Professional Triathlete, USA
DISCIPLINE: Long course triathlon
HOMETOWN: Cleveland, Ohio / Boulder, Colorado
Born and raised in a suburb on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, Baucco grew up playing just about every sport in existence. When his punk-rock band, Chaotic Alliance, signed with a record label and began touring, he quit sports altogether, traveled the world, playing 50 shows in 8 weeks across the entire United States. After two American tours, AJ swapped drum sticks for pencils and began to focus on school. As a way to stay in shape while hitting the books, he became tri-curious, dabbling in the sport. After graduation, AJ rolled the dice on a career in triathlon. Looking back from 2015, his gamble paid off.
YEARS RIDING STAGES: 2
AJ’S FAVORITE POWER WORKOUT: 10 x 30sec ALL OUT with 2.5min recovery on a short climb. “Since the interval is so short, HR or any other metric is basically useless. This is great session for looking at the power numbers and only the power numbers. I like to let it loose by the third or fourth interval and then gut myself to hit that number or better until the set is over.”
WHAT’S ON AJ’S SCREEN: Time, 3sec power, avg power, heart rate and avg heart rate. “I like to keep it simple so that I can pay attention to the numbers that matter: for me that’s power and heart rate.”
WHY HE USES POWER: “It is the one aspect of my race plan that I can always count on. The numbers don’t lie and I can always count on my Stages to give me an accurate picture of how my race is playing out.”
EXPLORE DURA-ACE 9000
His first year racing, Baucco made ends meet cleaning The University of Arizona pool, while training as much as possible. Though his season was halted by a broken heel, he came back swinging, joining a squad of professional athletes living and training together. After one serious winter of training with his new mates, AJ went on to finish as top amateur and 13th overall at Florida 70.3 Shortly after he decided that it was time to turn professional and mix it up with the best in the sport.
In his first professional season, AJ partnered with QT2 Systems and train under the guidance of Jesse Kropelnicki. The results immediately started to pay off. He ended the year with solid top 10 results on the non-draft Olympic Distance circuit, and was awarded the title of Professional Rookie of the Year by USA Triathlon.
In his sophomore season as a professional, AJ focused on short course non-draft events and the 70.3 circuit, earning three top 8 results in world class fields. With that, he made the jump to Ironman racing. He finished 8th at Ironman Texas and ended 2013 with 3 top 12 Ironman finishes and several top 8 70.3 finishes.
2011 USA Triathlon Professional Rookie of the Year
6th at 2015 St. Croix 70.3
8th at 2015 Challenge Knoxville
8:34 Personal Best at the Ironman distance (2014 Ironman Brasil)
3:59 Personal Best at the Ironman 70.3 distance (2015 New Orleans 70.3)
1:50:21 Personal Best at the Non Draft Olympic Distance (2012 Giant Eagle 5150)
FAVORITE OFF SEASON ACTIVITY: Mostly mountain biking and beer drinking.
PERSONAL MOTTO: “Sacrifice and Persevere” not much of a motto, but those are the two words that I had tattooed on my calves many years ago. They always reminds me that becoming great at long course triathlon takes an incredible amount of time and patience.
GREATEST OBSTACLE: My biggest obstacle is keeping myself engaged and motivated in sport year after year. My biggest fear is that I will give up on myself before I reach my full potential in sport. Ironman has become the greatest challenge that I have ever faced, and I hope that I continue to have the strength to face that challenge every year until my career is over.
WHAT’S NEXT: My goal has always been to win an Ironman