Athlete Profile – Cris Miller

Cris Miller

About the Athlete
Location: Greenfield, IN
Age Group: 40-44
Years in Triathlon: 4

What two or three books would you recommend?

It does not have to be triathlon related, but may have helped you with motivation/balance or to get through a tough time or create a new approach to the sport?

  1. Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins. An incredible read. I did not know what I was getting into when I first started reading it, but once I started, I could not put it down. The rollercoaster of a ride he had. The sheer determination, the let downs, the getting back up and dusting himself off. It was pure dirt and grit in the end and I could not wait to see where he would push his limits next. This motivates me each morning. Every morning when my alarm goes off at four am… and everyone else is sleeping.
  2. The Heroin Diaries – Nikki Sixx. I love this book. Nikki Sixx did a journal all his days when he was a heroin addict and made it into a book… it is raw. I literally felt like i was in the room with him while reading this. While I was never a drug addict, I know what it is like to cover up your pain with a substance constantly. I really could relate to what he was going through but just in a different way. He got sober, fell back off the wagon, and got sober again. It is a true testament that sometimes you just continue to fall before you are strong enough to stand back up on your own.

What is the one thing (other than a bike or power meter) you purchased that you use and benefit from all the time?

Name specific brand and where you got it so others can share in your love.

This is a tough one. I am not a gadget person. I have your basic Garmin 920 watch and a dumb trainer. Had a HR monitor once but after it quit working for me the second time I gave up on technology. I am just a “go by feel” person. If I had to make anything, I use ALL THE TIME is my Wattie Ink gear. It’s not just because I’m a Hit Squad member, but I just truly love their gear. I wear it to bike, run, lift weights… oh and you can get it online. Except right now, their production has stopped due to the COVID-19.

What is a specific “failure” or “apparent failure” in a race or training that set you up for future success?

Or what was a turning point in your triathlon career that changed how you approached the sport/lifestyle?

I have been injured twice with a stress fracture in my tibia. Injuries are devastating to an athlete. So after my last injury I knew that I needed to make some changes…well, several changes. From what I was putting into my body to strength training.

Cris Miller and Robbie Bruce

If you could make an Instagram post you knew would be seen and shared by millions, what would it say?

It does not have to be your quote, just something, you love and think would make a difference.

“I heard you were focusing a little more on yourself, and worrying a little less about everyone else. That’s Beautiful”

I have no idea who said that or even where it came from…but I think that in today’s society, we are always worried about everyone else. But if you cannot love yourself first, you can’t love other people.

What is the best or most worthwhile investment you’ve made in triathlon?

This could be financially, time, or energy investments.

This one is every easy… getting a coach. Not only do I have someone that cares about my racing, he cares about me. My training and my mental health, because these two things to hand in hand.

What is an unusual or absurd habit or superstition you have that relates to training or racing?

A night before a race, I always have to watch something inspiring. Before I became a triathlete and I was just racing half-marathons to Ultra distances I would always sit in front of the TV getting my race bib together eating a large pizza, drinking a PowerAde zero and watching Prefontaine. The Jared Leto version because that is the best one.

Cris Miller and fellow C26 Athlete

In the last 5 years, what is the behavior, habit or new belief that has most changed how you train?

The newest habit that I have picked up is that 98.7% of my training is alone. I enjoy having a plan, structured workouts that Robbie gives me, and I do not veer from that. Not that I’m better than anyone else, but it really gives me a chance to focus on myself.

What advice would you give a friend your age who is just getting into triathlon? What advice should they ignore?

Don’t do it, it’s a trick. Lol. NAH, only kidding. First, just have fun and surround yourself with people that pick you up. Everyone will have their opinion of how you should do things. So it is important for that friend to find what works for them.

They should ignore people who suck the life out of the sport.

What are bad recommendations for training that you hear a lot?

I do not have people recommend things to me because most people know I am coached. But things I see on Facebook are like… “I did 120 mile bike ride and followed it up with a 12 mile run.”

In the last 5 years how have you changed your approach to nutrition? What are some specific benefits you’ve found?

Not even in the last 5 years… just the last couple of months alone… I have recently quit drinking (as of today 84 days to be exact) and after the first month I noticed just how much better my training has felt. During the peaks coach gave me, I would feel tired, but I would recover quickly and just be on point. Not saying every workout was a great workout, but the workouts were flowing a lot better than last year. I have also just signed up with Fly Nutrition to get my nutrition on track so that has still to be determined. Check back with me on that in a couple months.

When you feel overwhelmed, unmotivated or distracted what kind of things do you do to get back in the game and re-center/focus? If helpful, what questions do you ask?

Some of the hardest times is that 4am alarm clock. I will not lie, I have legit shed a few tears rolling out of bed in the dark to get to the gym. If anyone says they have never experienced that then they are lying. It is not that I am unmotivated, but 4am is a bitch. Lol. But then I remember, that if I get back into bed all that will happen is I’ll lay there for an hour asking myself if I made the right decision. Then when I finally get out I am mad at myself for not getting up… so that keeps me motivated right there. Having kids that are grown and out of the house I do not get distracted too much. I do however give some serious mad props to those athletes that make kids, work, and triathlon work together. You all are the real MVP’s here.

Of swim, bike, run, what is your toughest sport and what kind of things have you found helpful to improve?

It used to be swimming. I am still not a stellar swimmer, but I have come a long way. I spent a lot of time in the pool swimming with a pull buoy during my injuries. That is all I was able to do. So you learn how to be a fish really quick.

What is your “why” when it comes to triathlon and how do you keep it present in your mind?

I wish I had some kind of inspiration reasoning for my “why.” I do not. Training is my drug of choice. It is what I do. Some people ride motorcycles and some people knit scarves for the homeless… but me, this is my hobby. I legit love the training. I love that I found a team that is so much like family. I love that I found a coach that cares. Maybe it is that I do not want to let any of them down. I do not want to let my husband down. Most of all, I do not want to let myself down. I always want to push that button for the next level.

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