Triathlon Champ Lukas Verzbicas Uses Near Fatal Accident as Motivation to Succeed
As a rising star in the triathlon world, with competing internationally in 2016 in his sights, Lukas Verzbicas has been a high-achiever from the very start.
“I grew up surrounded by athletics and I have a history of setting and achieving goals,” says Verzbicas, who is sponsored by Herbalife. “Triathlon is my passion and by using the skills I have developed and training rigorously, I strive to be the best.”
Verzbicas’ high school track career included multiple national championships, and if that’s not impressive enough, he is only the fifth high school runner in history to run a sub-four-minute mile. After high school, he focused on triathlons and won two world championships, including the ultra-competitive Banyoles ITU Triathlon European Cup in 2012.
However, the achievement Verzbicas is most proud of is coming back from a near fatal accident. While training in Colorado Springs in 2012, he was cycling down a mountain and missed a 180-degree turn, crashing into a guardrail. He was paralyzed from the waist down and doctors told him that he might not run, or even walk, again. The news was incredibly difficult for Verzbicas to accept, but soon a deep lesson began to emerge through the hardship he was enduring.
“I realized defeat is just a temporary moment and any challenge I faced was simply a misunderstanding about the work my dreams of competing on the world stage again would take to achieve,” says Verzbicas. “Once you agree within yourself to do whatever is required, challenge disappears and inspiration takes over.”
With that newfound wisdom, Lukas immersed himself in rehab and his hard work paid off.
“One day I started having a little twitching in my right leg,” says Verzbicas. “From that twitching, it went to walking, running and then back to training and racing again.”
Just months after his devastating injury, Verzbicas won his first race of 2013 – the New Balance Ringling Bridge Run. These days, he follows an enhanced training regimen so he can fulfill his dream of competing in the triathlon at the 2016 Olympic Games.
“I’m working on my core strength so my muscles are able to sustain a harder effort for the entire duration of the competition,” says Verzbicas. “Mentally, I’m making sure to always stay motivated and on track towards my goals.”
Verzbicas stays in top shape through a consistent, full-body, 25-hour-plus weekly training regimen. He uses proper nutrition to keep himself fueled and help aid recovery from training and racing.
“A solid sports nutrition plan is what supports my training and my performance,” says Verzbicas. “Eating properly and supplementing with Herbalife24™ products allows my body to adapt and recover after intense training and racing, which leads to peak performance.”*
As a member of the USA Triathlon National Team, Verzbicas is part of the USADA Athlete Drug Testing Pool, which involves being tested in and out of competition. In addition to good basic nutrition, he uses Herbalife24™ products because each batch is analyzed for banned substances.
“It is critical that everything that I put into my body is clean,” says Verzbicas. “With Herbalife24™, I’m completely confident that is the case.”
Verzbicas takes Herbalife24™ Prepare before a hard training session and Herbalife24™ Rebuild Endurance for post-training recovery. On the day of competition, he eats a light breakfast that includes carbohydrates and fats, as well as Herbalife24™ Formula 1 Sport. An hour before race time he drinks a serving of Herbalife24™ Prolong. He also keeps Herbalife24™ Hydrate on his bike. Since his injury, Verzbicas has started using Herbalifeline®, an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.
“After my accident, I’m much more conscious of keeping a good balance of nutrition for better sustained training and racing performance,” says Verzbicas.
The future looks bright for Verzbicas, and beyond his triathlon career, he hopes to coach. “I want to pass on everything I’ve learned and coach athletes to a level even beyond what I am able to achieve.”
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Lukas Verzbicas Achievements
- New Balance Ringling Bridge Run – Winner (2013)
- Banyoles ITU Triathlon European Cup – Winner (2012)
- ITU Triathlon Panamerican Cup – Winner (2012)
- ITU World Junior Championships – Winner (2011)
- Panamerican Triathlon Confederation Championships – Winner (2011)
- Adidas High School Dream Mile – Winner (2010)
- Foot Locker Cross Country Championships – Winner (2010)
- Panamerican Triathlon Confederation Junior Championships – Winner (2009)
- Foot Locker Cross Country Championships – Winner (2009)
- Duathlon World Junior Championships – Winner (2009)
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