Essential Sports Nutrition


Athlete spotlight: Gary Bonacorsi - 68 years "young" and not slowing down

Name:  Gary Bonacorsi

Age: 68

City/State: Palm Harbor, Florida

Primary sport: Triathlon

How many years in the sport: 19 years


Describe your athletic background and how you discovered your current sport?

I wrestled in H.S. During my adult life, I have enjoyed racket ball, snow skiing, softball, strength work, bike riding, running 5K's, volleyball and swimming. After moving to Florida from Michigan in 1989, I soon realized how much more swimming, biking and running where available to me due to great weather. Friends saw my interests and invited to do the bike leg of a sprint triathlon in 1998. I completed the bike leg and knew I wanted and was able to complete the entire 3-part race so I signed up for my first sprint triathlon right after this race. The sprint race was in Clermont Fl. in June 1998 and I placed 8th out of 9 competitors using my hybrid bike, swim suit and white tank top (I was a sight to behold!). The race/competition was an absolute thrill and have thrown myself into the sport every since.

What do you do for work?

Retired from Property Management.

How does your work life affect training and how do you balance work and training?

I simply enjoy the swimming, biking and running and all the fitness it brings. The physical fitness promotes and enhances all the other parts of my life. I love to race and compete and the secret to great racing is great training so the racing is a great motivator to keep training. The other strong motivator is all the learning and improvement that comes with Trimarni Coaching. One particular example is that after I write a race report, my coaches read and respond with what I may have done well or not so well. I keep a training log and record all training and races and when I receive those corrective e-mails, I print them off and attach those right to that particular race in my log. It is always very valuable information that I can apply immediately in my training, in the next race or sometimes it applies only to that race and I will use that info the following year. I am able to use my training log and Trimarni information to improve and that means of improvement keeps me training and racing.

Do you have kids?

Just one doggy child named Buddy (a tan/black Havanese).

How do you balance your training with your partner?

You start by deciding that the other person/family are FIRST and triathlon second. Communication is key. Share just how many hours you plan on investing and how you plan to meet the needs of your partner/family and other responsibilities while training. Balancing your time may take some trial and error but keep family in the loop (remember they are first) and when family is not happy then just back off a little until your "balance comes back".

Any tips or tricks for keeping your partner happy while you train to reach your personal goals?
Any tips/tricks as to how to balance work and training?

Yes, save time by having quality workouts and purchase a very good treadmill and bike trainer to place in your home! This also helps with relationships because you are not gone all the time. Also, find a pool close by or on your way to/from work - this is also a huge time saver.

What keeps you training and racing in your current sport?

When I was working just 3 years ago, work would obviously afford me less time and energy to put into my training but I accepted that. I balanced the two by assigning to myself 6-8 hours of training time, per week, that I knew, after trial and error, left me with enough energy to perform at work knowing work was the top priority.

Do you have a recent race result, notable performance or lesson learned that you'd like to share?

Actually it is not a single race but an entire 2016 season of 12 sprint triathlons that I placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd. What I enjoyed was consistency, always mentally motivated and staying injury free. The great lesson learned is to accept and embrace the style of training that Trimarni coaching offers. I have learned to trust and be patient in developing fitness over time and to do the strength work, going easy in the beginning, understanding zones and staying in those zones when asked and also learning how to go really hard when called for and what hard should really feel like.

What are your top tips for athletes, as it relates to staying happy, healthy and performing well?

1. As mentioned earlier, the very best tip is to follow your training. I absorb all the incredibly valuable information that comes our way from my coaches in the form of videos and e-mails. Trimarni promotes a happy, healthy and well performing lifestyle.
2. I do not take my good health for granted and I have regular checkups with all my medical doctors and take vaccinations.
3. Consume wholesome food.
4. I have been befriending many of the men in my age group and have made many personal friends over the years and it is fun/enjoyable to meet up with them each time and that translates into happy.

How would you define athletic success as it relates to your personal journey?

My personal journey, at 68 years old, is to continue to challenge myself in all areas of life. I would then define athletic success as using triathlon and all of its' training to challenge me so as to be as good or better than anyone in my age group. In addition to the athletic success we all seek, triathlon is extremely important to me because of all the like minded people it brings into my life, that I can enjoy this sport with. I have met many people through this sport and have made many friends and built relationships with those friends. This has added to the enjoyment and sweetness of life itself. So thank you triathlon!

What's your favorite post-race meal, drink or food?

Beans and rice and lots of water.

What key races do you have planned in 2017

Not any key races but instead I want to place first in the 3-race Sprint Triathlon Series races and claim the most USAT points available per race for a higher USAT standing. 

What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years?
I would like to compete in Nationals in 2018 at 70 years old and place high enough to qualify for Worlds.

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This is a new weekly feature on the Trimarni blog where we will be shining the spotlight on one of our Trimarni athletes (coaching or nutrition) every week.
We hope that you will feel inspired by the spotlight athlete as you learn a few tips and tricks to help you reach your personal athletic and nutrition goals.
Our athletes are normal individuals choosing to do exceptional things with a healthy body.