Episode 32: Ed Baker -Purpose, Patience, and Performance Lead to IRONMAN Victory


Article about Ed’s IRONMAN Lake Placid Victory

This week, we revisit a former guest with a playback of Episode 9 with Ed Baker. Ed is an accomplished and impressive business executive, serving as Head of International Growth at Facebook and then VP of Growth and Product at Uber until the Spring of 2017.

In addition to his business accolades, he is the father of three children (with another one on the way this Fall) and, over the last two years, he has taken a leap of faith into triathlon under the leadership of Matt Dixon.

On July 22, 2018, Ed Baker put his months of training and education to the test at IRONMAN Lake Placid and HE WON - OVERALL.  

This episode, recorded in February 2018,  takes place while Ed was at the Purple Patch Pro Camp in Scottsdale.  Yes, Dixon threw this triathlon newbie to the professional wolves and they had a feast, but it gives you a glimpse into the journey and progression of Ed that would lead to his first IRONMAN victory.

Throughout the conversation, you’ll hear them discuss Ed’s journey from athlete-to-executive, and then back to an athlete. They also came away with many insights and lessons for any high-performing individual, and these are the nuggets that Matt and Ed discuss so thoroughly in this episode, including the:

  • Benefits of maintaining an exercise or training routine even as a busy executive

  • Value of having a coach to help you define goals and realize your full potential

  • Similarities between sport and business - setting small goals and having the ability to check in frequently, embracing baby steps

  • Many parallels between professional athletes and executives, including an insatiable thirst for personal evolution and growth

  • Importance of nailing the basics both in work and life since that makes up 95% of performance success

  • Qualities of successful people - humility, friendliness and a good sense of humor

How did he go from triathlon newbie to IRONMAN champion?

Talent Management: With an athlete like Ed, the coach better be equipped to say no as much as yes -- as talent requires management.  To manage Ed’s progression, Matt had to be very careful with load and progression, ensuring that he didn’t just dump swimming and cycling onto an already comprehensive running background, and didn’t just mimic old training habits.  The key has been patience and careful progression.

A Race Plan for Performance: Ed’s race plan this weekend was simple.  Go and train all day.   He ‘loves’ to race, but this would be an event to train.  This approach means a humble mindset, a cautious and patient approach, and a complete avoidance of thinking about places, times or qualification.

Create a Positive Race Experience: This humble approach, with the focus on the occasion and joy of it, was the gateway to future performance.  
Yes, Ed won the race and had a magical day, but the key is how he got there.  He listened, was patient, and despite his natural racing instincts, he had the courage to hold back to allow the magic to happen.  Now he can learn, evolve and improve. 

Article about Ed’s Victory