Monday, February 8, 2016

Meet the Coach: Sergio Chavira

Sergio has a great time at every race with Team In Training.

Sergio Chavira likes to have a good time.  He really likes to have a good time when working with Team In Training (TNT) as a coach and helping people reach their physical and fundraising goals.  Below he talks about why watching other people finish races is so rewarding and how fundraising can be as simple as slipping into your TNT gear.

What brought you to Team In Training?
I was intrigued by one of those purple flyers I used to find whenever I went to the YMCA. The fundraising part seemed a little hard for me at the time, so I postponed coming to an information meeting for a few months, maybe a year. But when I finally came to the first meeting and found out what TNT was all about, I was sold! 

Why did you want to become a Team In Training coach?
I was a volunteer at Ironman Texas last year and came across Rachel Joyce, a world class triathlete who had finished the race third that afternoon. She came back to the finish line just before midnight, after racing for 9 hours in the Texas heat, this was May, and to give medals and congratulate the last finishers. I told her: "Rachel, this is great, you came back to the finish line after your race" Her reply: "Are you kidding me? This is the best part!!!"

I feel like Rachel in a lot of ways. Yes, we have to wake up really, really early on Saturday mornings and pretty much forget about having a social life on Friday evenings but in the end it is incredibly inspiring to see our participants on race day. Their struggles, their smiles, the satisfaction on their faces when they finish their event!

There are a lot of great things about being part of TNT, choosing the best is hard but coaching is high on my list!

What should people know about your coaching style?
This is your season, this is your event. Ask me any question that you may have. I will run by your side, push you to through your training, give you a break if you need one and help you in any way I can. Come prepared to enjoy the journey throughout our season. Hint: we will have muffins!

What advice would you give to somebody who is intimidated by fundraising?
Make sure to tell everyone you know, and even people you don't, about what you are doing and why you are doing it. People love to help! Oh, and wear your Team in Training shirt or something with our logo everywhere you go. 

I know of a participant who got a $100 donation from a gentleman who had been a TNT participant over 15 years ago simply because he saw her purple shirt on a training run on a Saturday. She didn't even have to ask.

I shaved my head when I did my first event in 2009 and I stayed bald until I reached my fundraising goal, 4 or 5 months later. It was out of respect for our Honored Heroes. It was great advertisement! I wouldn't necessarily encourage everyone to try this approach, but it did wonders for my fundraising.

What advice would you give to somebody who is concerned about training for an endurance race?
We have all been there; we've all had doubts about our limits! But it's all worth it. Nothing compares to the feeling you get when you cross the finish line! 

And, like I heard somebody say once, "A race  is just a catered workout!, you get food and drinks while you run, there is sometimes live music around the course, and even more food and drinks at the finish line. Did I mention the massage tables? Oh, and have you seen the finishers medals lately? Everybody in the office will want to hear about it, I guarantee it.

Best training/race tip you have ever received.
A coach once told me:  "Strong and steady Sergio, strong and steady!" as I was getting ready to start the bike portion of a 70.3 triathlon, commonly known as a half Ironman. It did wonders for me and is something I remind myself every time I enter a race. 

High on the list too: always remember to wear body glide or your favorite anti chafing product; you'll only forget to bring it with you once. 

Scrambled eggs with ham and toast before training? You'll get in trouble with Eve Pearson! 

Meet Sergio at an upcoming training for Team In Training's NEW Sprummer season.  He is one of the coaches for the Fort Worth marathon team.  Check out the complete roster of events for this season at

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