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  • sarahdraht

Training Behind the Gold Medals

Updated: Mar 22, 2019

This post is about my Thursday (March 7, 2019) training for Pan-Ams.


Vernon training on Thursday. (Left to right): Adam, Chris, Elan, Darryl, Sarah, Superdave, Winter, and Wes

Today I was up at 7:30, did my marketing for the gyms before I met up with Steph at 11:00 am and we trained for 7x10 minute rounds. We were hoping to do 8 rounds but the exhaustion had taken over and we were simply too tired. We stopped one round early remembering the concept that ‘more isn’t better, better is better’. We knew our movement was slowing down, our mind was getting tired and were making unnecessary mistakes. We want our brains to remember the healthy patters of moving quickly and with purpose, along with the focus and the grips. So we stopped at 70 minutes of hard wrestling.


After our wrestling we jumped in the car and headed to do kettlebells with Jason. It was a great workout today, hard but great, Thursdays are always harder as we have trained all week and are wearing down. Somehow Jason always gives us exactly what we need, keeps us challenged and pushes our limits but doesn’t overwhelm us.

The best part about Thursday is the shower after the 2 hours and ten minutes of training, the chicken lunch and the coffee. Our Thursday date where we connect, talk, troubleshoot vent, anything really. I am so grateful to have Steph as such an amazing training partner and good friend.


After that I headed back to the club and met with with Jord and Jes. We meet once a week to touch base on everything that is going on. Jorden is making sure all the renos are going well (which is a full time job in itself!), he also runs the PTTStore, and teaches his classes. Jes takes care of all the admin (leads, emails, cancellations, holds - and the many many other things that come through), she is also manages the energy exchange. She is really good with people and they like her energy so it is perfect that she is at the front end. I do anything online (marketing, websites, seo, campaigns in the gym, etc), and teaching my classes and putting on special courses. We meet once a week, and trouble shoot problems, make decisions on what to do moving forward and discuss the many, many things that come up during the week.


An hour seems long enough but hardly is.


Erika taught a mini seminar on clinch work at Womens Only Muay Thai today and she did such a phenomenal job. She earned her instructor certification tonight. She is a fantastic teacher, she has the perfect balance of being authoritative yet gentle, has great energy and a ton of wisdom and knowledge from all her years of training. Not only that, she is a fantastic leader. I am super excited she is willing to help instruct the womens program and cover classes while I am gone. She really cares about the girls and it is reflected in her teaching. She uses very different tools in training than I do, so it’ll be really good for the girls to learn from her as well. That was exciting!


After kickboxing I headed home to be home around 6:30, with intentions to leave for training in Vernon at 7:00pm. Jason and I have had many conversations about balancing that fine line of training hard and overtraining (he is so knowledgable on the human body). Because it is very hard to tell the difference between the two. We have found some of the biggest red flags for me when I am overtraining is I can’t sleep, I get irritated by things more easily, and I have no desire to train at all. This is massive because I love training. So when I don’t want to be on the mats that’s an issue.


Today when I got home I was tired and sore. But not overtrained. It’s a battle against myself sometimes of what I want now and what I want most. It was too easy to sit on my couch and listen to my excuses. But I have Pan-Ams to get ready for, and I want that win more than I want a couch evening. So I made my coffee and had a protein muffin one of my students (thanks Steph!) made me and headed to Vernon.


Every week Superdave gives me homework. We have a very particular strategies we are working on. Sometimes this consists of fixing mistakes I am making, sometimes it is adding important details I am missing, and sometimes it is adding a whole technique onto what I am doing.


I showed ups to Vernon and Superdave and I worked through my list that I was having problems with. Then right away I put the new details, concepts and techniques into practice.


My first round was 40 minutes long. I wrestled Adam (a purple belt who is close to the same size as me so that was perfect) he allowed me to work my new homework for the first 20, then we picked it up a bit for the last 20.

The I ventured to wrestle the black belt Darryl for two rounds. I love wrestling him because he has such phenomenal movement and technique.


Superdave has been working with me over the last eight months in completely changing my guard passing. I have been having trouble implementing these techniques just because they are so different from what I was doing. It is the battle of getting my body to do what my mind knows it needs to do. Darryl spent couple hours with me before the Ottawa tournament (Canadian National Pro), and helped me implement my passing techniques. If I was doing the techniques correctly he allowed me to pass, if the technique is not executed correctly he would sweep me or sub me (what does ‘do the technique correctly entail? Where my weight was, balance, grips, timing of the movement in reaction to what he was doing on the bottom - a science really). I am very excited about this new guard passing strategy and see the pieces coming together, obviously it is working as I won gold in Ottawa.

Then my evening ended wrestling the Breget brothers.


They are incredibly fast and technical, it’s nice because I don’t have to use any strength but all technique and work on matching their speed. According to Superdave's instruction they are working on their passing and I am working on my retention. I know it is as cool for them as it is for me to see us getting better as we spend the time on the mats to implement what we are learning.


It is actually quite phenomenal what happens in these fast rounds. Sometimes we move so fast I see everything in slow motion, and my body does the right movements before I can process what it happening. This only happens when I am incredibly focused. It is like a form of meditation. If I look away or think about something else for a tenth of a second I’ve lost. It is really cool. We had some fantastic rounds.


I ended up training for almost two hours in Vernon, and I was so happy I did. Superdave gave me such important details and concepts for the upcoming week and I got some really good rounds in. I only have this week and next week of hard training before pan ams. Just around the corner so need to stay focused and push through this last bit of training camp.


I would have to say the mornings are the worst. Getting out of bed and everything is rigid and has ‘morning soreness’ that tends to go away with a cup of coffee and as the day goes on.


My secret to not getting super sore? Lots of protein. And chicken. I’ll write a blog post about that as well (and yes, Jason was the one that helped me with my diet in a massive way).

Today was hard but it was great.




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