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Interview with Pep Sánchez, ultratriathlete

Pep Sánchez is a Catalan ultratriathlete who combines his work and family life with sporting challenges within the reach of a privileged few. A generous person capable of appreciating the effort that many people make their first marathon or their first triathlon, when even an Ironman (triathlon that consists of swimming 3,8 kilometers, riding a bike 180 kilometers and running a 42,2-kilometre marathon) .XNUMX kilometers) tastes like little. He is about to face a thousand kilometers by bike at the Circuit de Catalunya.

How do you feel after the more than 600 kilometers of the past 24h Cyclotour?

10 days have passed and I still feel tired, a test like this drains you completely, although I am confident that these 20 days that separate it from #1000kmNonstop will serve to overcompensate and reach the challenge stronger and with more confidence.

How do you recover from one of these beatings?

The week after I don't train at all or almost nothing, my body is KO, I usually get a fever after something like this, I'm much more sleepy than normal and it's key to get maximum rest to assimilate before I can go back.

Also, you had foot problems due to a cove ...

Yes, a very newbie mistake. I usually change the cleats on my shoes every two months, due to the high mileage I accumulate. This time I mounted a new model that I had not tried, half an hour before starting, and I see that they do not fit into the pedals! Lots of nerves looking for a new set of cleats that luckily we found in extremis. The right was crooked and I had to leave it at 20:2 p.m. due to severe pain in the knee. I still secured XNUMXnd position.

Why did you get into the world of the deep end?

Honestly I don't have the genetics, speed or explosiveness of a "top" of any short distance, but mentally I am a rock in ultra-distance events in which it is only worth holding on and holding on. Going through similar situations hardens you and you can face greater challenges every time. I come from competing several years in Multiadventure Raids; By far the toughest tests that exist, in which we chained several days without sleep.

When you did your first Ironman did you think about everything you were going to do later?

The first was in 2004 and the truth is that I knew little about Triathlon. Over the years I have discovered that there is much more than Ironman. Today I consider it a short test for my characteristics, let's say that I am capable of performing better in a double Ironman than not in one.

How was that debut?

It was very nice, we were few IM in Catalonia, it took me 12:24h and one of my best friends poured a bottle of cava over me at the end.

You train many hours every day. How do you do to combine it
with family and with work?

It is difficult, really; especially since my workouts are long. I am lucky to have a job that gives me free time, at home they support me and respect what I do... If you want, you can. I usually train or help people who say to me... "But I don't even have half an hour to go running?" I tell them to take it off the two hours of TV after dinner.

Also, you are one of the stars of the Club Where is the Limit? where there are people like Robert Mayoral (22 Ironmans completed), Josef Ajram (among many other things, winner of the EPIC5) and the actor Santi Millán (who isá preparing his first Half Ironman). Tell us how the ideal club was born and why you think you are having such great growth.

Haha! Well, well ... No star, there are no stars in this team, yes many starving for dreams. I, one of the most zumbaos simply. It is very clear that Josef is a superclass transmitting motivation, thousands of people set challenges thanks to him, that has made so many people come to the TEAM (already more than 700), those who run it are entirely to blame for WHEREISTHELIMIT being what is. santi? The fucking master! Who has seen it and who sees it!

What is it like to train with someone as mediatic as Josef?

Josef is a great guy, super simple. We don't see him as much as we would like, due to his work, because there are still those who believe that with two hours in the bag he already has the day ready. He is constantly with commitments, conferences, courses that he teaches, interviews, events, collaborations on radio or TV... When we train, he disconnects from everything, he is very strong and next day, we have to have double breakfast.

Is triathlon fashionable?

Without a doubt, this combination of the 3 sports is driving people crazy. Today the places in a major European Ironman last less than an hour and are worth €500. Amazing!

Before we talked about Josef and his participation in EPIC5. This year you will be in it. Tell us a little of this test.

Yes, I have the privilege of being chosen among the 5 that will go. I know about this test through Josef and Juan Antonio Craveri (another Epic5, among many other things). There are only 3 months left and now I am beginning to realize the greatness of this challenge. Anyone who does an Ironman will know how you feel the next day. There we will play 5 in 5 days. It is still a quintuple IM, there are already some more tests like this in the world, but with the difference that they are done in circuits and not on 5 different islands of Hawaii. I am looking forward to the day, although I am still immersed in the search for sponsors.

How do you prepare, physically and mentally, for a test of that toughness?

In my case, it will not vary much more than preparing for an Ironman, training more would be absurd, this test can be finished as long as you come from many others that are at least similar. I think I am prepared to face this challenge.

Last year you participated in Ultraman UK (a three-day test consisting of swimming 10 km and riding a 145 bike (day 1); 245 km by bike (day 2) and double marathon, 84,4 km running (day 3) ). Is the EPIC5 going to be more difficult?

Yes, I was in Ultraman UK, a monstrous test, even more so where it was held, with extreme conditions that made almost half of those who participated drop out. Epic5 will be tougher, there are two more days and more mileage.

What do you live in an Ultraman?

You live a dream for which you have fought your whole life, you feel privileged among the 30 chosen in such a select competition, you dwarf before such savagery, you play against the clock, to arrive “in time” every day, you cry the last kilometer of that double marathon.

But long before the EPIC5, in just a few weeks you will face another huge challenge: 1000 kilometers NON STOP by bike. The idea came from Twitter ...

Yes, on July 27 I will try to complete 1000 km Nonstop at the Montmeló circuit on a road bike, without a doubt something inhuman that I still don't know if I'll be capable of. I have limited it to 40 hours, any stop to rest or sleep would make the challenge impossible. The thing of the 1000 followers on twitter was the excuse to announce it, it was already on my mind since last year. I take this opportunity to invite you all, so that you can collaborate with the cause in

How will the test be?

Well, very easy: 1000 km going around non-stop in less than 40 hours. I will start on Friday, July 27 at 18:10 p.m. and I must have finished on Sunday at XNUMX:XNUMX a.m., two terrible nights await me… And their days!

In addition, many people will be able to join in cheering and participating.

Of course, this is a solidarity challenge, anyone who wants to can sign up for the challenge and collaborate, apart from helping me complete the challenge.

Pep Sanchez

Even if it is a "NON STOP" test, will you be able to stop to go to the bathroom, stretch your legs at some point, give yourself a massage ... or just in case of breakdown?

Of course, I will stop what is necessary, although every stop of five minutes, or whatever, will have to be recovered by increasing speed.

You are going to do the test with a time trial bike. Doesn't that make it harder?

The other day in the 24 hours I verified that the triathlon bike is not ideal for something like this, you take advantage of its aerodynamics and speed for the first 8 or 10 hours, then you go just as fast with a normal bike, apart from being much more comfortable. I will take two bikes.


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