Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 13 - Richard Fineman - ENHANCING HUMAN POTENTIAL - Part 3 of 3

Yeah, well, that's always a trick with regulation is that regulation always runs behind technology. Think about it, just like consumer level drones, people are flying over people's houses, and we don't have regulations to say what can and can't be done with just regular everyday RC drones. And regulators are still trying to figure that out.

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JESSE: Yeah, well, that's always a trick with regulation is that regulation always runs behind technology. Think about it, just like consumer level drones, people are flying over people's houses, and we don't have regulations to say what can and can't be done with just regular everyday RC drones. And regulators are still trying to figure that out. So, yeah, then it becomes a matter of you gotta have whoever's in charge of that private enterprise in regards to spaceflight being like super particular about absolutely everything. RICHARD: Yeah. This is a whole nother rabbit hole we could dive into. JESSE: Yeah. No, I find that's how it is like a lot of people. I'm like, we can probably go on for like three hours about all kinds of stuff. So, I do want to give you a chance to talk a little like bit more about kind of your sport stuff. There's kind of three different ways I can go. I do and I kind of harken back, I think I'm correct in this when I talked to Corey, were you part of the beer mile? RICHARD: Oh, yeah. JESSE: Corey said, I think were you the winner, was it? RICHARD: I did win the beer mile. JESSE: Okay. So, take me back through the beer mile, what's your technique for being a winner? How do you how do you get to be that champion? RICHARD: I should say I was the winner of four individuals ?? 1:28>. But I will also say I'm definitely not the fastest of those four individuals. JESSE: Yeah, well, that’s what Corey said. RICHARD: So, we just did this on like a random Thanksgiving, the season was over. I forget, you know, usually a lot of the shenanigans would start when Greg would get drunk and have an idea. And so he got drunk and was like, guys, I'm doing a beer mile on this day, you should come with me. And so then we like, we did it. And so we did it at the-- we called it the Charlestown classic, I believe because we did it at the Charlestown track. But I had a little bit of a secret weapon in that I was also in a fraternity in college, in which drinking beers was frequent, and required speed. But so yeah, I'm not the fastest of all of them. I was very nervous going into this, because I did not want to throw up. JESSE: It’s the four of you, so what's your mentality here, are you like, I want to win this, but I don't want to throw up or you’re just concerned about not throwing up? RICHARD: I was mostly just concerned about not throwing up because I don't know, I hate throwing up, it’s not a good feeling. And I'm not really much of a drinker anymore, too. So, my mentality was just was kind of take my time, and like for those who don't know, the beer mile is four laps around the track with four plus laps around the track with a beer after every 400 or every quarter mile. And so you start off drinking, and my strategy for the first lap was just get the beer down and build it up and see how it felt in my stomach, slowly kind of burp it out, and then I was not the first one to finish. I mean, everyone kind of finished the first beer at the same time. And well, maybe I finished a little ahead of everybody, but they quickly caught up and I was like, oh God, I'm this is not going well. But then the second beer comes along, and I finished first again, and I'm running and this time they only catch up to me at the very end. And I was like, oh, I'm kind of putting a gap into people. And I don't know, I just I'm used to kind of chugging beverages or beer-verages, I guess you could say. But yeah, you just gotta practice chugging, honestly. I think that's the secret. JESSE: It sounds like that's the key like if you take five minutes to get one down, there's no way you're, even if you're like, top flight sub four minute miler, you're just not-- RICHARD: Oh, yeah. I mean, the difference is if you look like on, we posted it on ?? 