NEWS | Sept. 10, 2015

628th CES Captain invited to participate with Team USA Triathlon

By Airman 1st Class Clayton Cupit 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

A Captain with the 628th Civil Engineer Squadron has been invited to participate with Team USA Triathlon for his next triathlon event.

Capt. Ryan Hoff, 628th CES officer, will be competing in the 2015 ITU Short Course (Olympic-distance) Triathlon, Sprint Triathlon and Aquathlon World Championships Sept. 15-19 in Chicago, Ill.

"This is an opportunity to put on a red, white and blue uniform and race in an international gathering of athletes all representing their own countries," said Hoff. "Crossing that finish line gives me the satisfaction of representing my country with pride."

According to Hoff, his long-term goal for triathlon is taking it one year at a time. He feels the sky is the limit because he never dreamed of the achieving his current level of success so quickly.

Hoff has also been actively applying for the U.S. Air Force Triathlon Team.

"I've applied every year for the last three years for the U.S. Air Force Triathlon Team and have missed the cut by one or two slots every time," said Hoff. "I thought I had it in the bag this year after I had some really good races, but it was a no-go again. The Air Force has a lot of really good triathletes right now and the standards are extremely high to make the team. However, being a member of Team USA will definitely bolster my resume. My wife and I are still undecided if I will push for it again next year, so we will see!"

When it comes to preparing and training for these events, Hoff talked about his training routine and diets.

"I try as hard as I can to stick to a schedule, but the dynamic job of being a military member as well as a husband and father of two force me to adapt my training to whatever life throws at me," said Hoff. "However, as a rule of thumb, nearly all training takes place early in the morning. I'm up at 5 a.m. every day and oftentimes training by 5:15 a.m. Depending on the day and what I'm doing, my training may wrap up around 7 a.m. or I might push it until 8:15 a.m.

As for my diet, I generally just try to eat healthy," said Hoff. "I split my meals into thirds: carbs, proteins and produce (mostly vegetables). This has worked for me several years but I don't mind indulging in some dessert or junk food once a week. It's my reward!"

Hoff then mentioned the difficulty of balancing life as a triathlete while being an officer in the U.S. Air Force and supporting a family.

"It's incredibly difficult," said Hoff. "It's a very detail oriented sport. I'm constantly trying to do the math to see how many minutes of training I can fit into a certain block of time. I work late most days, so it wouldn't be fair to my family to train in the evening since they would barely see me. That's why I try to capitalize the time in the early hours of the morning to train."

Preparing for triathlons is vigorous work requiring a lot of support in the form of coaches or training partners.

"I don't have a triathlon coach who does coaching as a job but my wife has been the best advisor, dietician, jack-of-all-trades coach that I could ask for," said Hoff. "She taught me how to swim properly. Without her, I would be hopeless in the pool.

My only regular training partners are the swimmers from the Palmetto Masters Swim Team," said Hoff. "Swimming with more 'pure swimmers' is far better for me as a triathlete than swimming with other triathletes."

When the subject came to his favorite type of triathlon, Hoff was quick to respond.

"I love the shorter races," said Hoff. "Granted, I haven't participated in any 70.3 or full distance races yet, so I can't speak from experience with those. I love the opportunity to race for only an hour or two and then meet the family. We can grab lunch and have the rest of the day together. Additionally, I just don't have the time to train for the longer races at the moment. I'm content to race the shorter ones and excel in those."

Hoff then reflected on his most memorable moment so far in his multisport career.

"For years, I've watched the athletes that qualify for this and I never thought that it was within my reach," said Hoff. "Realizing that I was going to be a member of Team USA for the ITU Olympic World Championships is easily the most memorable moment in my multisport career so far."