TriCoachFlorida Feature Story in LAVA Magazine

Meet The Age-Grouper Who Balances Sport And Work As A Flight Attendant

Lava Magazine is the official magazine of Ironman. TriCoachFlorida Coach Cube was selected and featured in an article highlighting his background in the flight & travel industry and his success as a triathlon training coach and athlete. Check out the article below.

Fred Mehrer

Age: 50
Resides: Wellington, FL
Profession: Triathlon Coach and Flight Attendant
Accomplishments: USAT Level 1 Certified Coach and six time USAT Age Group Olympic Distance National Qualifier

I got intrigued by triathlon and wanted to try one for my 40th birthday. I signed up for a Sprint and then thought, “Well, let me do a pre-Sprint to get ready for the Sprint.” After those two, a buddy convinced me to do another, so I ended up doing three triathlons that first year. From there I wanted to try an Olympic and—you know how it is when the addiction starts—next thing you know I am doing a 70.3 and then another 70.3. It actually took me probably six years before I really got the itch to do a full Ironman.

I lived in the Atlanta area for the first eight years that I competed and have been back down in Florida for about four years now. I have traveled for a lot of races, doing IRONMAN Louisville, Muncie 70.3, Augusta 70.3, Austin 70.3, Florida 70.3 and St. Anthony’s in Tampa. Now it is a different challenge than before. I have kids and now that I am remarried I have step kids, so that adds a demographic that is new for me with being a dad and having those responsibilities.

I definitely cater my coaching to people with families or with jobs that require travel and athletes that have hectic lifestyles. I get texts almost daily from my athletes worried about their training because they have a business trip to go on the next week. They try to tip me off and say, “I can do an open water swim or treadmill run, but no bike.” So I go to their Training Peaks and we adjust everything based on what is available to them at the locations they are going to be while they travel. I feel as a coach the biggest thing I try to offer my athletes is fluidity. Life is always changing and you have to have fluidity in training. I offer unlimited communication to my athletes to call me, text me, Skype me—because again, not only are they traveling, but I travel for work as well, so luckily wherever I go we have wifi and we can connect.

When you’re traveling, it is best to spend a few extra minutes before you leave to research the hotel or facility where you will be staying and see if they have a gym and what is available. The good thing is, pretty much anywhere you go you can always get in a run. A lot of times if you are in a location that has a safe area you can do an open water swim, or there is a YMCA close by where you can get in the pool and swim. It depends if you have time available; a lot of people travel for business meetings and then have social functions tied to those meetings and are limited on time. I try to make it clear to my athletes that if we have to pull back for a couple of days while you are traveling that doesn’t ruin a season. Don’t stress about a couple of days here or there that you have to travel.

Now, I say you can run anywhere, but I went for a run once in Kuwait and I was getting a lot of attention with horns beeping and people pointing and yelling things in Arabic to me. I didn’t realize what was going on until later that evening, when I talked with some of our Arabic speakers on the flight crew. They asked what I had been wearing and I said I was in running shorts and a tank top. They said, “Well no wonder! You aren’t supposed to be exposed like that.” It was 112 degrees and humid! It was definitely a descending run; I got faster as I went along because I wasn’t getting a warm and fuzzy feeling. It is something you don’t think about in the States. I had quite the cultural experience.

The biggest thing that I have learned in my travels is if you do fly, try to ship as much as you possibly can along with your bike—a lot of the companies offer to take a certain amount of gear along with it—to take the edge off the accumulating stress. This means you don’t have to worry about checking an extra bag on the plane or carrying all of your gear with you on the plane, plus your clothing. As with anything, any kind of advanced planning is better to reduce the stress of the actual event. Just a little bit of forethought and a little bit of advanced planning goes a long way.


Full article can be seen on LAVA Magazine website by Clicking Here.