By Rich Soares
Ben Hoffman on Kona – “It’s a brutal savage race where anything can happen”
303Triathlon caught up with Colorado native and professional triathlete Ben Hoffman. Bound for IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Ben talked to us about his training, Kona specific preparations, recent race performances, XTerra World Championships and more.
Three weeks from the Kona contest, Ben is in the middle of his biggest week (40+ hours) of training. He is a self-proclaimed volume responder and talked about some of his key workouts. This week’s training includes double-swims, bricks that include
160 miles on the bike followed by a 45-minute run, and a two hour run at 6 minute/mile pace. His heat adaptation training includes living and training in Tucson where he can train regularly over 100 degrees. His coach has prescribed specific sauna sessions – the exact frequency, duration and temperatures not revealed. Ben prefers to arrive in Kona one week prior to the race. “I’m better when I don’t get to Kona early. I like to finish my training in my own environment. The energy at Kona is amazing, but it starts to wear you down.”
We talked about how previous performances have prepared him for this year’s championship showdown. In 2014, Ben’s 2nd place finish in Kona was pivotal to changing his paradigm of what was possible. “In Kona, that component of self-belief is massive.  confirmed the belief and raised it to a new level…why not win? You have to trust yourself and know that you can contend with the best guys in the world.” Earlier this year, Ben came in 3rd place at Ironman Boulder 70.3 behind Tim Don and Matt Charbot. Just this past month he came in 2nd in a sprint finish at 70.3 Santa Cruz against Braden Curry of New Zealand. Ben raced both Boulder and Santa Cruz 70.3 without much of a taper. Ben plans to use these races in his preparation strategy, and get the proper rest before the big contest on October 15th. “I’ll try to represent Colorado and the USA and make everyone proud. Whatever is in there, I’ll try to get it out on the day.”