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Health Care
Healthy Lifestyle
Personal Finance
Your Financial Life
By Chase Squires / Aug 19, 2016

Chasing Fitness? Tri and Tri Again

If there’s one thing the newest member of Team Transamerica knows, it’s swimming. Also cycling and running.

And winning.

Professional triathlete Ben “Hoff” Hoffman, 33, has won Ironman, Half-Ironman, and National Champion races around the world in a sport that pushes athletes in grueling events that combine swimming, biking, and running. At the full Ironman distance, racers endure a 2.4-mile open water swim, then mount a bike for a 112-mile road course, followed by a 26.2-mile marathon.

Hoffman will be in Chicago this month to share his passion for healthy living, demonstrate training tips to recreational racers, and encourage all competitors in the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon.

Physical fitness has been a way of life for Hoffman since growing up in Grand Junction, Colorado, making him a natural representative or Transamerica’s commitment to promoting a healthy, active lifestyle.

In sponsoring Hoffman, Transamerica continues its support of athletes and events that embody healthy living. Transamerica is committed to helping Americans live more vibrant, longer lives while achieving the financial security they deserve and also sponsors charity walks and Rock’n’Roll running series events.

“Virtually every day I’m swimming, biking, or running in one form or another,” Hoffman said. “I think about it more as a lifestyle. It’s waking up every day asking yourself how you’re going to improve yourself. That means improving in everything, whether that’s racing, diet, sleep, everything. It’s really a lifestyle thing, and you learn to enjoy that feeling.”

With four top-5 finishes this year, plus a victory in the Ironman Africa Championship, Hoffman’s sights are set on the most prestigious triathlon in the world, October’s Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, a globally broadcast event where he placed second in 2014.

Racing at a professional level is a daily test, Hoffman said. But everyone, regardless of fitness level or age, can challenge themselves to be stronger, healthier, and more active.

“It’s about choices and believing that you can,” he said. “I believe that virtually anyone can do something. You see people finishing triathlons that you wouldn’t believe could do it. I have a lot of respect for everyone out there. Racing is my job, and I train full time. But for others out there, they have families and jobs and lots going on, but they make that commitment.”

Hoffman, who lives and trains in Boulder, Colorado, said he encourages everyone to get involved in some form of exercise, and he said he enjoys sharing nutritional and fitness tips with people of any ability or fitness level.

“I wouldn’t discourage anybody from getting out there. It doesn’t matter your age, or if you’re a former smoker, or whatever. It’s never too late to get started,” he said. “It’s a big mountain to climb, but you kind of break it down into small pieces, just start out and get into a routine. You can look out there and see a million examples of people who picked this up after some really unhealthy habits.”

The key for anyone starting a fitness program is consistency, Hoffman said. And once those healthy habits are in place, they’re just as hard to break as the unhealthy ones.

“How many times have you got out there and felt worse after a run? You feel better,” he said. “It really improves all aspects of your life. When you get up in the morning and you feel good, it just makes every day better. Just remember, this is something that’s supposed to be fun and enjoyable.”

For triathletes competing in the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon, Hoffman had a secret piece of advice: It’s OK to be nervous at the starting line. Everyone is, even the pros.

“Trust your training,” he said. “Don’t get overwhelmed by the race. You’ve done the work.”

Hoffman has a website with regularly updated race reports and videos and maintains active Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds. He is scheduled to race the Ironman World Championship on October 8.