Craig Alexander - Five time Ironman World Champion
Episode Name: 2. Craig Alexander
Host and world-renowned triathlete Greg Bennett welcomes Craig Alexander to this episode of BE with Champions. A native Australian, Craig holds five Ironman world titles, and has won over 50 Ironman races throughout the course of his career. As a husband and father of three, Craig lives a full and busy life, but is intentional about keeping his priorities in order. In this episode, Craig shares his motivations behind staying fit at 46, how he became a triathlete, the importance of mentorship, and the secret behind the champion mindset.
Growing up, Craig dreamt of being a professional soccer player. However, when he was 20 he was severely injured and couldn’t play for five months. Craig started running to get back in shape, and fell in love with it. He slowly worked his way into competing in biathlons and then triathlons. Early on in his career, he fell into a training group with other great athletes, a group to which he attributes much of his success. That companionship was a lifeline for Craig in the high-performance environment of professional racing, and Craig explains how training together was like being on a team. As all athletes do, Craig has struggled with doubts throughout his career, but the biggest lesson he has learned is to drop his ego and ask for advice; he believes that an athlete should be continually learning from his peers.
While in his early twenties, Craig made a commitment to himself to always be resilient. He accepts that success is not easy, and that life as an athlete is a constant overcoming of obstacles. Striving to set a good example for his children, he is dedicated to the journey and the setbacks, not simply the outcome. In his mid-twenties, he finished in the top ten of his first three world cups, and won his first world title in 2006 at the age of 32. He says that the champion mindset is what got him from eighth place to first place, and that he had to shift into this mindset before he won, not after. Craig decided that he simply was not okay with anything but first place, and so he worked tirelessly until he achieved the title.
As he grew older, Craig found himself wanting to spend more time with his wife and children and less training for triathlons. However, when his oldest daughter, Lucy, became a runner, it motivated him to start training again. Spending time training with Lucy helped him fall back in love with the sport and stay committed to his training regimen. Craig hasn’t found aging to be a barrier, and plans to continue racing in 2020. He desires to keep supporting the companies that have supported him, keep up his love of the sport, and keep being a great husband and father.
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