Army Reserve Soldier shares his success story in APFT, fitness and triathlon competitions

By Sgt. David Lietz | 85th Support Command | June 20, 2019

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Be consistent, three times a week at the right intensity is all someone really needs to perform well on the Army Physical Fitness Test, according to Maj. Christopher Tung, detailed Inspector General, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command.

Tung was one of four Soldiers who received an Army Physical Fitness Badge during June’s weekend Battle Assembly after he scored 300 points on his APFT. A Soldier must score at least 90 points out of 100 in each of the three APFT categories to earn the fitness badge. And when it comes to how many times he’s earned the award?

“It’s more than I can count,” said Tung who recently participated in the APFT at the 85th USARSC’s headquarters. “I think (my scores were) 77 push-ups, 88 sit-ups and 12:30 on the two mile run,” explained Tung, an avid triathlete.

“Swimming, biking and running. I have to split my workouts between those three disciplines. I also do strength training. It’s a lot like the new Army Combat Fitness Test,” said Tung.

To help with his workouts he employs a triathlon and cycling coach.

“He likes to torture me with tough workouts,” said Tung.

But the Soldier is getting winning results in his triathlon performances.

Last August, Tung participated in the Chicago Triathlon and placed second overall in the sprint distance and second in the triple challenge with a time of 4:09:17.

“It’s an accumulation of three events over a two-day period,” said Tung. “This is a special category I compete in.”

To compete in triathlons, Tung trains year-round.

“Rain or shine, freezing or blazing I’m out there,” said Tung.

Tung increases his training time from 10 hours a week at the start of triathlon season to 20 hours, not including preparation time. And then there’s the matter of eating right.

“I have to eat a lot to work out that much,” explained Tung.

His food choices include rice, a lot of vegetables and some meat. He said it is also important to eat and drink during the workout.

“If it’s a high intensity workout I use a sports gel and sports drink and for low intensity workouts I eat dried fruit and nuts,” explained Tung.

In addition to eating right and maintaining a workout schedule there is also the mental aspect of training. How does a triathlete or Soldier get through a really tough work out?

“I think envisioning a goal and knowing why you have to suffer through a tough workout helps me get through it,” explained Tung. “My coach also sees all of my workouts in extreme detail after I do them so I can’t slack off.”

His next triathlons include the Ironman 70.3 Steelhead, a half Ironman, in Michigan and the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon near the end of this month.