Interview with Alejandro Santamaría winner of the Triathlon of Vitoria: "Training better is the key to yield more"

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To his 41 years Alex Santamaría is an example for many triathletes. Tas 26 seasons competing in triathlon continues to dispute and win great races.

Last year after the Triathlon of Vitoria we interviewed Iván Álvarez and Jaime Menéndez de Luarca, who have already completed 40 years and after many seasons in triathlon managed to complete one of their best competitions in the capital of Alava. In this 2018 the story was repeated, Alexander Santa Maria he took the victory with authority with 41 recently completed years.

Alex started practicing triathlon in 1993, ran his first Ironman distance in 1999 in the legendary Home of Ferro with 22 years but had to retire in the km 25 of the marathon. The following year he finished his first Ironman distance. In total it has been finisher 27 times in the legendary 226 kms, with more than 15 top 10, podiums in IM circuits, and triumphs like those achieved in Vitoria.

Alex Santamaría - Winner Triathlon Vitoria 2018

Hello Alex, good morning. We want to congratulate you for your victory in the Triathlon of Vitoria. Can you make a summary of your career? How did you feel in competition? 

This year he arrived better prepared than other years. Less unforeseen before and preparing the test with patience to get to July as best as possible and especially running was very good.

Enjoy swimming with good sensations, this year did not make me that long. By bike I went at a good pace, dosing very well the forces and controlling the references with the rivals.

My strategy was to try to win. I was not aware of times or rhythms and if more of the rivals and take care of my nutrition. Running after the bike has always been the best thing I have been given but in recent years due to injuries I was not able to run as fast as I had years ago.

So this year I decided above all to do a great marathon. So I started running convinced that I could fight to win.

With the passage of the kilometers I went up positions until I put myself leader. The motivation, the encouragement of the audience and other participants did the rest to be able to endure the fatigue and pain to the goal. I was really more motivated than ever and I could squeeze more to win.

Alex Santamaría - Winner of the Triathlon Vitoria 2018

 Many triathletes in general believe "touch roof" after 7 or 8 years training and competing, or to meet the 40, while you have continued to grow with great enthusiasm and work.

What advice could you give to improve in competitions after so much time linked to triathlon?

It takes 10 years training hard to reach maximum performance. Then what it costs is to maintain it. But also with 41 years and being a coach you know better how to train to make the most of every effort you make.

Training better is the key to yield more but the problem is that the more greater it costs to have the motivation to sacrifice and have more excuses.

During all the time you have been in the triathlon, have you had moments of thinking about lowering the requirement in training or stop training and competing?

Of course. In these 26 years I have also had bad times and very difficult years. From 2013 I spent hard years with a back injury and had to train with pain every day, even to sleep. Thus he could not enjoy the competition because he was not able to reach the 100% nor to crush training as years ago.

Now I do not really have the same dedication as I did years ago. Now there is more work and obligations. My priority is to dedicate myself to  which has been my project for 17 years. But I have learned to optimize my training better and make the most of my time. To perform more.

Stop competing or at least compete less is possible but stop training and never play sports. Sport and triathlon is part of me and is a way of life.

Alex Santamaría - Winner of the Triathlon Vitoria 2018

How do you manage to maintain the enthusiasm and desire to continue growing day by day?

You have to find the way to enjoy and have fun doing sports. If you have a good time you can do it longer.

It is not easy to have motivation to train hard. But now I have learned to enjoy more every day and the satisfactions that sport gives us. I try to train by having fun doing more entertaining workouts and by more beautiful routes looking to improve while I enjoy. If you do not have fun and you see it as an obligation, you stop wanting to do it.

Thank you very much for your attention, I am sure that you will continue to fight, "good rockers never die", training and competing with such enthusiasm and desire... setting an example for many triathletes.


Photos: Triathlon Organization Vitoria

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