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Gill's Dr. Andrew Kolodziej will swim, bike, run for a worthwhile cause

Dr. Andrew Kolodziej represents Team PHenomenal Hope in IronMan Chattanooga.
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/ by UK HealthCare

On September 29, 2019, Dr. Andrew Kolodziej, medical director of the Heart Transplant Program, will travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., to swim 2.4 miles, ride his bicycle 112 miles and then run a full marathon of 26.2 miles as part of IronMan Chattanooga (a total of 140.6 miles) – and this incredible feat is all for a good cause: Dr. Kolodziej is representing Team PHenomenal Hope and raising money to support pulmonary hypertension and lung transplant patients.

We recently chatted with Dr. Kolodziej about everything from fundraising to gear to diet – and even how he finds the time in his busy schedule to train.

What are you raising money for?

I’ll be representing Team PHenomenal Hope and representing pulmonary hypertension patients. Proceeds from donations go to support not only these patients but also pre- and post-lung transplant patients. This team was co-founded by Dr. Patricia George, who is the director of pulmonary hypertension at National Jewish Health in Denver.

Is there an event you are looking forward to or dreading? What is your strongest event? Weakest?

I suppose my strongest event would be the 112-mile bike ride, which will probably take me five and a half to six hours. My weakest portion is the swim – although over the past three years I have significantly improved my technique and speed. The full marathon after riding 112 miles on the bike certainly makes me cringe and will probably be the hardest part of the race.

Tell us about your training. How do you find time to work full time and train for such a long event?

I try to mimic the race as much as possible by including a run right after riding my bike. Otherwise, part of my training included a half-IronMan (70.3) in Delaware, Ohio. Since then, I have picked up my mileage on the bike, riding 60-70 miles per session and upped my running to 17-20 miles per run. Most of my swimming is done in a pool, but sometimes I’ll go to Laurel Lake or Cave Run Lake to practice open water swimming.

Given my clinical responsibilities, I try to squeeze in training sessions at home on a bike trainer using software called Zwift. I try to run outside as much as I can, but I also use my ‘pain cave’ in my basement where my bicycle is set up is set up next to my treadmill.

Most of my training happens late in the evening or early in the morning and on weekends.

Tell us about your gear.

My bike is an Argon 18 E-114 triathlon bike with Easton carbon wheels. I run mostly in On-Cloud CloudFlyer running shoes, and my triathlon suits are short sleeve with Polish colors and an eagle to represent my country of origin as well as Team PHenomenal Hope trisuit.

What is your diet like during training? What will you eat during the race?

I mostly follow a ketogenic diet with high fat and low carbohydrates. During the race, I use carbohydrates such as energy gels and chews as well as electrolyte drinks such as Sword, a locally manufactured endurance drink.

How does your fitness influence your work?

Doing so much of my training in the morning seems to make my day more productive. I have noted that I am more focused and efficient at work when I exercise.

Click through the photo gallery below to see how Dr. Kolodziej is training for this race.

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