Equipment Expert Jan Schole from the Westport, CT Gym Source has made fitness a passion, career, and a lifestyle. At 50, he’s proud to say he’s participated in over 130 races. From 5k’s to ½ IRONMAN races, NYC to Iceland, he continues to raise the bar.
Even though his office is stocked with all the best home gym equipment, his enthusiasm for training didn’t come naturally at first.
“My first race was in 2002, I signed up on a whim. I didn’t train at all. In fact, I stopped at the gas station on the way to the race for a red bull hoping that would do the trick. I was struggling throughout the race, but miraculously finished. It was at the finish line I decided I loved running, but if I was going to do this, I wanted to do it right.”
Since then, he’s made his training regimens more of a lifestyle. “I try to sweat everyday.”
His training began with street and treadmill running. In 2005 he ran his first marathon, the NYC marathon. “The sheer amount of people and energy was contagious.”
As he crossed the finish line, he was already committing to reaching a personal record of a 3.5-hour marathon the following year. In 2006, he finished the NYC marathon in 3 hours, 29 minutes and 29 seconds.
His training paid off, and achieving his goals motivated him to remain committed to physical fitness.
As he transitioned into more dynamic races such as triathlons and adventure races his training broadened. He needed to incorporate climbing, biking, and swimming into the mix, and to ease the impact on his joints, which were becoming overworked. Gym equipment like the Cybex Arc Trainer, Expresso Bike, and Zero Runner became critical.
“Over the past few years my training has really progressed, along with the innovation of available machines. The Arc Trainer allowed my body to mimic climbing motions, helping me prepare for a 34 mile trek across a snowy mountain range in Iceland, while the Zero Runner has allowed me to train for long distance races without the stress on my knees. All the while the Expresso Bike allows me to virtually compete with others while cycling indoors.”
Now that’s a fitness equipment expert. Jan not only sells fitness equipment, but he uses it daily to achieve his own goals. Who better to help you meet yours?
Besides the natural high of crossing the finish line, his favorite part about participating in races is the community.
“The people I run, bike and swim with have become my friends, and we inspire each other.”
In fact, his passion has rubbed off on a good friend who had also never run, and now the two have begun training and competing together.
Wondering, what his favorite race was out of all 130?
“The NYC Triathlon is by far my favorite. I mean, you’re swimming in the Hudson River, cycling on a multi-lane highway, and running through Central Park. It doesn’t get much better. The scenery in Iceland was stunning though, that was a top-notch race as well. And to be honest, I really enjoy the small trail runs where there are only 20 people at the finish line. They all have their perks.”
Interested in learning more about Jan’s Icelandic adventure? We chronicle his 55-kilometer multi-terrain road race through sand, gravel, grass, snow, ice, rivers and streams—running straight up a mountain for the first 6 miles—in Iceland’s Laugavegur Ultra Marathon here.
Feeling inspired? Need help finding the right fitness equipment for YOUR goals? Wondering how to add versatility to your training needs? Connect with your local equipment expert at your local Gym Source showroom today.