Andrew Arden joined the AO squad in the winter of 2019. Andrew currently balances law school with triathlon training demands, but he actually enjoys it because it keeps him busy and on a schedule. Andrew joined the squad after a few years of figuring the sport out on his own and experiencing the ups and downs that pathway provides. Andrew bleeds wolfpack red after getting his undergrad degree from N.C. State and now attends UNC law school. Andrew is an olympic and 70.3 distance athlete who loves to go fast on the bike.
1. You've joined the AO squad now for about half a year, how has it been getting coached and getting to be part of group sessions w/ the AO squad vs doing it on your own in previous years?
It’s been a big boost to my consistency, which is beginning to show in my progress as an athlete. It’s so easy to cut a hard workout short or skip it when I’m tired and only accountable to myself. When I have teammates and a coach out there with me, I know I’m going to get the best out of myself, even if I’m not feeling 100%, because there’s so much camaraderie in getting through the workouts together.
2. What's your favorite part of training, what motivates you while your racing season is on hold through this covid pandemic?
I love going fast, especially on my bike. There’s really nothing like being out on a good country road, putting your head down, and hammering it.
I’ll be honest, motivation has sometimes been difficult lately. There have definitely been days where I’ve skipped structured interval workouts to just ride my bike or run for the joy of doing it, and I think that’s okay right now.
I have been trying to set more short term/incremental goals to stay motivated until we can race again. Lately that’s meant going after local KOMs on Strava, but I’m also planning to start setting some more concrete short term run goals, like maybe running a 5k or 10k PR.
3. Finished undergrad and now in 1st year law school, how are you handling the training load and school load?
The first semester was an adjustment. I was coming off an injury, trying to get somewhat ready for 70.3NC without any consistent run training, and balancing the new demands of law school while trying to have a somewhat normal social life. I was getting better at it this semester, especially having a coach to help me plan my schedule, but now with COVID and online classes it’s been like learning to balance things all over again.
4. What's the craziest court case/decision you've had to read up on and discuss with law school so far?
I’ve been amazed by a lot of my criminal law cases, especially by the insane amount of power and discretion that prosecutors have. It’s so easy for them to pile bogus charges on top of each other, sometimes locking non-violent drug offenders up for most of their lives by piling up different charges for a single crime, on top of mandatory minimums. For example we talked recently about a case where a non-violent, unarmed drug offender was convicted of use of a firearm in addition to a plethora of other possession, distribution, and conspiracy charges all relating to one event, even though he was unarmed. Prosecutors are allowed to do that under the Pinkerton liability rule, just one of many ways prosecutors can abuse their power to look “tough on crime” to their electorate, in my opinion.
5. What race are you most looking forward to this year and why?
I’m really excited for the Age Group National Championships, if they still happen this August. I think I have a decent chance at a top bike split and maybe an overall podium finish there, if I can keep improving consistently and race to my potential.
6. You battled through some injuries last year, what have you learned from that that you apply to your training now?
Consistency! Especially with running, it’s so much more important to build consistency and miles over time than try to ramp up miles quickly or push through monster workouts, which in my experience just leads to months of being sidelined with injury.
7. What's your social media handles and anyone you want to give kudos to?
I wanna give kudos to my partner Hannah and my family, who have come to virtually every one of my races, made countless sacrifices so I can keep doing what I love, and given me unwavering support; to my teammates Wesley Sommer and Alex Thomas, my other training partner Zach Tacy, who all push me to be a better athlete; and to coach Brooks, who has kept me free from major injury (knock on wood), helped me balance my school and training, and shown me how much potential I can have in this sport.
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