CrossFit Charlottesville Athlete Testimonials: Chris Garay Wins His Sprint Triathlon

Chris on bike close up

Chris Garay:

About a month after starting at CrossFit Charlottesville, I could really feel like I had an “extra gear” so to speak when it came to my biking and running workouts…In the spring and early summer I had recurring knee pain in my left knee from biking and running. Ever since I started training at CrossFit Charlottesville in July, I have been totally injury-free, simple as that.

At CrossFit Charlottesville, we deliver results.  It’s a pretty simple formula: functional movements, constantly varied, done at high intensity.  We measure results over time. We see progress in the gym, but that isn’t the only place we see top notch performance.  A lot of our athletes train for outside the gym. Chris, a recent college grad, answered a few questions about his training and his 1st Place finish in the Richmond Sprint Triathlon.

If anyone was wondering about his time breakdown…

8:09min 400m pool swim
36:39min 12mi bike
19:55min 5k run

Read the full interview after the break.

What was your athletic background prior to starting at CrossFit Charlottesville?

Chris: I had been in and out of the gym the past couple years trying out a few different things like yoga, body weight exercises, and running. I just started swimming and biking seriously about a year ago.

What sort of training were you doing before starting CrossFit Charlottesville training?

Chris: About a year ago I decided to start training for triathlons, so I was swimming, biking, and running about twice a week each. Most of my endurance training was just get up and go without any real plan in mind. I picked up some CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance workouts online in May, but I didn’t seriously start doing CrossFit until joining the Charlottesville gym in July.

What sorts of times and performances were you hitting in races before starting at CrossFit Charlottesville?

Chris:

Angels Race, April 2009:
6 min 300m pool swim
49 min 25k (15.5 mile) bike
21:30 5k run

Kinetic Sprint, May 2009:
17 min 750m lake swim
57:30 min 18 mile bike
22:10 5k run

Why did you decide to join CrossFit Charlottesville? What goals did you have for yourself?

Chris: I had been sporadically training with some CrossFit people around UVA early this summer, so I heard about the new gym opening. From having read a lot of material online, I wanted to try doing CrossFit regularly to both help my triathlon times and for general fitness. Plus, every time I did a CrossFit WOD I felt so wiped that I knew something good was going on.

How did your triathlon training change after starting with CrossFit Charlottesville?

Chris: Once I started training regularly at CrossFit Charlottesville, I actually took a little break from my usual triathlon training. I felt that I was getting stronger and faster from doing CrossFit, so the bulk of my swimming, biking, and running practice was all about technique. I tried some Total Immersion swim drills and POSE running drills that really helped (even though I’m still a really slow swimmer!).

How was your training feeling in regards to energy levels, nutrition, injuries and recovery times?

Chris: About a month after starting at CrossFit Charlottesville, I could really feel like I had an “extra gear” so to speak when it came to my biking and running workouts. I was used to pushing very hard during WOD’s, so when I was biking or running, I started pushing myself harder and faster too.

I also started eating a bit better this summer, especially towards the end. I’m not exactly sure how that affected me from a fitness perspective, but I really enjoy eating better quality food. I try to eat mostly Paleo-ish, so as long as I get some real, unprocessed food then I’m happy.

In the spring and early summer I had recurring knee pain in my left knee from biking and running. Ever since I started training at CrossFit Charlottesville in July, I have been totally injury-free, simple as that. I occasionally feel some muscle soreness in my legs if I bike longer than usual, but I do lots of dynamic stretching at CrossFit and that helps.

Can you tell us about your most recent race and what your expectations were for the race? How did your recovery goal?

Chris: I most recently raced at the Richmond Sprint Triathlon put on by Napier Realtors. It was a short distance triathlon benefiting the VCU Cancer Center. 400m pool swim, 12 mile bike, and 5k run. Going in I knew that a shorter pool swim was to my advantage because I am a relatively inexperienced swimmer. My plan was to get into a solid 2min/100m swim pace (which I did), average 20 mph on the bike (I averaged 19.2), and run a sub-20min 5k (which I did).

After the race I actually felt really great. I had raced a slightly longer (750m swim, 16 mile bike, 5k run) race a few weeks earlier, but since then I hadn’t done any training at those distances. My legs didn’t hurt at all the next day.

What are your fitness goals for the winter season?

Chris: During the next couple months I would like to keep progressing towards lifting heavier weights because I feel like that is one area I could really use improvement. I also want to figure out handstand push-ups and muscle-ups because they look really hard.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Chris: I’m actually moving to Ohio for the winter (Dec-May) to pursue some drumming-related activities, so I’ll be finishing up here in Charlottesville around Thanksgiving. I just wanted to say a huge thanks for all the support from everyone in the CrossFit Charlottesville community, trainers and athletes alike. I’ve never had this much fun going to the gym! Thanks again.

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