This week, we spoke with Dzu Do, an avid triathlete who has overcome a shoulder and knee injury, yet still pushes himself to reach his goals. This year, MySwimPro is helping him make a comeback and swim 2.5k and 5k open water races and the 2018 NYC Triathlon. Learn how Dzu recovered quickly and is crushing his goals.
MEET DZU DO
Dzu started swimming for exercise in his early 30s, with a goal to compete in triathlons and open water races. He fell in love with the sport and went on to compete in his first NYC Triathlon in 2001. After the race, he continued to swim often, as a great way to keep up his fitness, and rehab a minor shoulder injury.
In 2016, Dzu had to get shoulder surgery on his rotator cuff to fix a tear that had gotten worse ever since he was in his 20s. This changed everything. After the surgery, he could barely lift his elbow above his navel, he fell out of shape very quickly, and his triathlon training was put on a big hold. He wasn’t allowed to swim for a full year while he was progressing through his rehab program.
If you’re an athlete that has been injured, you’ve felt this feeling of disappointment and restlessness that you feel when you can’t do the exercise you love.
“I didn’t think I was ever going to swim again after my rotator cuff surgery.”
Luckily, after that long year of intense physical therapy and working with a dedicated trainer with a background in corrective rehab, he regained his strength and was able to get back in the water. At this point, he was able to lift his shoulder in front of his eyes. His trainer actually recommended the swimming, as it was a great method of rehab for his shoulder, as opposed to running, which put a lot of pressure on his joints. It was the perfect way for him to get in shape, set new goals of what he wanted to accomplish in the sport.
After a year of committing to swimming again, he could finally move his shoulder way behind his ear without any pain or clicking sound.
“To me, it is a miracle of medical science that I now have a brand new left shoulder. Swimming definitely contributed to the rehab.”
Dzu made it a mission to rehab his shoulder, get back in shape, and compete in the 2017 NYC Triathlon, 16 years after his first go at it.
Dzu started training heavily again in early 2017, and found a triathlon coach to help him prepare. He learned how to complete organized swim workouts, and all was going well – until he overtrained his knee. He was left back in the doctor’s office with a prescription for more rehab and rest.
Another injury meant more frustration, but also more motivation to find the perfect training plan for him. He needed a more structured swimming program to supplement the knee rehabilitation program and get him back on track for the 2017 NYC Triathlon.
Dzu knew how effective running and cycling apps were, so after doing a quick Google search, he discovered MySwimPro by chance, and it became the perfect app for his swim training.
As his knee recovery progressed, he started incorporating more swimming into his training, and completed a couple workouts a week from the MySwimPro app. He’d select a workout from the library, adjust the dynamic intervals so they’re unique to his goals, complete the workout, and log it on his iPhone.
“Being a big guy at 270lbs, I feel blessed that I can still move through the water effortlessly.”
Dzu swims around 2,500 meters a workout, and tracks his progress toward his goals by improving his interval times and keeping a record of how far he swims per week in MySwimPro. After a few months of this, Dzu was feeling stronger than ever, and reached his goal of completing the 2017 NYC Triathlon.
“MySwimPro really helps making time spent in and out of the pool extremely productive and focused. It really is a grab-and-go method to getting a great workout without much hassle.”
He’s following the 12-Week Open Water Training Plan in the MySwimPro app to train for his upcoming triathlon. Before every swim, he reviews the planned workout for the day, watches the training videos, then brings his iPhone in a waterproof pouch to the pool, so he can follow along with the workout while in the water.
“I feel with my training, I can achieve the most with swimming. There is no better feeling than after a swimming workout.”
After he swims, he logs the workout, then syncs the MySwimPro app to his Garmin VivoActive watch so he can track all his activity in one place.
GETTING BACK INTO SHAPE
Dzu enjoys using the MySwimPro app because he can adjust his training plan and goals according to how his body feels and what his schedule is like.
In addition to using MySwimPro as his swimming app, Dzu is using TrainerRoad for cycling, and Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Run app for running. This spring, his weekly workout regimen includes 3 bike sessions, 2 swims, 2 weight lifting sessions and yoga.
“You know your body, so you know how to set certain goals based on the guidance in the app. Sometimes with a coach, they could overload you. I like being able to gauge how I feel, then push myself accordingly.”
STICKING WITH MYSWIMPRO
The structured workout format makes understanding the workouts easy for Dzu, and he continues to learn tips from our helpful videos and community of swimmers. It’s easy to use, and is a “far cry from the paper hand-out and unreadable notes from a coach” he says.
“An app like MySwimPro allows a casual swimmer to work independently toward building a strong base and foundation. It’s a great alternative to participating in a master swim class or having a personal coach.”
After 6 months of using the MySwimPro app, Dzu has gotten faster, and his SWOLF score has improved from a 65 to a 53. By incorporating more cross training, he’s found that by swimming just 1-2 times a week, his body has more time for recovery and he feels faster and stronger every time he’s in the pool.
He claims that he’s gained more confidence in his swimming because he knows each moment spent in the pool is purposeful, and directed toward a specific goal and objective.
“This is the next best thing to having a coach next to you.”
DZU’S NUMBER ONE TIP
“Listen to your body and make the necessary adjustments so you can move as effortlessly in the water as possible. Techniques are important but they must be adapted to your particular body.
For older and heavier athletes, the goal is to keep moving and not to give up. There will always be some pain points somewhere in your body, so cross training is key to support the respective strengths and weaknesses of each body part.
For me, I would swim and bike more and keep running at a minimum to avoid additional stresses to the knees and ankles. However you do it, keep that heart working to pump blood all over the body. Weight lifting and yoga are also needed to increase support and mobility in the weaker parts of your body. It’s definitely a total body commitment.”
MORE ABOUT DZU DO:
Dzu is 55 years old and lives and works in Maplewood, NJ as an IT Project Manager. He is a Lifetime Fitness member and loves their indoor and outdoor pools. He’s training for a 4,000 yard open water race and the 2018 NYC Triathlon, and trains with the iPhone MySwimPro App and Garmin Vivoactive Watch.
Nice job Dzu! Thanks for sharing your #GoldMedalMoment, keep up the hard work, and good luck with all your races this year!
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