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Founder & Head Coach
Professional triathlete Eric Bean founded FFT to partner with local elite-athlete coaches and together help athletes of all levels realize their potential. Prior to founding FFT, Eric was the co-founder and Head Coach of the Stanford University Triathlon Team. Under his tenure, Stanford rapidly became a premier collegiate triathlon program, producing many USAT Collegiate National Podium athletes and twice placing 3rd as men’s women’s and combined teams. Eric’s coaching experience is certainly not limited to the collegiate realm. He coached track for the Silicon Valley and Tribe triathlon clubs as well as for Castilleja High School in Palo Alto, CA. In addition, Eric founded be-an-athlete.com, a group training program for post-collegiate athletes in the Bay Area. Many athletes, novices and professionals alike, thank Eric for guiding them to success at Ironman, National and World Championships, and personal-record performances. In 2011 alone his athletes earned eight professional Ironman and 70.3 podiums, three amateur Ironman Hawaii podiums, one amateur 70.3 world championship podium, three 70.3 amateur victories, and another dozen victories and podiums at prestegious pro and amateur races including the Columbia Triathlon, Hyvee, and USAT Amateur National Championships.
As an amateur athlete, Eric began his career as a varsity swimmer and runner at the University of Virginia. With this ideal foundation for triathlon, he soon became a Junior National Triathlon Champion, Collegiate National Triathlon Champion, and Ironman Hawaii age-group World Champion. As an elite amateur cyclist, Eric is the 2008 Master’s National Champion and Wisconsin State “Double” Champion in the Time Trial (winning both the Pro/1/2 and M30-34 time trials back-to-back on the same day), is the collegiate record holder at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway 10-mile time trial (30.4 mph for 10-miles on the famous NASCAR racetrack), the 2006 Master’s National Championships omnium winner (known as the “Best All-Around Rider” title for combined performances in the road race, time trial, and criterium), and has earned a total of 7 Master’s and Collegiate Nationals podium finishes on the road and track. Eric is currently a Cat1 rider for the ISCorp Cycling Team.
Eric has multiple podium finishes at both ITU Olympic format and Ironman triathlons as a professional athlete. He has focused most of his training on the Ironman distance because it plays to his strength on the bike. He competed at ITU Long Distance World Championships in 2000 and 2002 as a member of the U.S. Team and placed, 20th as a pro at the Ironman Hawaii World Championships in 2008. He has an 8:29 Ironman PR (Arizona, 2009) and his has placed as high as 3rd (Ironman Wisconsin, 2010).
Eric consistently represents his fellow triathletes in the sport’s governing bodies. He served on USA Triathlon’s Board of Directors from 2003-2005, on the Athlete’s Advisory Council from 2002-2004, and co-founded the Collegiate Commission to help give college teams a voice within USAT.
Currently a resident physician in the Department of Anethesiology & Pain Medicine at the University of Washington, Eric is taking a well-deserved break from racing. He earned an M.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he happily spread the last year of school over two years to race for the TIMEX Multisport Team and establish FFT. Prior to his medical career, Eric earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia and a MS in Biomechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and has worked in each field in both academia and industry designing many innovative satellite systems and medical devices. His research interests include minimally invasive robot assisted (MIRA) surgery, medical informatics, human factors, and applied endurance sports physiology. In his spare time, Eric enjoys exploring the wonderful city of Seattle and doing anything outdoors.
FFT coaches started as FFT athletes
You’ll notice a common theme amongst FFT coaches: prior to joining the FFT coaching staff, we all started as FFT athletes. This is because we believe that to teach an athlete to succeed, we must first succeed as athletes ourselves. There is no substitute for first-hand experience. Each of us has learned the FAST training system one workout, one phase, and one season at a time. This gives us insight into what our athletes experience day-to-day as they challenge their limits in each workout, and this enables us to support our athletes at the highest level.
Partner & FFT Coach
Alex McDonald, MD has raced as a professional triathlete and Cat II cyclist, with athletic achievements including 2007 Ironman USA Champion and Age-Group Kona Ironman World Champion. He has coached professional and amateurs athletes for almost a decade. Most recently he has coached the 2013 USAT National Age-Group Champion as well as several Pro and Age-Group Kona qualifiers. He was born and raised in Woodstock, VT and completed medical school at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Alex watched his father compete in triathlons and marathons for many years during his youth.
During medical school in Burlington, VT, a friend announced his intention to compete in the sport of triathlon. Alex agreed to train with him having absolutely no idea what he was getting himself into. He bought his first road bike, raced in a sprint triathlon and was hooked. This marked the beginning of his life-long triathlon career. After just three short years of racing triathlon, Alex burst onto the national elite age-group scene. In 2006 he was the US champion, age-group champion and 5th overall finisher at Ironman Wisconsin. Six weeks later he followed up with a top 6% finish at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. In 2007 Alex was Ironman USA Champion at Lake Placid, NY as well as the amateur world champion and 29th overall at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. Alex continued to build and grow as an athlete and competitor finishing 8th overall at Ironman USA, 10th at Ironman St. George, as well as numerous top 10 finishes at 70.3 races, including punching his ticket to Kona. He has competed in all distances from sprint to Ironman, with his focus on long course racing. His professional career was cut short as a result of being struck by a truck, and breaking both legs, while out for a training ride in 2011, however, he remains active in endurance sports and triathlon with goals to return to Ironman Kona as a age-group athelete.
As a coach, Alex loves to share his passion and knowledge for the sport of triathlon, cycling and running. As a physician and former professional triathlete he has a unique understanding of the physiological, and psychological demands to achieve your athletic best. He began offering advice to friends and family and then quickly realized that he loved to help athletes of all abilities be their best within the sport and to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Over years of coaching and learning from his own athletic endeavors as well as learning from his athletes, he has accumulated critical knowledge and experience. Alex believes that the coach-athelete relationship is critical to success and the individual partnership between the two lies at the core of his training methodology.
Alex currently is completing his Family Medicine and Sports Medicine training at Kaiser-Permanente residing in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 daughters.
Click here for Alex’s athlete website
Mike grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire, and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2008, with a double major in mechanical engineering and industrial design. He was introduced to Eric Bean in 2009 and quickly bought into the high yield training philosophy that is the basis of FFT. The 2012 season will be Mike’s fourth as an FFT coach. He has experience working with single sport and multisport athletes ranging from weekend warriors to those working to break into the elite levels of sport.
As a perennial age group winner, Mike has finished 8 Ironman races, and has two top-5 age group finishes at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. His latest Ironman finish at Florida in 2012 saw him finish as the top amateur, 18th overall in 8:58, achieving his long time goal of a sub-9 hour Ironman.
Mike’s 2013 schedule will be focused around the Ironman World Championships in October. Mike currently lives in the mountains of Bozeman, MT, and is employed as a design engineer when not coaching. Click here for Mike’s athlete bio
Colin has been racing triathlons since 2005 when he did his 1st sprint triathlon for fun while training for cross-country in high school. He continued racing triathlons while attending the University of Dayton, where he studied Nutrition and Fitness, and helped start the University of Dayton Triathlon Club, serving as the club’s Vice President and President. After graduating from the University of Dayton, Colin attended Florida State University where he earned his Master’s Degree in Nutrition with an emphasis in sports nutrition. Colin continued racing triathlons while at Florida State and finished 10th overall at the 2011 USA Triathlon Collegiate Championships. Colin joined the FFT Pro Development Team in 2012 under Coach Alex and has continued to improve ever since! In 2012, Colin finished 7th overall at the USA Triathlon Collegiate Championships.