2020 Member Spotlight – Jason SreedharOctober, 2020
Honestly I couldn’t really tell you what initially put the thought in my head. I grew up playing soccer and basketball, but that was pretty recreational by the time I hit college. When I was about 22, I found myself wanting to be competitive again and looked into 10k/half marathon training. But having never been a pure runner before, I just picked up injuries non-stop for about 2+ years.
Somewhere between riding a stationary gym bike (the only thing I was allowed to do) and physical therapy, I’m guessing someone mentioned triathlon to me and somehow it clicked. Ironically, one of the guys I worked with at the time was into the Ironman scene. So he kind of talked me into it/gave me some guidance during the early days.
What was your first triathlon?
2015 Giant Acorn Sprint. I lost a finish-line sprint and missed out on the novice-category podium, still bitter about that…
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in a triathlon?
Since I’ve made far too many, here are the big ones:
- Losing aforementioned sprint in 2015.
- Focusing too much on intensity and not enough on volume.
- Running in shoes that have seen too many miles (stress fracture in 2019).
- As much as I hate admitting it…not listening to James Chu (DCTC MSP head coach) as much as I should.
Do you have any memorable races or experience?
Most memorable tri experience was the DCTC Columbia Brick-nic in 2017. I had just joined DCTC (the day before) and just wanted to meet fun people. Weather that day was actually miserable (~45ºF, windy, rainy) and the route was super hilly. But made a few really awesome friends that day that I still keep in touch with (even though we’re all in different time zones now).
What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?
(Hah, outside of triathlon…)
I recently quit global health work to go back to go back to medical school, so my interests are somewhere in-between those two things. Current favorites are human trafficking, political economy of Sub-Saharan Africa, refugee health, and eating @jenisicecreams while memorizing random proteins.
How is training or racing now that you are in Florida?
It’s been a weird few months of training in Florida. When I moved here mid-2019, I was just coming off a stress fracture and just coming back into serious running/riding. So I got in shape for my last race of the season (Miami Man Half) and then shut it down again. I was just starting to ramp up again in March of 2020 when COVID hit and shut everything down. So the racing itself has been very stop-start.
It’s nice in that you can *technically* train year round here but…between the miserable summer humidity, the daily summer thunderstorms (and every pool here is outdoor), and the highly questionable driving, it’s an interesting situation. But as Jeff Goldblum says….Life finds a way.
Personally I’ve never done particularly well with heat, humidity, or wind, so forcing myself to get used to those (often at the same time) has been a big benefit to me. Still, I definitely miss the trails of Rock Creek Park, hammering it down MacArthur on the weekends, and honestly just not sweating every time I walk out the door.
If I could give my past self any advice:
The way I see it, there 3 kinds of people who come into tri:
- The people who want to get healthy, happy, and just keep generally fit (~66%)
- The very nature-oriented “granola” people (~33%)
- The data-driven masochistic mega-nerds who want to feel pain (1%)
I’m DEFINITELY in that last group, which is probably why I got injured so much in my early years. Endurance sports are about *endurance*, so focus on mechanics, consistency, and easy volume rather than massive amounts of intensity. (Past Jason, you definitely don’t need 3 track sets a week). Just take it easy, go for some group rides/runs, and go at a “conversational pace”.
(Disclaimer: James Chu has given me this exact advice at least 400 times)
Goals for the future?
- Have fun! Tri or otherwise
- Don’t get injured!….again….
- Go to Olympic distance worlds (WTS grand finale)—This one is tough with school schedules. But it would be cool to hammer myself into the ground, and then watch my favorite pros do the same the next day.