Essential Sports Nutrition


Athlete Spotlight: Justine Waters: Why this bada$$, humble triathlete can't stop smiling

Name: Justine Waters

Age: 30

City/State: Currently: Dover, DE (Military Wife)
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

Primary sport: Triathlon

How many years in the sport: 4 years

What Trimarni services have you used: Retul, Training Plan, Group training camp, 3rd year as a one-on-one Trimarni coaching athlete


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

Ha-ha. I would love to tell you about my glory days of college and the championships I helped win…but alas…I was one of those chubby college kids working my butt off trying to graduate without debt. Sports? A’int nobody got time for dat! I finished my first 5K in 2008, red faced, out of breath, and with an empty stomach, in a time most would finish a sprint-tri; but hey, it was a step forward. Soon after, with a spin class under my belt and a borrowed bike, I completed a 70.3 with only my family and the road sweepers to cheer me across the line. Oddly, I was hooked.

What keeps you training and racing in your current sport?

 IT’S SO MUCH FUN!!! Every day I get to lace up my shoes, clip onto my bike and jump in the pool. I consider myself so blessed and am forever thankful for my healthy body and that it allows me to reach for my personal goals!

What do you do for work?
I split my time between working in the emergency room and in a surgery center as a Registered Nurse.

How does your work life affect training and how do you balance work and training?
I love being a nurse, but it does come with some crazy hours and constant schedule changes. The key to my balance is food, sleep, and motivation. With my schedule, meal prep is a must, sticking to a plan is futile and when I get downtime, I don’t mess around…I’m talking books, baths, snuggle time with my hubby and dog Otis and relax time.

Any tips/tricks as to how to balance work and training?
I’ve got the goals, but more importantly, I need a plan to help me reach my athletic goals. For me, I always have to be honest and upfront with my coaches and myself. We’ve already made plenty of adjustments this year, but what I love most about my coaches is their honesty and their never give-up-on-me mentality. 
I like to look at my workweek along with my training plan, and I visualize how I want the week to go. I write down what needs to happen and when (ex. when I need to be at the pool, when I need to go to bed, what I will be eating etc).

Do you have kids?
Furbaby Otis.

How do you balance your training with your partner? Any tips or tricks for keeping your partner happy while you train to reach your personal goals?

I’ve been married (to Eric) for almost six years, and have been a triathlete for four of them. For the first year as a triathlete, we were just trying to figure things out. One thing I know for certain is that training and competing is something that I do, but it’s not who I am. I love my husband and he comes first. In the winter, my husband and I like to lay out my race and camp schedule for the upcoming year so we both know what’s in front of us so that he doesn’t get surprised as they year progresses. Scheduling is key so I plan date nights, reserve one weekend day to spend all day with him and try to do a little something special every now and again to remind him how much he means to me. He is my number one fan!

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

My first Ironman was IM Texas in 2014 and after I crossed the finish line, I told my husband and Marni that I was going to compete at Kona one day. At my second Ironman, IM Maryland in 2015, I finished second and qualified for Kona that next year!!! There were so many factors that I could go on and on about that affected that race but all that mattered was I collapsed after I crossed that finish line, and the next day I got to hear, “Justine Waters, you’re going to Kona!". What’s crazy is that just five weeks earlier, I had my very first DNF at a 70.3, while thinking this may be the year I could qualify for Kona. And now I couldn't finish a 70.3? Instead of feeling defeated, it gave me more focus and fueled my fire inside!

In October, I raced my first ever Ironman World Championship. IM Kona was such an amazing race and I felt strong all day! To be able to compete on one of the most challenging Ironman courses, and against the best in the word was unbelievable! I loved every minute of it! The best part was that I had my family, coaches, and some of the team there to help cheer me on. Did I mention that I beat coach Karel out of the water? That's a pretty big deal.

I would love to say I had phenomenal race results, but I am still learning. What’s important is I have a healthy body and plenty of adventures in front of me.


What are your top 3-5 tips for athletes, as it relates to staying happy, healthy and performing well?

2) RUN happy
3) Get a great coach!!!

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

I try not to judge my race results on my time or overall/age placement, but instead, I think about how I felt throughout the race and how well I executed the race. Of course, I love to win, but it's not everything!

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

CLIF chocolate protein recovery drink, PIZZA and beer.

What key races do you have planned in 2017?

Mountain to Mainstreet half ironman 
Eagleman 70.3 
Lake Logan half ironman
Atlantic City 70.3

What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years?I would like to qualify for the 70.3 world championship and to be happy and healthy in the sport I love!

Anything else?

I love being part of the Trimarni team family! Marni and Karel help push me on days I’m struggling, are so encouraging, and help bring balance to my triathlete life with laughs, tears, recipes, and inspiration! I cannot express how much the team means to me and how encouraging they are. I’ve truly made lifelong friends. Every year I look forward to meeting new teammates, going to camp to hang out with my Trimarni family, picking team races or just being around like-minded people. It’s an honor to be this week’s spotlight and I am incredibly humbled. Thank you!

To follow Justine and her triathlon and life adventures: Justine Waters (facebook) JustJustine3 (instagram)