Runner’s Story: Triathlon @ 55

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Augusta RunAt Heart Rate Monitors USA, we love to see inspiring stories from runners who truly have a passion for the sport. One such runner is Mauricio Sanchez, the blogger behind Triathlon @ 55. We found Mauricio one day when we were looking at some different running resouces, and we have to say, he’s a great resource to have on hand!

Mauricio’s story is one that shows that no matter what the challenge, it can be overcome with determination…and some practice. Enjoy our interview with him!

What made you get started with marathon running? Have you always been an athlete?

I was never the athlete type, far from it.  I had back surgery in April 2003.  I had a ruptured disk.  The doctor told me that I needed to do some exercising and lose some weight.  Day of surgery I weighed in at 198lbs. (Today, 168) If I chose not to do that I would continue to have problems with my back.  I didn’t want to grow old in pain.  So I started running.  First on the treadmill at the “Y”.  When that got old and boring, after about two months, I took to the road and that lasted about a year (give or take) before I started getting bored again.

Looking for motivation, I registered myself for the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in 2007… and the rest, as they say is history.
How about triathlons? When did you first start competing? How was it?

After a year of running, I started looking for a new challenge.  I had heard of this thing called “triathlon” so I started researching it.  My wife bought me a book for Christmas that year called Triathlon for Dummies.  I read it twice in two days.  Then I went to our local Tri store to ask questions and walked out with my first road bike.

Do you run any marathons or triathlons annually?

The only event I have run every year is the Country Music Marathon.  I have run the 1/2 twice and the full twice.  I pick and choose other events according to what my friends are doing.  I have also done the Goofy Challenge in Walt Disney World (1/2 marathon on Saturday, Full Marathon on Sunday).

As far as Triathlons, I try to go to different events every year.  I have done the Augusta Ironman 70.3 and the Steelhead Ironman 70.3 as well as a bunch of spring triathlons along the way.

What made you set your eyes on Ironman?

I plan to do my first full Ironman on August 28, 2011… the Louisville Ironman.  My eyes have been set on this since the day I finished my first triathlon a little over two years ago.  Mostly because I want to see how far I can push myself!

McMinnville Bike
What are you looking forward to in 2011?

Ironman Louisville is my one and only focus for 2011.  I will do the New Orleans Ironman 70.3 and the Country Music Marathon as part of my training.

Do you have any running gear that you love/swear by?

Yes.  My Heart Rate Monitor.  But it wasn’t until I received advice from my tri coach.  He showed me how important it was to train within my “zone”, and this couldn’t be done without a HRM.  My training runs and rides all of the sudden became more effective.

If you could give one bit of advice to a new triathlete, what would it be?

Have Fun!  Train Hard, Train Smart.  Listen to your body.

Plus… my mantra is simple:  Faith.  Focus.  Finish.

I see that you enjoy swimming, biking, and running – do you have a particular favorite out of those three?

Yes, I guess the running because I’m the most comfortable with this.

What’s a normal workout routine for you?

I try to work out six days a week, rest on Sunday.  At the moment I am in the middle of the P90X program.  I’m doing this to improve my overall fitness, strengthen my core and tone my muscles.  This being the off season, I also keep my swimming, cycling and running base by swimming once per week for about an hour, spin class once or twice per week and running once or twice.  Usually a long run 7 miles plus on Saturday.
During the season, training is very structured.  I follow a plan provided by my coach which involves speed work, endurance work, etc.

How do you recover after a particularly tough event?

First thing I do is to drink my recovery drink within the first thirty minutes of finishing.  Usually a low fat chocolate milk.  I have tried the fancy, expensive drinks but found that good ol’ chocolate milk does the job.  Then I stretch for a while.  Usually a good thirty minutes of overall stretching works great for me.  Then soon thereafter I eat a complete, well-balanced meal.  After that, I go home and crash for a while.  The day after the event is very important; usually a recovery swim, run or ride is in order.

Thanks so much for the interview Mauricio!

Be sure to check out his blog, Triathlon @ 55,  for running tips and insight on the path to the Ironman.

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