4:55>, obviously. And - wouldn't count the time that you were stopped and drinking. So, if you look at like I ran-- I think I ran like a 5:50, was my average run time. But my final beer mile time was 6:30 versus everyone else was like low fives, and it's just the difference was that I could chug faster. I honestly wasn't thinking about it. I was just going for it and I'm probably overanalyzing it right now. But I will say it's a lot more fun than I thought. And if you're bored on your long weekend for Thanksgiving, it can be a fun activity to do with your friends, for sure. JESSE: Nice. So, I'm half curious about your experiences, Ironman, Maryland, but I do have to get diverted first with the yoga, since you're a certified yoga instructor. I saw something about like, you had to have 200 hours of something to get certified? RICHARD: Oh, yeah. JESSE: I mean, you swam in college, you're a competitive triathlete now, you're the beer mile champion, and you're sort of a yoga instructor. Like how do you-- RICHARD: ...warrants being on my resume. JESSE: Well, I’m going least for the podcast because it's entertaining, I think. But I mean, how do you keep up with all these different sports, I guess, if I’ll call Yoga a sport, physical activity? RICHARD: Well, I don't know I'm definitely one of those people were physical activity helps calm me down and decrease stress. I can definitely get more stressed and my mental health suffers if I'm not exercising. So, for me, I kind of started doing yoga to-- well because it's it goes cold during the winter time here in Boston, and some friends and my reprogram would go to hot yoga on the weekends. And I was like, oh, this seems like's like good for you. It's like good to like, stretch out and stuff before-- with all this other training that I'm doing. And I just slowly kind of got more interested in it and I found that I actually learned a lot about anatomy and biomechanics, in general, so related a lot to my research. So, I kind of, then did the training-- The training was like, on the weekends during the offseason. So, I did the training with a friend, to kind of really learn about it a little bit more. And not to be too much of a hater to the yoga people, but they’re definitely some times where I was like, this is total bullshit and I'm never going to say this again, in my life, or never do this again in my life. There's definitely a spiritual aspect to yoga which I don't subscribe to necessarily, but I think there are a more like modern takes on it, then I think more people can relate to like this idea of like mindfulness. Which definitely kind of like, was interesting to me and I think it's like important for any athlete to be kind of mindful, and not to kind of get caught up in all the-- I think the idea of a mindful athlete is someone who is not caught up in all the data, and can just kind of focus on like, what their body is telling them right here and now and not think about how am I going to feel later or how, what did I feel before this? So, really a lot of it just tied together with my interest in sports, my research. So, I did the training, and I taught for a while, but then eventually as is typical with the PhD, the PhD got in the way and I just had to drop some in order to finish in a timely manner. And so I just stopped teaching. And also kind of realized that I wanted to, this was when I was pretty set on being a professor and I need more teaching experience. So, I got a TIA job instead. And that kind of supplemented the income I was getting from the from yoga. JESSE: Did you notice-- Were you doing yoga at the same time you're doing triathlon? RICHARD: Yeah, yeah. JESSE: Did you notice a positive effect between the two or? RICHARD: No, I definitely and I think I'm actually suffering from it now. When I was doing a lot of yoga, I definitely saw that I recovered more quickly, I didn't get any injuries. And I often like, yeah, so those are the two big ones, which if you ask any athlete, hey, do you want to recover faster and not get injured? I think a lot of then would say yes, especially triathletes. And so I think a lot of it had to do with-- it's like not so much cardio, but there's a lot of like functional movement involved in yoga and trying to activate certain muscle groups that maybe aren't activated as frequently in triathlon. So, if you think about triathlon, you’re isolated in a single kind of plane, right, running your kind of flexing and extending your knees and hips a lot. Same thing for cycling and same thing for swimming, you're kind of in this one plane. And so yoga tries to kind of get at all the planes, you're moving more outside of that reference frame and strengthening and glute muscles and abductors that can oftentimes get weak during repeated physical activity in just the flesh and extension plane. And so I definitely think there's a benefit to that, really, that sort of light strength and stability training, that I think helps with recovery and stuff like that. And as I also think like also stretching helps with recovery. And that added extra movement so that you're not as sedentary, gets the blood flowing, to kind of remove some of the lactic acid from your muscles. And then finally, if you do hot yoga, even though it can be