By profession, 34-year-old Michael Gutierrez is a Fitness Expert training athletes at his local Gold’s Gym in Brownsville, Texas. In his personal time, Gutierrez is an endurance athlete spending countless hours a week training for triathlons, with his most recent race being this past weekend’s brutal Ironman Texas. He’s no stranger to competition and encourages his clients to understand the discipline, sacrifices and obstacles that come along with training. That list also includes muscle cramps. Gutierrez is hooked on racing; and now he’s hooked on #ITSTHENERVE and its ability to keep him racing and competing at a high level. Read his story here:
For the last four years, I’ve been an endurance athlete. It’s a pretty grueling schedule. My weekly workout routine consists of two days of resistance training and swimming and then three days of cycling in addition to at least two days of running. Being an indoor cycling instructor for the past six years (RPM), I would say cycling is my favorite of them all. In the past three years, I started doing triathlons (sprint and Olympic distances being my favorite), but I have found myself adding in a few 70.3 Ironman races every year. In 2016 so far, I’ve completed Ironman 70.3 Nola (thanks to #ITSTHENERVE), and am excited to say that I just finished my first full distance Ironman, finishing Ironman Texas in The Woodlands. I’m not stopping there — next up is Buffalo Springs 70.3, Austin 70.3 and a few sprint and Olympic distance races. You can say I’m hooked!
For the past two years, I’ve also been a part of Big Sexy Racing — an amateur racing team, which is currently ranked #1 in the world. When I race, I always want to compete at a high level and represent my team the best way possible. #ITSTHENERVE allows me to do just that and not have to worry about muscle cramping when it’s time to push hard.
Muscle cramps have always been a hindrance to me. I grew up by the Gulf of Mexico where body boarding and surfing were a big part of my life. Long sessions in the water would always lead to cramping, mainly my inner thighs/groin area. This type of cramp is extremely painful — almost paralyzing. When I started getting involved in endurance sports, I knew that at some point my body would begin experiencing these debilitating cramps again. Triathlon training is extremely demanding on the body, and you never really know when a monster of a cramp will show up. Before #ITSTHENERVE, I had tried everything — hydration, salt pills, gels, grinding Himalayan salt, and almost every electrolyte drink made. The cramps would always return.
My recent race in New Orleans 70.3 started off with one of the most difficult swims I’ve ever experienced —treacherous winds and choppy water. I knew I would have to push hard on my bike for the first 30 miles with a solid headwind at 25-35 mph. We had tailwind for about 20 miles, which helped since my legs were exhausted. For the last 10 miles, we were back into headwinds; and by mile 48, I felt the cramp creeping on. As I slowed down to try and shake it off, it only got worse. I contemplated stopping, but I remembered the bottle of #ITSTHENERVE in my bike fuel bag. This was the moment of truth — I quickly gulped it down. Not knowing what to expect, I felt the cramp slowly fading just seconds after I took it. “It worked!” I told myself. Although I did not PR due to the tough conditions, #ITSTHENERVE allowed me to finish the rest of my bike and run cramp-free, finishing with a better overall position than I did last year (2015: 411/1800, and 2016: 287/1700).
This past weekend was Ironman Texas. The race was very intense weather wise — they had to delay the start for an entire hour because of the lightning wind and blinding rain. Considering that this was my first Ironman I’d say I did great!
I couldn’t have done the time I did without #ITSTHENERVE. I started off by taking a bottle before my swim, that has become a part of my pre-race ritual. I experienced no cramps during the swim. Once I was on the bike, the sun was intense, so I kept hydrating and consuming the calories I needed. At about mile 70 on the bike portion, I felt my typical inner thigh cramp creeping on. I drank another bottle of #ITSTHENERVE and chugged it down, the cramp started to subside and then was gone. I ended up finishing the bike in 4:28:27 (they cut the course to 95 miles for this race because they had problems with the surrounding counties). Now off to transition for my run portion. After changing and gearing up, I chugged one more bottle before the run. The first 14 miles of the run were so hot and humid, then the hurricane hit us at about 2:30pm. The weather changed dramatically from blistering hot to cold, rainy with some hail with intense lightning strikes. It took about twenty minutes then they decided to delay the race and advised us to take shelter at the nearest aid station. Exactly one hour later they let us continue once the lightning had subsided. It continued to rain and stayed cold for the remainder of the race. I never got another cramp throughout the entire race and officially became an IRONMAN on May 14, 2016. This was one of the hardest challenges that I have ever faced and it would have been a long day of suffering without #ITSTHENERVE.
#ITSTHENERVE has been a real game-changer for me. I am able to perform at a much higher intensity for a longer duration without having to worry about what to do if my muscles start to cramp. #ITSTHENERVE WORKS!