An Airman's countdown to the Duathlon World Championship

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Amber Russell
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
(This feature is written as a follow-up of the, "MMA Fighter pulls no punches at World Duathlon Championship," story.)

Motivation is essential to success.  Team U.S.A. Duathalete David "DeFierro" Perez, a U.S. Air Force technical sergeant who works with the U.S. Cyber Command directorate of logistics at Fort George G. Meade, Md., has it in droves.

Perez chronicals the details of his journey to the Duathlon World Championship set to take place in Zofingen, Switzerland, Sept. 2, 2012 on his Facebook fan page. 

The warrior Airman, who says he never settles for physical or mental limitations, demonstrates his ability to overcome challenges in a post he wrote Aug. 19, 2012.

"Just two weeks away from meeting the Swiss Alps head on ... only time will tell if I am fully prepared to meet the challenges that lie ahead! During my preparation, one of the personal challenges I have faced in training is finding my void. It's that empty spot deep down inside your gut that typically details your pain, the little part of you that says to stop because it hurts to much or you can't breathe anymore. Today was about the hunt for my void. It wasn't an easy training session but it was needed. I pushed myself and found a new pain tolerance and new threshold. I filled my void with unwavering and unchallenged courage. I look forward to bringing that with me to Switzerland and representing USA the best I can!" 

Fans posted numerous encouraging comments and "likes" in reply. 

This true-blue Airman is preparing to trek a strenuous track that includes a 10 km run, a 150 km bike ride and another 30 km run to the finish line.  His training program has peaks and valleys, much like the Swiss Alp terrain where he will compete.

In early August, he confessed to experiencing some setbacks in training for the event.

"It was a tough training session for me today. I was a little slower than I expected to be and started cramping post-workout. I pushed myself a little harder and simulated the times I am aiming for at the worlds and it was a lot more humid today but it was still not an impressive day. I plan to rest and then hit the road again throughout the weekend and continue to push."

And push, he did.  An Aug. 12, 2012 post describes one of his better training days.

"Today was a great tempo day for training despite the unbelievable head wind, high-humidity, and hard-training week. Look out Swiss Alps, here I come!"

Earlier this month, we used Perez's Facebook fanpage to gain some further insight into the hills and valleys of his training program via a Q and A session.

Are you ready to take on this adventure in the Swiss Alps?

Yes, I am more than ready and very excited to represent the United States of America on one for the largest stages for athletic competition, the World Championships.

Exactly how intense will this run/bike/run be?

The first run course is 2 laps of 5km, 45 percent  of the course is paved, 55 percent unpaved. The total altitude difference is 260 meters.

The bike course is 150km long.  3 laps of 50 km, the total altitude differences of 1600 meters.  The steepest part is a 16 percent grade incline. Climbs are intense and descend long. 

The second run course is 30km long.  Two laps on an out and back course - Turning points at 7.5km; 15km in the transition/finish area, which sums up to 22.5km. Climbing at the beginning of each lap: 25 percent paved, 75 percent unpaved. Fourty percent of the run is in the woods. The last 3km are downhill to the finish line.

After reading your Facebook posts about the intense training you're doing to prepare for this event in Switzerland, we have to ask why you would go to such great lengths?  What's the goal you are trying to reach with this duathlon?

Ultimately my goal is to inspire other Air Force members to go out and do things they would have never done before because they thought it was impossible. I want them to know that it is possible.
Every person has a secret as to how they are able to do something. I get people who ask me all the time, "how and why do you do it?"  They are asking the wrong question to the wrong person. My secret is the same as theirs. The secret to their success is within them; they just have to find out what that secret about them is, and do it.