Last spring I decided to register for a couple of triathlons(Chattanooga Waterfront, Country Music). I had done a few in high school including one at the half iron distance and figured it would be a good way to ramp up my cardio endurance, a major tool in SEAL training. Those two races alone were enough to hook me in, I couldnt wait till the 2011 season to race again, faster and longer. Ive started training alot with GetBuiltChattanooga Crossfit and working out at the pool with an Naval Air Rescue Swimmer. The direct relationship between the work you put in and the results you see in triathlon is what keeps me so interested. I was also very humbled by the size of the sport and the high quality of athlete it requires to even be an average triathlete.
Anticipating the start of my Naval training in early summer, I began training hard shortly after the Christmas break. I was inspired by the crossfit community to try the paleo diet for one month which meant strict eating habits and NO BEER. Although I will say it was pretty terrible and socially awkward when Friday night came around, I dont regret it at all. I felt fit to train seven days a week and my recovery period after a hard workout was cut in half. The month ended by competeing in the UTC rowing championship, where we took first place. Another source of inspiration came from the deployment of a close friend John Bailey who deployed to Afghanistan in mid January. Hes working with a embeded training team getting the Afghan National Army ready to maintain security with less and less US pressence. Hes be a huge inspiration in what can become the mundayne routine of early morning swims and a more disciplined lifestyle. Not to mention he's the one who introduced me to the type of things Navy SEALs do back when I was paddling constantly.
So far my racing schedule consist of the Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, Rev3 Knoxville, and Chattanooga Waterfront Olympic Distance. Based on when I leave for training, ill be looking to add more races in the summer months. Additionally ive had alot of fun training for the Country Music Marathon, and the Racoon Mountain Trail Marathon, with my girlfriend.
Kayaking will always be a part of who I am and where I come from. Ive learned so much about life through experiences on the river and the people that I met. Theres no doubt in my mind that rivers will be part of my lifestyle in the future. However, for me this transition is the best preperation for the years to come. Im excited to serve my country. All the best.
John with Mark Cornachio
UTC Rowing Championship