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Athlete Spotlight: Doug Larsen

Before you dive into Doug's Athlete Spotlight, here's a quick message from Coach Vicki:

I have had the opportunity to coach Doug for just over a year. Last year he completed a fall 70.3 and the idea was Ironman this year. With Doug living in Cold Springs, he is mainly coached remotely, although he did come in during the off-season to set up a strength routine and get some baseline data via our InBody assessment.

I admire Doug’s daily positive, “can do” attitude and his continued motivation to train even without a team to train with. Doug continues to show improvement in all 3 disciplines, recently improving his FTP by 10 points!

Doug intended to complete Ironman Wisconsin this year, but, after looking at his family’s schedule and having two daughters competing in their respective events, decided it was best to table his Ironman training until 2024. Now we will focus on the fun of being fast for the summer!

Doug will now be focusing on Olympic distance events in the Twin Cities area this season and wrapping up the summer with a fall ½ marathon.

If you are racing Clearwater on the 24th, be sure to stop by and get his autograph 😊

Tell us about your family/career

· Married to Beth for 20 years

· Two Daughters: Ava (19) Freshman at NDSU runs cross country and track & field – Go Bison!

Paige (17) Junior at Rocori High School in Cold Spring, MN – 5X state qualifier in cross county and track & field, 2022 MS Teen Physique MN

· Career: Sales Director – AstraZeneca Oncology

How long has fitness been part of your life?

Off and on throughout my life, 3 sport athlete in high school, baseball in college. Got out of shape when the girls were younger with a re-focus in 2008. Got sick and tired of being sick and tired and lost 45 lbs. as I started my adult fitness journey and began to look at endurance sports.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Watching my daughters being ultra-competitive in their running careers, travel, spending time at the lake, sitting in Normatechs

Do you have a favorite quote or motto?

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better – Maya Angelou

What keeps you going when you really don’t want to go?

Seeing my dad fight Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma for 7 years to be able to be with his family for more holidays, watch his granddaughters graduate kindergarten and compete in middle school, more trips to the cabin and more memories. When you see people battle like that, a day of brick training, a long run or an IM is not hard.

What got you started with training?

In 2008 I woke up and realized that I was out of shape, needed to change and started the process to change my life. After dropping some weight and doing some local 5Ks, I signed up for Tri For A Cause Sprint Tri in Crosby, MN in 2011 and have not looked back. Since then I have competed in 5 IMs, 2 half IMs, multiple marathons and half marathons and numerous sprint & Oly tris.

When you tell your friends/family about beginning your journey what was their reaction?

Family has always had my back and we enjoy spectating for each other at our various races. Throughout my journey, I have had to continually find like-minded people, which is not always easy.

How long have you been training?

I have always done some sort of training but structured Ironman training started in 2013 when I signed up for 2014 IM Coeur d’ Alene.

Were you involved in other competitive sports prior to your adult years?

Football (division I arm with division III footspeed, or so the college coaches told me), Basketball, and Baseball. Pitched for 2 years at University of MN – Morris

Best tip for someone that is thinking about starting a fitness program

· Hire a coach

· Surround yourself with people that know more than you

· Find something that scares you and sets your heart on fire

Who is your biggest inspiration?

· My family

· People who find their passion and aren’t afraid to start

What is your biggest struggle?

Getting my nutrition dialed in on race day to the point that I feel strong throughout an Ironman race.

Goals for the upcoming year?

· Be competitive (beat) with my past times and my age group at Ironman Madison in September. I will keep my goal time between myself and Vicki.

· PR my marathon time at either Run For The Lakes or Wobegon Marathon.

· Hit my goals at Chisago Lakes 70.3 in July.

· Reach the start line healthy in my races.

· Continue to work on my day-to-day nutrition to ensure that I am fueling properly to meet the training demands.

· Get fast enough to do track workouts with my daughters this summer.

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