Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 5 - Rest, Jiu Jitsu & The Longest Pool In California.

February 11, 2013    243 lbs.

Today is my first rest day.

I woke up late but I feel good with less soreness than I expected.  I can feel my body changing and for the better. That is a feeling that I wish everyone can experience. Especially those with a poor body image.  As I expected, my coach, Chris Hauth wasn't thrilled with me not completing the swim workout. Sorry Coach!
Today I am relaxing as much as possible and making sure to eat enough good healthy food. One aspect of training a lot of people mess up is their nutrition on recovery days. If you eat right, you will experience less soreness and recover faster. If you train, a post workout snack will help you as well. I usually have a fruit smoothie with a little protein powder. Since I started doing this, my soreness has significantly decreased.

In The Beginning Part 3:

After the Gladiator and Spartan races in October and November of 2011, I got busy with work and didn't do too much for a few months. Eventually, I took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu again at Force/Balance Brazillian Jiu Jitsu and Yoga in Burbank. The owner, Steve Cardenas and Michelle Muench really treated me great. I wanted to improve my strength and conditioning so I found William Wayland of Powering Through an online strength and conditioning program coach. William is a great guy and puts together a custom program for you based on a fitness questionnaire you fill out and a small battery of test. I was doing a couple of major strength lifts like overhead press' and dead-lifts as well as lifts to help imbalances in my posture. After doing the program for a couple months, I woke up one morning and saw an e-mail from Active.com saying that the Hansen Dam Sprint Triathlon was less than two weeks away.

For whatever reason, something just kind of clicked inside my head and I signed up. I then immediately contacted William and asked him to put together a program to prepare me as much as possible. Within the hour I had it and started that day. Swimming laps as fast as I could in the community pool, biking up hills and running trying to beat the time of the first split (or half) in the second.

I found out that my friend Kevin Tran had signed up for the Olympic length triathlon. We decided to meet up at a special pre-race swim clinic. On the day, Kevin and I chatted as everyone got into their wetsuits, including Kevin, while I stood there in only swim shorts wondering why everyone was wearing a wet suit. I started to think that they knew something that I didn't! We listened to the officials discuss the possibility that we might have to swim in the pool vs the artificial lake. A man I would become pals with named Robert B. Keating did a demonstration of how to put on a wet suit that I thought was pretty simple but very effective. This was after watching everyone else struggle into theirs. Robert did it in a couple minutes. Basically, you turn the wetsuit inside out, then step into the cuff's of the legs. Make sure when you do this, the zipper is facing away from you. Robert pointed out that a wetsuit will improve your buoyancy in the water. Really!? I had no idea they helped you float! Next, they let us swim in the pool to get a feeling for the distance. In my case 500 yards.

The Hansen Dam Aquatic center has one of the longest outdoor pools on the west coast. I can't find the exact length but I believe it is 400 meters. However, it's only about three feet deep.  We started off and about halfway down the lane I was exhausted and realizing that I might be in trouble. I finished my required three laps and staggered towards Kevin who was waiting for me. "Let's do it again!" he says. I told him to have fun. He says, "Brother, you have to get a wetsuit, it helps you float!" I was already planning that very thing.

In Part 4 of "In The Beginning" I will discuss the race as well as the equipment you need to do a triathlon.

Tomorrow I'm back to training with a 45 minute run.

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