By age 14, Stoltz raced his first triathlon and subsequently turned pro upon graduating from high school. Today, with 20-plus years of racing experience, he has 50 XTERRA career wins and is a four-time XTERRA World Champion, not to mention being a two-time Olympic Triathlete.
His early years as a pro athlete were far from glamorous. According to Stoltz, “I slept on benches and in a Police station (willingly) before a race and I’ve won races on cheap, borrowed bikes.” It’s this hand-to-mouth lifestyle combined with a reputation for being hard on equipment that earned him the nickname “the Caveman”. Nonetheless, Stoltz is also well-known as a humble and compassionate competitor. Recently, after winning his 50th XTERRA competition, Stoltz remained at the finish to high-five the last competitor to cross the line and share in his accomplishment of simply finishing the race.
With two decades of racing under his feet, Stoltz maintains a scientific approach to staying race-ready. Analyzing heart rate files and recovery training are fundamental to his approach.
“After 22 years as a pro, my base is quite big, so I don’t do traditional base training but I stay fit year round – I can’t take a three-month ice cream and beer season like I did when I was younger,” Stoltz adds.
While he maintains a pure love for the outdoors, Stoltz readily admits that breaking the tape at the finish line feels great. When asked how he stays competitive against guys half his age, Stoltz says it’s his experience that gives him the edge but, in the end, it’s his love of sport and a positive attitude that keep him motivated.