Triathletes Shoemaker, Chrabot talk Jim Rice, Twitter and surfing
Both Shoemaker and Chrabot try to keep their prerace meals simple
"Sleep is the biggest performance enhancer" for athletes, says Chrabot
Growing up, Shoemaker idolized former Boston Red Sox player Jim Rice
As much as they seem it, professional triathletes Jarrod Shoemaker and Matt Chrabot are not all triathlon all the time. SI.com talks Eastbound & Down, surfing, Jim Rice and the beauty of eleven hours of sleep with the Olympic hopefuls.
8:04 p.m. EST
SI.com: Where are you right now?
Jarrod Shoemaker: I'm sitting in my little office here in Clermont, Florida.
Matt Chrabot: I'm in my condo in Santa Cruz.
SI.com: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Chrabot: Some cream of wheat, almond butter, some raw local honey.
Shoemaker: Oatmeal with agave nectar. That's what I eat pretty much every morning before I go out and run in the morning, and then I eat some local honey with yogurt after my run.
SI.com: What's your pre-race meal?
Shoemaker: I try to keep things as normal as possible to my normal routine. Most of our races are in the afternoon, so I just do what I normally do -- oatmeal in the morning, then I go out for a little jog, then I usually eat just a sandwich like I would at home. Just keep things the same.
SI.com: Do you increase the quantity on race-day?
Shoemaker: It's harder to eat on race day. (laughs) Much harder. So usually I'll eat a little bit more the day before. On race day you've got adrenaline going and your stomach feels different, so it's always harder to put the food down that you want to put down.
Chrabot: I try to keep the fiber low. That way I don't have any problems. Especially with these late day races; breakfast will have to come out late in the day if you have a lot of fiber, so I keep things really simple. Maybe have some rice for lunch with a couple pieces off turkey. Remember: what's considered healthy for someone who sits in an office all day might not be as healthy for someone who's going to have his heart rate at 200 for a couple hours, so.
SI.com: Do I hear some cutlery? Are you putting away some calories right now?
Chrabot: (laughs) Yeah, I'm just getting some dinner ready. I have some chicken curry that I'm heating up ... Leftovers.
SI.com: How much sleep do you get per night?
Shoemaker: (laughs) I've been a sleeper my entire life. In high school I had a gym class in the morning rescheduled so I could sleep ten hours a night. I slept 10-11 hours a night in college. Sleep is the most important thing you can do as an athlete to rest and recover your body. Every single night I sleep with a headband on that tells me how much deep sleep I got, and how much REM sleep and light sleep. For me it's extremely important.
Chrabot: I don't sleep as much as Jarrod, which is probably why he outperforms me more than half the time. I try to get nine hours, and on a good night, eleven. I got eleven last night. Sleep is the biggest performance enhancer.
SI.com: What is your training schedule tomorrow?
Shoemaker: I have a run workout in the morning, a swim that will be a little easier after what I did yesterday, and then a bike workout. And then I'm headed to the beach to sit on the beach for a little bit in the afternoon, maybe play in the waves and take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy it for a couple hours.
Chrabot: My day is pretty similar. I've got a big track workout tomorrow morning, then I'm going to do a group ride around lunchtime, then throw my wetsuit on and go for a swim in the ocean with the seals and the sharks. We've got a lot of sharks around here.
SI.com: Are you a surfer?
Chrabot: Yeah, definitely. Not that I've gone out lately, though.
SI.com: Well, you're in business mode.
Chrabot: Absolutely. There are always contests around here, though. So we'll stop at a spot and just sit and watch from time to time.
SI.com: Jarrod, you were born and raised in Massachusetts. I hear you're a Boston Bruins and a Red Sox fan?
Shoemaker: Of course.
SI.com: Who was your favorite athlete growing up?
Shoemaker: Jim Rice. Very excited he got in the Hall of Fame last year. I grew up going to Red Sox games. We had season tickets as a kid so I was there probably 30 or 40 games a year.
SI.com: You, Matt?
Chrabot: Well, I spent a good chunk of my time in Chicago. I was there for the five seasons the Bulls won [the NBA title], so Michael Jordan for me.
SI.com: Jarrod, tell me about your Twitter photo.
Shoemaker: That photo is from 2007, when I qualified for the Olympics on the Beijing course, and the gel and the drink that I was drinking at the time obviously did not agree with me -- and that was the last time I used it! In my head, I was close to the finish line, I was the first American, Hunter [Kemper] was coming back strong at the end. I was just thinking, 'I'm gonna puke, but I gotta get across that finish line,' so I was running and puking at the same time. Which actually is pretty tough. (laughs)
Chrabot: It worked!
Shoemaker: Yeah, I got the spot.
SI.com: Do you ever have to battle the Eastbound & Down Kenny Powers "Triathlon isn't a real sport" perception from people?
Chrabot: No, not really.
Shoemaker: (laughs) No, I think we get more of the 'Oh, you do triathlon? You must do Ironman.' I just tell them, 'No we only race for two hours, it's actually kind of nice!' We go hard for two hours, but in Ironman you're trying to get the race done in 8 hours if you're really good.
Chrabot: Eastbound & Down, what did he play, baseball? That's not in the Olympics anymore, sorry. (both laugh)
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