High 5 Thursday with Joe Donahue

Posted on 14 October 2010

Today is  RaceTwitch(RT)  High 5 Thursday where we highlight a specific endurance sports athlete and profile their background, specific race performances, and offer insights on training idea’s, specific sport discipline expertise. 


This week’s High 5 featured athlete is accomplished triathlete, Joe Donahue, from the Jersey Shore!   Congratulations to Joe for  a great race performance in the Ironman World Championships, Kona — October 2010! Joe Donahue shares with RaceTwitch his background, race performances, training, and  offers his insight:

RT:  Tell us a little about yourself, where do you live and train?

JD: My name is Joe Donahue, I’m 45 years old and live and train out of Point Pleasant NJ. which is a great place to live and train, I have plenty of top notch athletes to train with, I’m married to my wife Liz and have two children, Emily 16 and Joe 13.

RT:  What do you do for a living?  and what is your average training hours per week

JD:  I work on the ramp at American Airlines at Newark Liberty Airport, I’ve been there 27 years!! My shift starts at 4am which means I get up at 2am every day for work, getting up that early presents some challenges on some of the longer weekday workouts. On average I would say I train anywhere from 10 hours a week for 70.3 training and 18 hours a week for Ironman.

RT:  Give us an example of one of your favorite workouts?

JD: My favorite workout for 70.3 is a track workout: 2 mile warmup then 3×3200 start @ 6min pace and work down to 5:45 -5:50 pace on 2 mins recovery, 2mile warmdown.  When I nail that workout I know I will have a good 70.3 run


RT:  What do you enjoy the most with racing and training in endurance sports?

JD: I enjoy the social aspects of training and racing the most, I’ve met and became friends with tons of really cool people!! I also enjoy traveling to races it’s always fun to experience new locations.

RT: Do you have written race goals and keep a training diary and if so, please describe?

JD: I use RaceDay software to track my training, it’s easy to use and has all the features to track your fitness and help achieve your goals.

RT: How long have you been racing in endurance sports?

JD: I have always been active in sports my whole life, I started running straight up running races around 1990, since then I’ve run hundreds of races from 5k’s through marathons. I made the move over to triathlon around 2004 doing the old Sandy Hookers series race as my first triathlon.

RT: What is your specific discipline focus?High 5 Thursday Joe Donahue

JD: My favorite discipline is running, I feel you get the best return on your time investment by getting an extra run workout.

RT: What is your favorite race, location?

JD: Kona for sure!! to qualify and to race here with the best in the world is just awesome. I also like Eagleman 70.3 and Rhode Island 70.3 they are both well organized races within driving distance from NJ.

RT: How many races do you participate in during the year?

JD: I usually do 5 or 6 straight running races early in the season, then 2 or 3 local sprints, 2 or 3 70.3′s and if I qualify for Kona 1 ironman.

RT: How many races do you “peak” for during the year?

JD: I peak for all the 70.3 distance races and Kona the rest of the races are tune ups.

RTWhat was your all time best race performance?

JD: I have a few;  winning my age group at Rhode Island 70.3 this year was my highest finish. I was also 3rd at Eagleman this year.

RT: What are your thoughts regarding mental performance training?

JD: You have to believe in yourself !! You need to break the race down into small manageable parts and draw back to success you’ve had during your training sessions and work your way through it. 

RT: What races are on your dream list?

JD: I’ve been lucky enough to race at Kona and would love to come back again next year!!

RT: Any personal Mantra or famous quote?

JD: When it’s late in the race especially at 70.3 and I’m running hard, I usually tell myself “If this pace is hurting you it is killing them just keep pushing” and I’ll keep repeating that.

RT: What is your most recent  or favorite book that you have read, any subject and  related to endurance sports?

JD: I liked Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, Freakonomics and an older book about Ernest Shackelton’s failed expedition to the South Pole called Endurance.

RT: What magazines/publications related to your sport discipline that you subscribe?

JD: I don’t subscribe to any Triathlon magazines I get most of my info online, however the new Tri magazine Lava looks like a good source.

RT: What is your greatest strength during a race?

JD: Running!

RT: What topics are of greatest interest for you that we might include in a future RaceTwitch Club Meetup, ex: race nutrition, functional training, specific race reviews, etc.

JD: Return on Investment!! This sport takes so much time, lets talk about how to get the most out of every workout!! No more Junk miles. What’s going to give you the best bang for your buck….. VO2 workouts, Threshold workouts, endurance workouts….sure there is a place for all of these. What does everyone think….me personally I believe Threshold type workouts, with some VO2 sprinkled in is the way to go, obviously we need some easy days too. so what does everyone think?

RT:  What training and race nutrition products do you use regularly?

JD: Cytomax, Carbo Pro, EFS gel.

RT: What do you do to maintain your fitness post race season?

JD: Mountain bike, Trail and beach running.

RT: Have you planned your race calendar for next year? If so, what are some of the races and your goals?

JD: I Haven’t planned next season yet I still have Clearwater 70.3 in November…after that I will start planning 2011. My goals for next season is to be top 3 in my age group at all 70.3′s I enter and to qualify for Kona next season.

RT: Any words of wisdom or advice you would offer to improve quality of training and race performance?

JD: You have to believe in yourself !! when someone is racing don’t say “Good Luck” say “Go Fast!” Other than getting a mechanical on the bike there is no luck involved.  Either you did the work or you didn’t if you did the work and trained properly you don’t need luck you just line up and when the gun goes off you “Go Fast”.

RT: How can people get connect with you further? And find out more about your business?

JD: We do track workouts every Wednesday at 5:30pm at Point Boro High School from March through November. We also have open water swims at Bridge ave in Bay Head from June through mid-September, Monday Wednesday Friday at 6am. You can check us out at http://bpctriathlon.com

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