Alvaro Martin Hernandez Athlete Ambassador
Alvaro is a Spanish triathlete who moved to the UK and has since competed for Team GB at a world level. He talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
I started playing football when I was 9 or so because I was concerned about my fitness; I was a bit overweight. I wasn't great at football but I was a fast runner, so my coach suggested I join an athletics club, which I did.
I was an athlete for about 10 years, competing at a national level in Spain. Due to my studies and life, I stopped doing athletics. A couple of years later I started doing kayaking and canoeing, not competing but training almost every day. Due to work commitments, I had to quit and I started gaining weight again. I kept doing sports such as cycling and running but was not able to lose any weight.
It was when I came to live in the UK that I started losing a lot of weight. I got a bike here, kept running, and did some running/cycling races just for fun.
Suddenly, I got an injury on my right foot and had to stop running for a while, so I started swimming. I improved my swim technique quite fast and decided to do my first triathlon back in June 2014 and I've been hooked on this sport ever since. Doing Sprint to Full Ironman distances, being able to represent the UK in a Standard Duathlon World Championship and getting qualified for next year's European and World Champs in the same distance.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
It's hard to choose as I have great memories from every race I have done.
And your proudest achievement?
I'm really proud of what have I become thanks to this sport. Being part of Team GB in the World Championships is a good achievement. I'm also proud of myself for training on my own for an Ironman.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
For my first triathlon, I didn't have a race belt so I lost a lot of time moving my race number from my t-shirt. I finished 6th overall, but could have come 2nd without all the time I lost.
How do you overcome setbacks?
At the World Championships I competed right after an injury. To overcome setbacks like this I just keep my head up and keep going. If I have a good race, I keep training hard to keep improving and if I have a bad race, just keep training hard to be better next time.
I'm always quite tough on myself. I'm quite strict with myself. I "punish myself" when I do something that is not as good as I expected.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
"This is just for fun and for yourself. Concentrate on you and do your best."
What are your goals for 2019?
I'm representing the UK in both the World and European Champs for standard distance duathlon, so my goal is to win both.
I also have goals to qualify for the 2020 Standard Triathlon World Championships and to win a middle distance triathlon.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I try to take advice from my coach who is an inspiration to me because he is a triathlete as well.
I try to learn from pros and other triathletes as much as I can.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I like Sundried because of your concern with the environment and with the kids through your charity donations.