Last September, Ben Kanute captivated his hometown crowd with a series of daring breakaway moves at the ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Chicago. The gutsy performance earned him most street cred amongst his peers as the most aggressive racer but the Chicago-native missed out at gaining one of the three US Men's Olympic Team qualifying spots. In the off-season, Kanute packed up and left his training base in Santa Fe, New Mexico and moved back to Tucson, Arizona, an environment more familiar and homey for the University of Arizona grad. Fellow Wildcat and Kanute's close friend, photographer Jimmy Song, trailed the Olympic hopeful through a typical day of preparation geared toward qualifying to represent Team USA in Rio this August.
Comments by Ben Kanute
All photographs © Jimmy Song
At a fairly early morning track workout at the Pima Community Track, the guy in the bleachers is my mentor and co-coach, 2000 Olympian Ryan Bolton. Ryan is explaining the workout here to a number of his athletes I know from Training Peaks.
On the inside is Alaphine Tuliamuk and to the outside is Caroline Rotich (2015 women's Boston Marathon winner). They are a couple of the Kenyans that Ryan coaches.
Ben, Alaphine and Carol are well into our workout. There were a couple of longer intervals at the beginning, and we finished off with 400s. They started off around threshold and got pretty quick near the end.
Here Jimmy caught me leading an interval.
Doug Friman in the background. We did a long straight swim to start off, then some short circuits to finish up
We swim at the University of Arizona's Hildebrand Aquatic center. Coach is Jeff Cummings. His program Dolphins of the Desert, coached with Geoffrey Glaser, has helped me a lot.
This was an open water session in which we we took the lanes out and dropped in some Powerade coolers as buoys. Worked well, but hurt like hell when you hit them.
I rode with Tom Valente, a local Tricat (University of Arizona's Club Triathlon Team). We just cruised around starting from the Mercado.
You can't do a workout at the Mercado and not end it with some Burritos!
This was before the track workout. This is at my house in Tucson. You have to start the day with a good cup of coffee! Working on my latte art, but it is mediocre at best right now.
Later in the day just hanging out. Could be after the track workout or any of the above. This couch is awesome! We got it for free and it is basically the size of a single bed! It is my favorite spot to chill out between workouts.
Rolling is a must when training, especially after a hard track workout! This is just where I have it set up right now.
Another picture of the swim workout. This is during the warm-up. Ben Hoffman is in the background.
Just me swimming. You can see the makeshift buoy in the back, so this is during an effort.