Friday, January 21, 2011

Interview Friday: Shawn Johns

One of my ageless training partners bust on the Tri scene in 2010. An interesting guy and a man who loves to workout. Lets find some more out about Shawn.

Give us some background on yourself ?: I am an Alaskan Native and Sioux Indian that was raised in the town my dad grew up in Juneau, Alaska. I started running with my parents during the 1970's running boom.

Rumor has it that you are making the jump to the Ironman in 2011. Can you confirm and explain the reason why?: There are a few reasons why I am making the jump to the full ironman distance in 2011. One, early in the 2010 season, we both spoke about signing up for a full ironman and qualifying for Kona. That was what got the idea going. And two, now that I have raced Clearwater in 2010, I thought I would set a new goal in 2011 and try and qualify for the Ford Ironman in Kona, Hawaii.

Last year, you had a pretty good season. What in your mind was the highlight ?: My biggest accomplishment was placing 3rd in the 45 to 49 age group division at Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, LA. and qualifying for Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 Clearwater, FL. That was my biggest highlight of the excuse to go to one of Florida's nicest beaches! One other highlight was racing a PR there in 4:21:57. That was good for 16th place in my division. Hopefully, I can do better, I think I have lots to learn, this is only my second season racing triathlons.

What are your goal for the 2011 season?: On May 7th, I will race my first full ironman at St. George, UT. I hope to place high enough in my division to earn a qualifying spot for Kona.

You are always on the 7am and 10am DC Velo rides. Two local Bad Asses Chuck Hutch and The Muscle always are pushing the pace. Who do you prefer to follow in a break away and have a chat with ?: My first answer is, you don't want to be the guy following either of them. But if I have to chose it would be Langley, he actually will let up a little to let you go by. With Chuck, forget it if he is on is TT bike! Its always good to talk to Chuck, he always has words of racing wisdom if you ask. He can't help it he lives for racing! Or is it racing to live!

Been Native American, I'm sure Billy Mills was a role model for you. Also you probably have watched Mill's amazing final lap from 1964 many times. Have you even had a race finish were you untapped your inner strength to kick like Mills?: Not like that, never! How could you, this guy was racing for a gold medal! My greatest kick and finishing 1st was my senior year of high school, when I won the region five cross country championships in Ketchikan, Alaska. I went out in first and stayed in first and won by 2 seconds.

How is your Training going right now?: I am in the phase of adding volume on top of volume! Last week I did my longest ride of the new season. I rode both the 7am DC Velo ride and 10am rock creek ride for a total of 114 miles when I got home. Last week my longest run was a 11 miler and today my new longest run is a 14 miler. As for swimming I am now pushing 14,000 meters a week. Soon that will go to 16,000 meters a week. Goals are to get swimming to 16,000+ meters a week, biking to 300+ miles a week and running to 40 to 50 miles a week.

What is one piece of training equipment that you can't live without?: That's funny you ask that question, I was just thinking today about how my road bike is my go to training partner. Have you ever seen the movie with Mel Gibson, "We Were Soldiers?" In the movie, Mel tells his soldiers that the Sioux had their horses in battle and that they, the soldiers, would have the helicopters. He said, referring to the helicopters, "Men, and this will be our HORSE!" As a Sioux, living in the city, I call my road bike my modern day horse.

Your a young spirit and love to log the yards and miles. Do you see yourself riding your bike at 90?: Yeah. If my knees don't give out and I can still see.

Finally, have you ever set the dogs on anyone?: Oh, you remember, I have two Jack Russell terriers. No, I have never let them go after anyone or thing. They are to unpredictable in what they are capable of doing, so I have to keep them close. At times they do run out my front door and get after what ever is flying down the road....................and they are wicked fast!

Cheers mate. We are expecting some wicked fast running out of you this year !

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