You read my interview with Team Chocolate Milk member Apolo Ohno. If you didn’t, check it out here.
Another member of Team Chocolate Milk is Jen Ator, Women’s Health Fitness Director.
Jen is currently training for the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October. Follow her training at GotChocolateMilk.com.
She hit the pavement with Apolo in the streets of Seattle in her first Mission Apolo: BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK race – Rock n’ Roll Seattle Half-Marathon.
Unfortunately due to Jen’s travel schedule I was unable to meet up with her prior to her run. I was super bummed!
However, she was awesome to answer some questions via email.
How do you balance work and training?
Balancing work and training is far from easy—both are demanding, and both have to be a top priority. Working out in the morning has been crucial for me—not only in terms of being able to balance both, but also to be fully present at both. When I’m up in the morning, the only thing that matters is my training. That has my full attention. Then, once it’s done, I can get to work and be completely focused on what I need to do that day at my job (rather than being distracted or stressed about getting my workout in later that day). It also has helped me stay consistent with training; if something comes up at work and I have to stay late (which happens a lot), it doesn’t mean missing a workout.
I think the other big component to balancing everything is that going into this journey I knew I would have to make sacrifices in other areas of my life and I was comfortable with doing that. It might mean I have to skip that happy hour or pass on taking a long lunch break with a co-worker. For me it’s worth it because I know what my priorities are right now and that’s where I need to be focused. My schedule is pretty simplified these days: train, work, sleep, repeat.
What has been the biggest obstacle in training? How are you getting over it?
I think two of the biggest obstacles have been nutrition and sleep. You can only train as effectively as you’ve recovered, which means how I perform in my workouts is directly linked to how I take care of my body during the remainder of each day, outside of my training. With all that I need to get done in any given day, it’s all too easy for nutrition and sleep to fall off my radar and not get the adequate attention they need.
With nutrition, it’s all about setting myself up for success by planning ahead. I stash a bottle of chocolate milk in my gym bag so I have it immediately after my workout (I have a freezable lunch pack that I use each day to keep my meals cold while I’m at the gym – really useful!); I do a little prep work each week so that I have simple ingredients that can be tossed together in less than 10 minutes for dinner when I get home late; I keep healthy, well-balanced snacks in my office so that I can grab something in between meals if I can’t get away from my desk.
Getting enough sleep is an everyday struggle—there are not enough hours in the day! Like I said before, when something is a priority in your life, you find a way to make time for it. I’m turning off the TV earlier (or not turning it on at all), and trying to create a habit of unwinding before bed—10 to 30 minutes without my computer, or phone, or other distractions to help improve my sleep quality.
Which event (swimming, biking, running) are you the strongest? Why?
Running is the event in which I have the most experience and that I’m the most comfortable with but that doesn’t mean it has been easy. Coming back from knee surgery, I’ve had to adjust to a slower pace and tolerate a few more aches and pains along the way. I really enjoy swimming and biking in general, but both come with their own challenges when training for this race: I’m an anxious swimmer in open water and I will be learning to ride a TT bike for the first time.
Jen has a busy schedule , but really knows how to efficiently make the most out of time and stay on top of her training!
Be sure to follow her journey at GotChocolateMilk.com.
I had the pleasure of meeting eight-time medalist for short-track speedskating, Apolo Ohno.
Apolo is on Team Chocolate Milk and currently training for the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October. Follow his training at GotChocolateMilk.com.
I had a quick meet and greet with Apolo after an autograph session at the Chocolate Milk both at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle expo.
My first question was, “Are you running the Rock ‘n’ Roll half or full marathon?”. He was running the half marathon and shooting for a 1:45 finish, about a 8 minute mile.
Apolo was born in Washington State. I asked how it felt to be back in his hometown. He was excited and happy to back and see his family, even if it was only for a few short days. Side note: his dad was at the booth too.
I asked which event of the triathlon – swimming, biking or swimming is the the toughest for him. Running is definitely the hardest event. He said that he needed more open water swimming practice. He has been mainly practicing in a pool. The other tough part of training was shedding mass to be leaner and faster for the triathlon.
I caught up with Apolo after the race. I was eager to find out how he did. He happily said he finished in 1:36, which is about a 7:20-ish pace. Definitely an awesome time for someone who doesn’t like to run!
Overall, Apolo was a down to earth, chill, easy to talk to guy. I wish him good luck at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October! He is going to kill it!
Be sure to follow his journey at GotChocolateMilk.com.
Disclosure: BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK contacted me to write a sponsored blog post about TEAM CHOCOLATE MILK and their work with eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno. In return I was given a complimentary entry to Rock n Roll Seattle and a meet & greet with Apolo Ohno. Chocolate Milk is the Official REFUEL Beverage of Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.
The Science Behind Chocolate Milk:
More than 20 studies support the benefits of recovering with the high-quality protein and nutrients in chocolate milk after a tough workout.
Chocolate milk is a natural source of high-quality protein to build lean muscle. It has the right mix of protein and carbs, scientifically shown to refuel exhausted muscles and help return muscles to peek potential. It provides fluids and electrolytes – like calcium, potassium and magnesium and sodium – to rehydrate and help replenish critical nutrients lost in sweat.
Team Chocolate Milk & Apolo Ohno
Apolo Ohno is an eight-time medalist for short-track speedskating and is recognized as the most decorated winter sports athlete of all time.
As part of this year’s BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK campaign, they’ve launched a “Mission Apolo” series that challenges Apolo Ohno, to translate his power and speed to the sport of triathlon. With the help and training from experts on TEAM CHOCOLATE MILK, Apolo will compete in the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship Race in Kona.
Click on the picture above to see the latest Mission Apolo clip, which features Apolo, Jen Ator, Women’s Health Magazine fitness director and 6X IRONMAN Champ Luke McKenzie.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle
As part of Apolo’s training routine, he will be running Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle!
During my meet and greet with Apolo, I can ask him questions about his training.
What questions would you ask Apolo Ohno about his training for 2014 IRONMAN World Championship Race in Kona with Team CHOCOLATE MILK?