incredibly frustrating, it's like being on a sauna. So, you get that sort of idea of expanding your plasma volume, potentially gives you that cardiovascular benefit. And yoga makes you feel good. It's a time where you can distract yourself from whatever work you have, whatever training you're doing, and just kind of focus on that. And it's just a good way to kind of forget about other things in your life too. JESSE: Yeah. So, if I was going to add it into my training am I doing it just once a week or what's your suggestion? RICHARD: Definitely start easy, probably, I would definitely start easy. I mean, if you're going from like nothing to then doing like an hour and a half yoga class, it's probably a little extreme. I mean there are some, there's definitely some hard poses that your class might try. And you don't want to hurt yourself too going too deep into stretch. So, ease into it, I definitely say like, I think like, once a week is great, like with any sort of strength routine that you add to your training. And then you can kind of build it from there, if you kind of-- if you learn enough from classes, or if you really like ?? 13:19> like a teacher training or something, and you start to incorporate, like 30 minutes, instead of like, one one hour class a day, I think there's benefit to like doing maybe two 30 minute sessions in a week. Yeah. I mean, when I was at my peak, I was going to yoga twice a week, I think. So, like an hour or like 75 minutes, that seemed to do the trick. And I would try to do one on like, my recovery day, then the other one typically fell, like in the middle of my, like peak training. And sometimes what I even do is like go for a run before the hour class. So, then during the class, I was just all right, this is where I can chill, I don't need to kill myself. Because you can definitely tell there are certain people who are like, type A and they're like, okay, I'm here to work out, and I gotta, like, get the most out of this class. So, I'm going to do every single push up, they tell me to do, I'm going to do extra abs, I'm going to kill myself and do everything extra. But I think you should, it took me a while to learn this, but it's definitely a benefit to taking it a little bit easier and really kind of listening to or trying to sense in your world, what feels good, what doesn't feel good, maybe what needs a little bit more stretching or strength training than other areas in the body and stuff like that. Because contrary to popular belief, you can hurt yourself in yoga, you can pull a muscle if you're trying to do like a crazy inversion, you can fall on your head and stuff like that. So, with any sport that you take on for the first time, definitely ease into it. But yeah, and I think my biggest piece of advice would be to not compare yourself to others too. Just do your own thing, you're not there to show off to the person next to you. You should be there to recover and enjoy yourself and detach from whatever else you have going on in life for like an hour or so. JESSE: So, thinking about recovery, this is the question I asked everybody, trying to be mindful of your time, I always ask everybody because this is a universal thing, we all eat. So, I'm always curious if you had to choose one recovery food for the rest of your life, what would it be? RICHARD: Chocolate milk. JESSE: Solid answer. RICHARD: Yeah. JESSE: I've had a couple of guests mentioned that so far. RICHARD: Oh, yeah, chocolate milk for sure. I bet Greg said ice cream. JESSE: I think he said he wanted to say ice cream, I can’t remember what he said. RICHARD: Yeah, him and my girlfriend, I've never seen people eat so much ice cream. JESSE: You haven't spent time around me. Richard, if people want to find you and see what kind of antics you're up to, where can they find you? RICHARD: Yeah, so I'm on Twitter and Instagram at RA Fineman for both of them and then Facebook is just Richard Fineman. If you are really interested in my research, I'm on ResearchGate, which is like this social network for researchers, there I’m just under Richard Fineman too. Yeah, has anyone ever plugged their ResearchGate on this podcast? JESSE: Not yet. But hopefully that becomes a thing. RICHARD: Yeah. That'd be cool. But yeah, that's how you can-- I'm also on Strava. JESSE: So, you actually see what you're doing? RICHARD: Yeah. Yeah. So, you can see the swimmer log like 10 minutes before our conversation. JESSE: Nice. I swam this morning, I was like, I wonder if I’ll still have the goggle line on my face. Yeah, I’m all right. Anyway, thanks for coming on today, Richard. RICHARD: Yeah, thank you. It was fun. Thanks for having me. JESSE: Take care. RICHARD: Take care. Go to Part 1 Go to Part 2

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