RaceMill Collegiate with Zach Jaeger

UCLA Triathlon's work horse!

Zach Jaeger recently took some time out from triathlon training, mental fortitude growth and school to let us know what he has been up to this season and what he has in the cross hairs going forward.

Hometown:  Folsom

School:  UCLA

Sport:  Triathlon



RM: How did you find your sport of choice?
ZJ:  At the track one evening in November 2013, (Coach) Brady spotted me and interrupted my run so he could try to convince me to join the triathlon team. I wasn't really interested because I just wanted to run. The next quarter I came out to a few swim practices and bike rides for cross-training, but I crashed on my third ride with the team and broke my hand. I then vowed never to bike again. After a year of Brady's persistence along with my recurring respiratory illnesses, I worked up my courage and started biking again in May 2015 when Brady let me borrow a team bike.

RM: What drives your competitiveness?
ZJ:  It comes partially from within and partially from others. I love the feeling of being in shape and getting PR's, or at least just noticing improvement. There is always room for improvement and progress. Teammates, Strava, and races are outside factors that drive me to be competitive, because winning is always fun.

Losing is not fun.

RM: Athlete that inspires you? Why?
ZJ:  Leo Manzano, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 1500m. I met him one morning at the track at UCLA, and he told me to never give up and that if I work hard I will be successful.
Robert Grove, my high school xc/track coach. He taught me that training is more than just training, and the relationships you build last a lifetime.
Brady O'Bryan because he doesn't make excuses.

RM: How many years have you been competing?
ZJ:  This is my first year competing. I joined the tri team in May 2015 and completed my first triathlon in June.

RM: Perfect weekend workout trip... where to? what do you bring? Itemize it! Tell us why it's in your car and why we need it.
ZJ:  Bend, Oregon during the summer. Summer training camp 2015 was here and it's my idea of triathlete heaven.
Roka wetsuit/goggles, bike, running shoes: to swim, bike, and run.
Stick roller: my muscles will be very sore all weekend.
Plenty of food: I will be eating nonstop.

RM: Group Training or do you prefer solitude? why?
ZJ:  Sometimes I need to run free on the trails by myself, but 99% of the time I prefer my teammates' company. There's something about having a team that really reaches me on a deeper level.

RM: Best result so far?
ZJ:  I won the WCCTC race and I'm pretty happy with my times, but Nationals in April are the only races that will really matter to anyone.

RM: What are you working on right now?
ZJ:  Swimming, biking, and running, of course! All day, every day.

Also school.

RM: What are you training for now?
ZJ:  USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals 2016 in Clemson, South Carolina! I'm doing the draft-legal, classic, and mixed-team relay races.

RM: Training secrets? Care to share?
ZJ:  If you don't sleep as much as you should, you have time for both training and academics. Just kidding, I'm just not very good at time management.

Seriously though, an integral part of training is working on mental toughness and focus, to attain "The Ideal Mental State" (Brady O'Bryan).

RM: Do you have a dream race you want to create?
ZJ:  I think a cool idea would be to combine triathlon with mental challenges like chess or puzzles, which racers could play/solve after finishing the swim-bike-run part of the race. That would be a real test of mental fortitude.

RM: Training Tracks: Favorite songs to train/race to? Minimum of 5 please!


Till I Collapse -Eminem
X Gonna Give It To Ya -DMX
I Can't Stop -Flux Pavilion
Beggin' -Logic
Beast -Tech N9ne
Hit 'Em Up -2pac
Right Now -Van Halen
The Jig Is Up (Dump'n) -Kendrick Lamar

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