Balazs Csoke: 2015 Triathlon Season Wrap-Up and 2016 Outlook

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Balazs Csoke: 2015 Triathlon Season Wrap-Up and 2016 Outlook

Blog by sponsored athlete Balazs Csoke

Balazs Csoke is entering his seventh year as a professional triathlete and fourth year as a sponsored Klean athlete. Balazs was born in Szeged, Hungary, and currently trains in The Woodlands, Texas. Balazs learned to appreciate sports at a very young age and grew to love the triathlon by 16. He is a professional triathlete by trade and is equally passionate about nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle both on and off the race course. When we had last chatted one-on-one with Balazs, he had just completed IRONMAN® Brazil and was ramping up for his final 2015 season push. It’s a new year and a new season, and we recently caught up with Balazs just after he returned home from IRONMAN® Dubai 70.3 to learn about his off-season training, early season prep and what’s in store for 2016.

Q: Please set the stage for us on where we are in your triathlon season and the state of triathlon in general.

A: As of today, triathlon is a highly global sport and there is not much off-season left for pro athlete. Of course we have a few very important races during the year, but given the race calendar there is always an option to race. I started my year with IRONMAN® Dubai 70.3, to help break up my winter training block, but my first ‘big race’ will be IRONMAN® South Africa in April.


Q: How do you approach the off-season in terms of schedule, routine and training? What is your primary goal?

A: My main goal in the offseason is to rest and recover. Everything else comes after. Of course I do some short workouts but if I feel like it, I just skip them. After a hard season, that’s super important to do when you have some time off! It helps not just for my body, but also to switch my mind off from triathlon for a few weeks.


Q: Given the length of the triathlon season, how do you balance starting the season prepared, yet not burning out or peaking too early?

A: That’s a really good question! I think the most important piece is to have a clear goal in every season. When you have the goal you can start planning your way back from that race. So I picked up IRONMAN® South Africa as my first big race, and built up everything around it from November. I knew that I would have a little shorter build-up for this than usual, but I am confident that I can be in the best possible shape mentally and physically for the race!

Q: How does your off-season training and nutrition differ from that during the season?

A: Well, the goal is very simple: try to match my nutrition to my training. So basically when I’m not training as much, I’m also mindful to reduce my calorie intake some. It comes very easily for me, as if I don’t train as much, I am just not as hungry. I guess I am pretty lucky with this:)


Q: How many years have you been competing as a pro? Does the repetition of the schedule, routine and process get monotonous, or do you channel that repetition to constantly find ways to improve, become stronger and more experienced?

A: This is going to be my seventh year as a pro. I think nothing makes you stronger in the sport than consistency. Over the years, I can say my race and training routine is what works for me the best. With this confidence, I feel I have more power to focus on improving my mental strength, which is something I feel is a bit undervalued in today’s pro triathlon community.


Q: You just raced IRONMAN® Dubai 70.3. Walk us through it. How did it go?

A: It was a great test race for me where my fitness is still building early in the year. I had many other personal commitments leading up the race, so I was quite pleased with the result I had after such a limited training block. Unfortunately the swim was shortened down to 900 meters, which definitely didn’t play in my favor, but I had the highest power output on the bike ever, so I am very happy with that result. I developed some serious cramps on the run, which took me out from fighting for a top 10 place in a stellar field. Overall I am very happy with my performance and I am confident it was excellent preparation for IRONMAN® South Africa.


Q: Can you speak to how triathlon has changed over the years? As one of the fastest-growing sports, how is it different now from when you first began many years ago?

A: : I can tell you that it is a totally different sport than it was five years ago. The level of professional racing hardly compares to a few years ago. The fields are extremely deep and talented at every race, and even the smallest mistake during an 8.5 hour race is critical now. Before that, it was still ‘acceptable’ to have for example a bit slower transition time, or just be tactical and ride easier for portions of a race. Today even the smallest mistake can cost 3-4 positions at the finish. Truthfully, I had three sprint finishes at IRONMAN® races in the last three years and that is unheard of!


Q: When you’re not running, in a pool or on a bike, where can you be found?

A: I try to spend as much time recovering as I can. Recovery is really the fourth discipline of triathlon!


Visit to learn more about Balazs and be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter for his latest updates.


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