Mikhail Gerylo is a world-class Spartan Race competitor. In fact, Gerylo is already in the top 50 in the world.
Not bad for a guy who hasn't even finished a full season on the obstacle-course racing circuit.
Gerylo wraps up his first full season this weekend. As you're reading this, Gerylo is participating in the OCR World Championships. The gruelling 12.9-kilometre course in the heart of Ohio is Gerylo's first kick at a world title. And it likely won't be his last. The 26-year-old, in his prime years, has found his niche.
Athletics for Gerylo started at a young age. He didn't just fall into Spartan racing one day. His father was a phys-ed teacher, a profession he himself is now in, teaching grades K-8 at General Vanier School.
"Coaching really solidified why I wanted to get into teaching," Gerylo said. "I realized I really wanted to do it as a career. It's great. At certain ages, you can introduce new sports to kids who may not have encountered them. It's about turning them on to athletics at an early age."
Since starting competitive racing last year, Gerylo has put up impressive results, including a third-place finish at his first ever Spartan Race in Quebec. In September, Gerylo placed first in the Sun Peaks Spartan Ultra Beast Race. The Winnipegger also placed first in the Manitoba Spartan Sprint this past summer in Grunthal.
"The latest race in B.C. was 54 kilometres. I was out on the course for seven hours," Gerylo said. "That was the longest course I've done. It was pretty intense."
Fitness is an everyday thing for Gerylo. His job demands that for him. But over and above his vocation comes the training to be an elite athlete.
"Lots of grip strength — think American Warrior Ninja," he said. "I'm usually up at 5 a.m. to do my workouts. Depending on the length of the race, I'm training to up my mileage or to increase my speed. I do a lot of circuit training at the gym, a lot of functional training, lots of lactic-threshold training (training your body until it is almost filled with lactic acid, and then being able to flush it out). Lots of body weights, calisthenics and just not stopping during a workout."
Win or lose, Gerylo — who admits he's a humble competitor — says he's found a home.
"It's the most welcoming community I've found," Gerylo said. "The guys who finished in front of me in my first race, they were congratulating me. They respect what people have completed."
You can learn more about Gerylo and what he's up to lately at his Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1OpozkQ
I will always enjoy doing a good trail run. Getting outdoors, throwing on music and getting on the trails — that's one of my favourites. If I could do it more often, I would.
Favourite workout song:
Every week I have a new song that pumps me up. I'm a pretty active music downloader. I like to make a lot of playlists, but a classic would be any Will Smith song. That would be my go-to.
Find consistency. That's the biggest thing. People are in and out. Things happen in life, nothing is linear in motion. You really need to find consistency and a why. Everyone needs their why, a goal. Something to get you to the gym and to eat properly, especially when you're at your tipping point.
What's in your fridge:
Two bins of vegetables so I can throw them into all my meals. Eggs, fruits - all of the basics.
Nutella. You can have the healthiest breakfast, but if there is Nutella around, I might just spread a little bit of that on top.
Got a story for the Training Basket? Email Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.