Dr. Craig McManaman somehow finds the time and energy to train for triathlons around his home in Bad Axe, Michigan. What is especially interesting is his wife is his biggest competitor and they are both crazy enough to have built a training lap pool in their back yard! Read on for more!
How and when did you get started doing triathlons?
I wrestled in college and on the Olympic circuit and always cross-trained with running and swimming. My first triathlon was with other medical students from MSU in Holland, MI in 1991. I enjoyed it and pursued more races later in my career.
What do you find so appealing about the sport?
It gives me the ability to compete in my middle age years and endurance sports are interesting to me coming from a combative sports background.
Tell us about that competitor you live with – your wife!
She’s an excellent runner who has won half marathons in the past. Triathlon was a natural progression for her to pick up to include the swimming and biking. She has become very competitive and we push each other in training.
What is your favorite, swimming, biking or running?
My favorite is biking. I like anything on two wheels but I’m probably most comfortable with swimming or running.
Rumor has it you do your swimming training right out your back door!
Yes, Lisa and I decided to put a 25-meter lap pool in our backyard in 2018! We open it to our friends in the area who also do triathlons, which makes it more fun. We sponsor a triathlon in our neighborhood each summer to honor our dear friend Trever Engler (excellent triathlete) who we lost in a plane crash the year our pool opened. He was influential in our building the pool so we cherish his memory.
What is your orthopedic practice like? How do you find time to train?
I’ve been in practice 20 years this summer. I have a solo private practice servicing three rural counties in the northern Thumb of Michigan. I do between 100 to 200 total joints per year and service two hospitals and the entire trauma. Training is customized every day around what cases I have to perform and I concentrate on strength, running, swimming and biking.
What length races have you done?
I started with sprints and now concentrate on only Olympic distances.
(Editor’s Note: An Olympic Triathlon is 1.5K (.93mile) swim, 40K (24.8 mi) bike, and 10K (6.2 mi) run)
What are your triathlon goals for the 2020 and beyond?
My wife wants us to do a half Ironman. I am still considering this but for now I would like to improve my times at the Olympics distance.
How has triathlon competition affected your life?
Health and longevity are my goals and triathlon has kept me from becoming a fat, middle-aged orthopod.
Any advice for those of us thinking about getting into the sport?
Just start with a shorter distance and swim/train in the open water whenever you get the chance!