Roger Bonga is the bad influence who introduced me to the drug of Ultra Running. He took me under his wing last winter as he trained for Western States 100. I thought he was nuts to want to run with me, being I could barely run 4 miles at the time, but he was patient. After just a few weekly runs he had me running farther and faster than ever. Roger invited me to pace him at Western States and it was all over from there when it came to Ultra Marathons. Roger is an avid Triathlete. I asked Roger to answer a few questions about himself and what he does:
BM: What is your running Resume? Which race or accomplishment are you most proud of?
RB: Running resume, I started running in 2000. I’ve done 60+ 5k’s, 5 or 6 marathons, 2 50′s, one 100. 5 Ironman’s, 9 Half Ironman’s, many sprint and olympic tri’s. 6 24hr bike races. 2 12 hr bike race. many many more im forgetting. Accomplishment proud of. For me riding across the country is the most, then the 366 miles at the 24 hr and Western States 100.
BM: What motivates you to get out and train? What is your training like?
RB: Motivation. For me just seeing how good I can get is the motivation. Just like being a race car driver but instead your body is the car that your racing, lol.
Training. Training I feel that I train lighter than most at my level. I’m kind of lazy when I train, lol. But usually week days are 2hours a day and weekends have at least one big day and a shorter 2 hour day. Always one day off each week. Sometimes two.
BM: Who got you into running? Triathlons?
RB: Who got me into running and tri’s. Dave Minard. Running first and then we both thought it would be fun to try a tri. I turned out to be more competitive than him.
BM: What is a Triathlon? And what are the different types? Duathlon?
RB: Triathlon is a three event race. Usually swim bike run. Du’s are two. Run, bike run. Du’s vary a lot. Tri”s are usually either a sprint, olympic, half iron, full iron.
BM: What is your next big race?
RB: My next big race is the great floridian. Full ironman distance in florida.
BM: What are your long term goals or dreams?
RB: Long term goals. Run across America solo, run across each state, Badwater, Furnace Creek 508, Winning a Ironman, breaking 17 min in a 5k. Lol,, lots of different things.
BM: How would you encourage someone to start running or triathlons?
RB: Encourage others. Find a sport you like to do and have fun at. If its not fun your not going to stick with it. Find some people to help get you started also. Makes it easier.
BM: What equipment is needed to get started?
RB: Equipment for running, just shoes. Tri’s you really just need goggles, bike, helmet, and shoes. Thats it.
BM: What is your favorite place for running information?
RB: Favorite place for running info. HMMMM,,,, internet!
BM: How do you stay healthy? Recover?
RB: Healthy, you need to take rest days and eat healthy. Specially the older you get. Hitting some weights helps a lot also. Also have fun, if its not fun its stress. Stress tears you down!
BM: What type of running shoe do you wear? Do you ever run barefoot?
RB: Running shoe, Asics 3020 mostly, racing flats for races and a few other days. I never run barefoot except in triathlons coming out of the swim and running through transition.
BM: Who do you follow? Your role models?
RB: Follow.. I really have never followed any one person or had any role models. I watch a lot of people and study how they train and race tho. When I got started I learned everything just by watching others. Didn’t know anyone in the sports.
BM: What other information would you want to share to help someone getting started or someone who has been doing this for awhile?
BM: The last question is a tough one. I guess have fun with anything you do. Thats makes a big difference!