For Ben Kanute, triathlon has been a big part of his life. The Chicago-area native watched his dad participate in the sport before toeing the for his first race at 8 years old. And while he participated in other sports, including baseball and soccer, he always came back to triathlon.
Now, as a professional, Kanute has made a name for himself at the ITU and 70.3 distances. He competed in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and is a four-time winner of the iconic Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. He’s also earned multiple podium spots at IRONMAN 70.3 events, including taking the title twice in California.
Training in the Phoenix area, Ben is now eyeing the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 Championships, which will be Oct. 29 in St. George, Utah.
But the race is not the only thing he has been preparing for. Ben has been revamping his backyard, anticipating the delivery of an H2X Challenger 18D Pro by Master Spas.
“I am just excited to see the finished product,” Kanute says. “Our backyard is pretty tiny. We have some features already but I’m excited to see it all come together.”
This jetted swim spa, which was designed by Master Spas for the competitive athlete, features a variable speed system. Kanute will be able to complement his pool training, whether he wants to get in a recovery swim in the afternoon or push the pace with an interval set.
Master Spas caught up with Ben to talk about triathlon and how he plans to incorporate the H2X Challenger 18D Pro into his training.
7 questions with pro triathlete Ben Kanute
Even from a young age, professional triathlete Ben Kanute has had a strong work ethic. The youth triathlon club in the Chicago area took a swim club approach, with the goal of developing world-class athletes.
But while working hard is important, technique and a strong foundation is just as important. A Master Spas swim spa will allow Kanute to focus on swim technique, endurance, and speed.
What does your training as a professional triathlete look like?
I’m training about 25 hours a week but will get up a little over 30 hours during peak training.
Because of my background in swimming, that is the one discipline that comes along pretty quickly. I’ve always been a strong cyclist. The run is always a bit of a work in progress. I think that speaks to the level of where triathlon is at.
They all add together. It’s definitely a balancing act.
How important is mental toughness to you in training?
I think that your mental game develops as you get along in the sport. When you are young, you race emotionally. It comes back to getting into a flow state. That’s what you are searching for. Keeping a positive mindset and what I can do.
When you are racing, you want to keep that calm mind but still have that raw competitiveness. That really shows grit. You don’t have to be positive all the time but you need to be able to overcome when things get tough and not just give in.
What’s your favorite triathlon distance to race?
I don’t think I have a favorite distance. They all have pros and cons. In the super sprint, mistakes are amplified. It’s all about being as precise as possible.
In a half IRONMAN, I like that you can grind it out and show some grit. You are finding ways to reset, recover, and make up for mistakes a little bit.
What do you enjoy about swimming?
I’ve always been kind of like a workhorse. I can handle a high workload and that pays off for me. With swimming, you can do that. It’s low impact. Right now, I’m living in Phoenix, Ariz., it’s a lot nicer to work out in the pool right now than biking or running.
When I have a good swim set, especially one where it seems monotonous, I like the rhythm of the workout — especially as you go through it and can hit everything right.
I just love the ocean and bodysurfing. I love being out in the water.
How do you plan to incorporate the swim spa into your triathlon training?
As awesome as the pools are in Scottsdale and Phoenix overall, the pool hours get pretty funky through the winter. I am looking forward to having access to water so that I can swim at any time of day. It makes those easy swims just so much more palatable than driving and grinding it out in the pool.
You can do much more focused work in the swim spa. You can do technique work and drill work.
It’s going to be cool to really experiment with the different speeds and see how it feels. There’s potential to get in some really solid focused open water workouts.
It’s better than a 50-meter pool.
Let’s talk about the convenience of having a swim spa.
I’m excited to walk out to my backyard, hop in, and get it done. For me, it’s a 200minute drive to the pool. There are times when I’m driving more than I’m swimming.
How will you use the swim spa as a family?
Looking at the benefits of the swim spa, there’s the performance aspect and there’s the family aspect and just being able to enjoy being in the water. My daughter loves the water. I’m excited to have quick access to water. Swim lessons can fill up super quick, too. My wife is pregnant, too. As she gets further into the pregnancy, the swim spa will give her the opportunity to work out in the water.
It’s going to be really awesome.
How to buy a swim spa
Do you want to be able to train, recover, and relax like pro triathlete Ben Kanute? Having a Master Spas swim spa allows you to swim on your schedule while adding a fun factor to your backyard. You can click here to find out more about the benefits of hydrotherapy and relaxing in a hot tub. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here.