cycling mountain Europe

Have you always been into sport?

As a kid, I tried almost every sport available around, and I was doing some competitive swimming at a regional level. However, I stopped all of that once I joined the university, till few years ago when I found myself quite out of shape and struggling to keep a decent work-life balance. It all started again with running, and slowly I was getting back onto it. During the process, I realized that the more sport I was doing, the better I was feeling, the easier it was to switch off from the office, and even the more productive I was the day after. So I embraced it, and I have to say that I do not regret it for a minute. The self-discipline it builds, the landscapes you get to enjoy, the people you meet, and the ambiance around a race-day, all of that is priceless.

How did you first get into triathlon?

As I had been swimming when I was a kid, riding around with the MTB, and I had successfully completed a few half marathons already when some colleagues talked seriously about triathlon as a thing we could do, all the pieces came together. At the beginning, I was training a lot by myself, and one year after I joined the local club from my city. Since then, and thanks also to the support from my wife, there has been no way back from triathlon!

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

As an athlete, each race where I manage to beat my goals, where I cross the finish line with the feeling of an achieved goal becomes one of my favorites. And the more challenging the race is, the most rewarding it becomes at the end. On that respect, I would clearly highlight the Trans Vorarlberg; as a mid-distance triathlon that everyone, or at least everyone around Europe, should race once in their lives.

However, there is nothing better in a race than the people around, the noise cheering you up, the ambiance they create. I use to say that a race is as good as the spectators are, and on that respect, I have to say that the Christmas fun run which takes part in my home town, "San Silvestre Salmantina" is unbeatable. An amateur run, with thousands of people running together, and the whole city cheering you up across the 10K, there is no single spot without public.

What is your proudest achievement?

My family. And I know you may expect to read about a race, an epic win, a fantastic comeback, or a personal transformation. However, when I reflect on it, triathlon training requires a lot of time. Combined with a demanding job, can easily consume most of your daily time. My proudest achievement is to find a way every day to keep the balance so that I manage to have enough quality time with my wife and kid, the ones that at the end are the most important ones.

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

Sure, the learning process is all about disasters, and learning from them! The last one I can recall was just last year, in an Olympic triathlon just around the corner. I had been preparing the race for months, the shape could not be better, I had a new triathlon bike which is as fast as you can wish, and moreover, I had the number 1! With the pre-race nerves, I simply had way too much coffee. But not one cup extra, I drank the whole moka-pot... I realized just after the water that something was not going well, and I struggled a lot during the rest of the race, to the point that it was the first time that I seriously considered a DNF. I managed to somehow put the pieces together, to at least finish the race in a safe way; it would have been a disrespect not to!

How do you overcome setbacks?

I am a very data-driven person, so once I go through the different data sources, I try to find out what has happened when, and the reason. Sometimes is quite straightforward, sometimes requires more self-reflection. In any case, I can only close the case once I know why it went wrong, and what do I need to correct, not to repeat or improve so that is not happening the next time.

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

Respect the distance and get to know your body limits better. Triathlon is not a sport you practice for a year or two, it is a process on itself. There has to be no hurry to go for the bigger event, longer distance, more challenging conditions... Every single athlete needs to learn about it first, master the basics, get comfortable with it, and then enjoy the process. Most of us dream with Kona, for sure, but as an amateur, you need to build up till you reach up there!

What are your goals?

Long term goal? I want to compete in Kona at least once in my life. There is no hurry, it does not need to be before whatever age, but I want to go back there as an athlete, and cross that finish line in Ali'i Drive. We were there on our honeymoon, and I promised my wife & myself that we would be back! Short term, due to the tragedy of this year, without almost any race on the horizon, my goal is simply to get better at it and discover new rides in the region. Climbing up new routes, running different trails, as the training routine is not that strict, it actually gives me more freedom to explore Vorarlberg.

Who inspires you?

As a Spaniard, our "Spanish Armada", Javier Gómez, Mario Mola, Fernando Alarza, those guys are an example of dedication to the sport, and they made us proud on every single race they compete. Aside from them, I get a lot of inspiration from Lionel Sander's videos. I really love the way he pushes himself out of his comfort zone, how he exposes his daily training, how true he stays to who he is, and how he has become a professional triathlete.

Why work with Sundried?

The first time I came across Sundried I simply loved the vision statement, "... a brand my children would be proud to be associated with..." We seldom see leaders or companies that pursue long term goals in our today's world. Offering high-quality sports apparel which at the same time is sustainable for the environment is a mission I really wanted to support, so this is why I decided to work together with Sundried. My goal is to promote a more healthy and active lifestyle which does not require us to wear down our planet but on the contrary. And there I feel completely aligned with what Sundried pursues.

  • Posted byAlexandra Parren /
  • Cycling
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