SGPT Interviews Tata Figueroa SEALFIT 20X Challenge Graduate

tata sealfit 20x challenge puerto ricoSGPT: Tell us about yourself?

TF: My name is Elsa (Tata) Figueroa. I am 41 years old, married and mother of two girls (Ana who is 16 and Carola, 11.) I work as a Human Resources Manager for a local company in Puerto Rico. I am an avid CrossFitter, runner and triathlete.

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

TF: Yes, I was a swimmer. I swam competitively since I was 5 years old until I graduated from high school at 18 years old. During those years I swam for the Puerto Rican National Team in three international events. My best event was the 200 meters butterfly. Also while in high school, I was a member of the cross-country and track and field teams. I have participated in long distance triathlons, including a full 140.6 Ironman in 2010 and a few 70.3 Half Ironman’s. Lately, I have focused my efforts and training on SEALFIT 20X and on long distance running events, half and full marathons.


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SGPT: Where do you train at? What gym?

TF: I train in Barrio 12 Cross Fit in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

SGPT: How did you train for the SEALFIT 20 X Challenge events?

TF: The event was on February 6, 2016. I started specific training for the SEALFIT 20X Challenge event in the middle of October 2015. I am always training for my long distance running events; typically I would run three to four times and perform two to three CrossFit sessions a week. In preparation for SEALFIT 20X, I increased the CrossFit sessions to four to five times a week while keeping the running sessions intact at three to four times a week. A typical week of training for SEALFIT 20X was: Monday and Wednesday afternoons – CrossFit session (SEALFIT 20X specific) at the box; Tuesday and Thursday mornings – running session at the track and right after a CrossFit session (SEALFIT 20X specific) at the box; Saturday mornings – 8-12 miles easy long run and right after a CrossFit session (SEALFIT 20X specific) at the box.

SGPT: Tell us a little about the event? Where was it?

TF: The event was held in and around a sandy beach on the south coast of Puerto Rico, in a town called Salinas. In my particular experience, I found the event to be extremely hard but doable. I truly believe that anyone with discipline and a consistent training regimen can complete the event. I felt it was more of a mental challenge than a physical test. My coach, Jose Mendizabal, was an important influence throughout the whole process.

The coaches at the event will be hard on you; you need to be selective and choose what you want to listen to. At times when they yelled and picked at you, keep going, block it out and do not take it as a personal attack. When Coach Brad and Coach Amra were having the motivational talk and the real life talk, I would be ALL EARS! Throughout the event I kept thinking to myself, “nothing bad is going to happen to me, in fact, I will be a better person after this event,” this kept me going and gave me confidence that I could finish strong. The event was great!!! I would do another one tomorrow!

SGPT: What was the hardest part of the event?

TF: For me the hardest part was the 5:30am ice bath! I thought, “why so early, why me???” After I completed the 5 minutes submerged in the ice bath and the ordeal of Coach Amra throwing water in my face for about 1 minute, I told myself, “I think I am done, I finished the 20X!” LOL! After that, I knew and believed I could do anything. I felt different; I felt that I did something that most people cannot do.

SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for SEALFIT 20X?

TF: Wow! So many things! There is always room for improvement… I wish I would have worked harder on my pull ups!

SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do SEALFIT 20X?

TF: Train, Train and Train!! At least four month prior to the event and 2-4 hours daily minimum 5 days a week. Also work hard on your cardio and endurance that will really help you thru the entire event.

SGPT: What kind of boots did you use for the event?

TF: I used the Oakley Men’s Light Assault Military Boot, they are flexible, comfortable and held up perfectly during training and during the event, especially when they are wet. Also, they drain extremely well!

SGPT: Did you use double socks or body glide on your feet to prevent blisters?

TF: I used CEP compression socks; they worked great with no body glide!

SGPT: What kind of ruck did you use for training and the event?

goruck 20L ruckerTF: I used the GORUCK 20L Rucker for training and during the event.

SGPT: What is your next big event?

TF: I have couple of half marathon coming up in the next months and hopefully, Chicago Marathon in October 2016. Kokoro is in my bucket list.

SGPT: What book are you reading now?

TF: After the event I became hooked with the SEALFIT philosophy, so I bought, Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level by Mark Divine.

Related Article:
Top 10 Tips to Get You Ready for the 20X Challenge