A couple of weeks ago I was presented with the opportunity to interview Professional Tri-Athlete Jen Perez. With my Sprint Tri looming in the very near future I immediately jumped at the chance to pick the brain of some one who competes in Triathalons for a living.
Jen is not only a bad ass in the field, but she’s the same age as my younger sister and is ultimately a wonderful, down to earth person who provides honest, real answers.
Check her out for yourself…
First of all, I want to say how much I admire you for finding a passion for something you love at such an early age. When I was a junior in High School I was more concerned with boys and sneaking out then any type of sport and you were already well on your way to becoming a professional athlete. Was it hard to juggle being a teenager and training at the same time?
Of course it was! Not to mention growing up in New Orleans–it isn’t exactly the best city for good behavior. There was definitely a time when I tried to do it all, training, school, and partying. I quickly figured out that wasn’t going to work out. I realized that I enjoyed all the new experiences from racing and training way more than doing the same things with the same people all the time.
To be honest, I don’t think it was an idea that had entered my mind before the coach I was training with at the time mentioned it. I don’t think I really realized my potential until it was pointed out to me what was possible.
I am sure with so many important events coming up training days can be long and challenging. What does a typical in-season training day consist of?
I usually do at least two of the disciplines everyday, which averages out to somewhere between three to five hours a day of training. I also need to make time for massages, physical therapy (sometimes), coach meetings, sponsors to contact, blogging, school work and studying!
How does that differ from when you train off season?
My in-season training and my off-season training don’t differ all that much in terms of the time put in. The main difference is just how much hard training effort I exert during that time. In the off-season, my workouts are longer, but not very hard. As the season approaches, my workouts tend to get faster in preparation to race.
- Food is always high on my priority plate whether I have a long run planned or not, I want to make sure my body has enough fuel to make it through the day. How do you approach fueling your body for those long training days compared to rest days?
Longer workout days mean you need a bit more calories than a rest day. The most important thing with a long day is recovering your body. It is really important to help your body heal after a long day or hard effort. During a workout, nutrition is also a good way to keep that energy level up for the duration of the workout. I drink an EAS Myoplex shake or eat an EAS Myoplex bar to keep me fueled and to recover following a workout.
Are you an avid fan of supplements to make sure your body is getting enough nutrients or do you try to stick with more whole, natural foods?
Nutrition is very important when it comes to training. Obviously, if we could get everything we need from natural foods that would be ideal, but it is very difficult to do especially with a busy schedule – it’s not always as easy to carry around a turkey sandwich to get the protein a nd carbs I need following a workout. I feel that sports nutrition products are a good way to get in the nutrition you need almost immediately after workouts, assuming you are using good reliable products. I use sports nutrition products like EAS Myoplex Lite, Endurathon, and Race Recovery to help me keep my body healthy and ready to workout day after day. EAS products are convenient to pack in my bag and eat or drink on-the-go.
I run a lot in the early morning hours, so I try really hard to stress the importance of safety on my blog. I have a RoadID, run with Pepper Spray and am always conscious of my surroundings. Do you have any advice for training safely on your own?
Safety is very important and those are some great ideas. My advice would be to use routes that are well lit or have heavy traffic (lots of people) like trails or running paths.
Finally, I will be participating in my first Sprint Triathlon this Saturday. I am very nervous abut the transitions and the swimming portion. Do you have any advice to make sure I survive?
Stay relaxed and have fun. Especially since this is your first race, expect bumps in the road and be ok with them. This is about staying healthy and having fun. A good way to get over transitions is to practice them ahead of time. Set up a fake transition area and see how it goes. For the swim, you should stay as relaxed as possible. It can get intimidating swimming with all those people so take it slow and breath. Don’t worry, you’re going to do great!
Thank you, Jen, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to interview with me and good luck on all of your upcoming amazing events!
As far as my eats… they are relatively boring so I will just tag them on here. 🙂
Mid-morning I had a mini Cashew Cookie Larabar.
The Cashew Cookie reminded me how much I miss their Peanut Butter Cookie version. Do you thi
nk we will ever have peanut butter products back in our lives again?!?!
Lunch consisted of yummy Eggplant and Brussel Sprout Parm leftovers.
This time instead of putting the yummy combo over pasta I stuffed it in a pita with some Swiss Cheese. It was my version of a ‘Figure Friendly’ Eggplant Parm Sub… take that Racheal Ray!
On the side I had a Pear with a tablespoon of Cashew Butter…
… and 2 Little Pickles because one never seems to be enough pickle for me. 🙂
So much good food on this plate here. I tried to take my time and enjoy every little bite.
When I was done with lunch even though my belly was full and happy, my head was screaming for CHOCOLATE. I made it all the way back to the office before I saw this Tootsie Roll in the candy jar and caved.
My head and tastebuds thank you very much for the chocoaltely treat, while my stomach said… are you kidding me? I’m already full!…. I wish my head and my stomach would just get a long already!