TT047: A Journey With Triathlete & Cancer Survivor Bob Thibodeau

Breast Cancer Survivor Bob Thibodeau

Bob changed his diet and exercise after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.  He got into active cycling 5 years ago and had a solid cycling base.  He did his first triathlon in 2012 and in that race he swam with his head out of water the entire race.  The longest he had run consecutively before the race was one mile, and this was a 5k race. At the advice of a friend, his goal was to race to complete, not to compete.   He finished third out of eight in his age group and his triathlon career was started.

In 2013 he had a full slate of racing, finishing with his ‘A’ race at Augusta 70.3, a half ironman.  After a successful season in which he finished first and second in his age group each race, he had a few hiccups in Augusta.  During the swim it took him several hundred meters before he could put his head in the water.  He finally did and came out of the water fourth in his age group.  He had a solid bike and was in good position using a power meter keeping his power around 140.

His longest run going into the race was only 8 miles.  In the second half of the run his hip started bothering him so he walked most of the way in. He finished 10th of 12 in his age group with a time of 6:43 (30/2:57/3:02).

He raced much less in 2014 and again ended the season with Augusta 70.3 He had a successful race, finishing third of thirteen in the 65-69 age group with a time of 6:21:27 (32/3:06/2:26).

Bob follows a ketogenic diet (high fat/low carbohydrate). He started this a few years ago to reduce his cholesterol and lower his blood pressure.  That did the trick, and he was able to get off statins. His caloric intake while racing/training is very low. Based on our conversation I’d estimate it was about 25-50 calories/hour (probably closer to 25) during the 3 hour bike.

His plan is to race Ironman Florida next year, as his goal is to race an Ironman by age 70.

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