the long hours in the sun. I have yet to race in a location that wasn’t geographically or culturally spectacular, which also helps.

Describe your diet/meal plan in the week leading to a big race:

Food is how this all started. I love to eat and am fortunate to not have a very sensitive digestive system. As for race week, it all depends on the length of the race and what degree of taper has lead into it. The longer the race the more calories I try to pack in over the days leading up. I once heard an athlete mention that she likes to eat spicy curry the night before a race, that is probably the only thing I’d pass on.

How do you balance out your training/racing regime with life outside sport?

Between races I try to share a beer with friends. Fortunately life has been simple up to this point. No one is depending on me and I don’t cost much. It is pretty much eat, sleep, train. I am fortunate and try to live in a constant state of gratitude.

What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful (either for training or competition)?

Infinit Nutrition has been my biggest breakthrough in racing nutrition. I raced my first long course race on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Cliff Bars. Experimenting in different races from gels to whatever they were handing out on the course, my best results and most consistent energy came when using Infinit products. They were able to customize my caloric and carbohydrate needs in a way that works very well. They get it. Since increasing training and racing intensities a standard daily multi-vitamin has helped also.

Best and worst thing about being a professional athlete?

My life is amazing. It is passionate and emotional with pain and elation. If you are able to live without strings or anchors I can’t imagine a better path. The day I decide to have a family I can’t imagine I’ll be able to pull it off in the same way. The folks that successfully have families and race at a high level are superstars with an above-average ability to plan and organize.

In five years time, I’ll be…

Winning races and loving life. The plan is to stay connected to triathlon in some capacity, whether through coaching or working in the industry. My wish is to continue competing for many years.

Store Locator