Interview with Air Force Veteran and Triathlete, Nick Chase
- 27 Jun 2016
- 10 Years of Active Air Force Duty
- 2012 and 2013 U.S. Air Force Triathlon Team
- 21st at St. George 70.3
Recently, I was able to get in touch with Nick Chase. Nick is a former active U.S. Air Force member, and even competed on the Air Force triathlon team. After leaving the military Nick started his own coaching company and continues to coach athletes in a variety of endurance sports. Chase is also working on earning his 4th degree, this most recent one in biology. Nick has worked with INFINIT since 2015 to create his own custom formulas for his triathlons and took time out of his day to let us know a little more about himself.
What is life like for you outside of racing and training?
“I love the sport of triathlon. Actually, I love the people that make this sport great, so much, that I co-own a coaching company. This means from when I wake up, until my mandatory “Athlete Blackout Time” (around 7pm) I’m focused on sport and helping others pursue their dreams. The small percentage of time spent not on sport is divided out by cooking, taking care of dogs, doing homework and finally…the most important aspect, spending time with my ultimate sponsor and bride to be, Karen! She works for Ironman…so we kinda have a totally triathlon dominated life, which we love!”
What got you into competing?
“Spending 10 years in Active Duty Air Force led me down multiple paths. Amateur kiteboarding, power lifting, soccer…etc. After trading some kite board gear for a 2001 cannonade slice w/ 650 wheels I had moved to Tampa Bay. My boss, Trav (who I now coach) is an Ironman and a true ambassador of this sport. It took 1 ride in sneakers to know I needed to step up my bike game. Next thing I knew; I was in debt but had a sweet bike. Next was a coach! My boss Trav, got me into this sport but the community in St.Petersburg Florida kept the desire alive. You can race every weekend if you want! There are healthy, driven, talented athlete all over this year round training zone! My journey started here and it’s where I plan to stay until we can find a way to move to Austin, TX!”
Are there any races you have been a part of that mean more to you than others?
“2 races in particular stand out in my mind. In 2015 I was supposed to race IM AZ, however I ran into some poor energy levels leading up and while racing a few last 70.3’s. I really wanted to end the season on high note for 70.3 since I couldn’t see the point of jumping up in distance without that vote of confidence. My swim and bike has been great on race day but the run has been almost like a unicorn! Well, Austin 70.3 in 2015 may not have been an amazing, world record run, but I competed the entire time! I raced near what I thought I could and was full throttle on the run…where normally I’d start to drag. This was my 2nd race using INFINIT and I think a consolidated fueling strategy and unique blend of nutrition helped me stay topped off. Also, in the past, I’d gotten in the habit of taking in too much…so dialing back the caloric density of my mix was perfect for trial and error.
The second race that I’ll never forget is 2016’s 70.3 St. George. Again, after Austin, I thought I had it figured out. However, Puerto Rico 70.3 and Oceanside 70.3 left me wondering what the heck was wrong with me. I spend 3 weeks at altitude pre-race for St. George and really focused on what was in my bottles for every training ride. This means no stopping for snickers or moon pies…liquid only, maybe a gel here and there. Anyway, last year this race was a DNF (Did Not Fun). Needless to say I was pretty beat up and a bit intimidated by the course. Despite all that, this year’s preparation, experience and determination led me to 21’st among a stellar field of my peers. All in all, I know being 3 years into a professional career is super young but working with INFINIT and seeing the benefits of a reliable product that produces as long as I can push the envelope has been truly rewarding.”
Are there any highs or lows of your career that have brought you to be the competitor you are today?
“I totally changed my life plan, left the military, sold my house, took a huge pay cut BUT became my own boss and simplified the equation to my success. Coming from zero background in anything but light running means I have a lot of catch up and yes, I get my ass kicked on the regular at these national IM 70.3 events. However brutal the lashings have been, I’m now quite calloused. I get to spend time with extremely talented athletes, generous people who open their homes to me and travel often! For every bad day when I feel like I couldn’t dream of a top 5 finish, I spend double that time grinding away at progress. I’m incredibly fortunate to have the support and ability to compete at this level. The only thing that sums up how I feel despite having some low points is grateful. I try and give back however and whenever I am able!”
Finally, how has working with and using INFINIT products affected your racing and or training?
“INFINIT took a leap of faith on me and I really had to sell myself, since the results aren’t world class (yet). Building custom blends, mixing MUD in my oatmeal and pointing athletes towards a product I actually use makes me extremely happy. As athletes we always have to have our hands out and ask for support. Let’s be real, there isn’t any money coming from a race unless you’ve been doing it quite a while. I’m doing what anyone else did; putting in my time. Eventually, I can earn some more presence in media and truly support the companies, like INFINIT, who had my back when I was getting my feet wet. These products are part of my daily life and I have the ability to change a mixture at any time given the demands of the season. It’s extremely muggy in Florida and I sweat a ton! My salt/amino mix just showed up today…and I’ll be ordering more in a few weeks! Having all of my calories and electrolytes in 1 or 2 bottles makes a big difference. Less worry, flexibility and a tested confidence when it counts most!”