How to continue improving the 40 in Triathlon? We interview Iván Álvarez and Jaime Menéndez de Luarca

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We want to show our readers the example of Ivan and Jaime, how to continue enjoying and improving in triathlon once they are forty years old

In the following article we want to highlight the performance of Iván Álvarez y Jaime Menéndez de Luarca, where they achieved the first and seventh positions respectively. We want to show our readers the example of Ivan and Jaime, how to continue enjoying and improving in triathlon once turned forty and after many seasons linked to this sport.

Of both we can also emphasize that along with Guillermo Lladó and Albert Comas are the Spanish triathletes who have been finishers more times in the IM of Hawaii as GGEE.

Jaime Menéndez de Luarca He debuted at the Duatlón de la Castellana in 1990 and this is his 28ª season competing in triathlon. His first Ironman distance was in 1994, in the Men of Iron of Malaga, where I had 20 years ago I made a time of 11h50min. Vitoria was the 20 the first time he finished an Ironman distance triathlon. He has taken the exit in 21, but he had to leave 2003 in Lanzarote.

Iván Álvarez takes 10 seasons practicing triathlon. His debut was in Lanzarote in the 2008 year and to date 21 has finished Ironman distance triathlons.

In Vitoria you have made one of your best Ironman distance triathlons Can you make a summary of your career, especially at the level of sensations and career data?

Jaime: The level in Vitoria became very expensive last month. Being all known rivals the previous strategy was clear; try to hold on top of swimming for as long as possible, run on a solo bike adjusting to the power strategy and get closer to the 3h05 in marathon. If that came out the Top Ten was possible.

Finally only swimming was accomplished, as Sant Martinez Torres and Egoitz Zalakain reached my height in km 50 and its pace was higher but it could be maintained, which made us catch up with the leaders and abandon the number of watts I had planned.

Jaime Menéndez de Luarca in cycling

I paid it in the race but finally I achieved a Top Ten that seemed very complicated 24 hours before

Ivan: It was a very fast race, there were several factors that accompanied us for them, little wind and good temperature. My sensations in the water were not good, I was the group of my level and I left a time that did not correspond to me as I was swimming. But I did not desmotivé and took the bike with much desire.

In the first part of the cycling I did 2h30min at a very good pace practically alone, then I took a chasing group and got some rhythm, but in the absence of 30km this group broke up, I preferred to play my cards and reserve something on the bike.

 After arriving at the T2 and starting the marathon, my only thought was to run as I had never done before, I risked and it went well, at the 30 kilometer I got there first and reached the finish line with a part time of 2: 43: 47, never I had finished an Ironman distance so fused at the muscular level. I stopped the clock at 8h25, I'm very happy.

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?

James: My only advice is to enjoy what is done every day. It is a valid advice for both professionals and GGEE. For GGEE, additional advice is to know when to skip a training and live a life outside the sport in which everything is well integrated and does not generate tensions. Of course, the key to improve is once adopted the first two tips is to take care of every detail (intelligent training, strategy, food, material ...)

Ivan: Do not lose the illusion and the desire to improve, of course a good coach, in my case I am in the best hands with Clemente Alonso.

 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?

James: No. I have never thought that. For me, triathlon is a hobby and I have a good time in every workout. I do 15 hours per week in a constant way, which I also think is good for my health (what I take, I do not do it for health but for fun). The day I stop having fun I'll leave it.

Ivan:  Never, every year I have climbed a step and now with 40 years I find myself stronger than ever.

Iván Álvarez in goal Vitoria

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

James: I tried to be a high level athlete before the 20 and I always say that I was lucky that reality put me in my place, so the professional triathletes' wear (a lot of concentration during 8 or 10 seasons) did not affected.

The key is to achieve a balance between social life, family and training. My wife is a professional athlete and when I do not train thinking about an IM I am going to take a walk with her (to 4' / km, but we are talking about our things). My goal is not to grow, but to have fun doing triathlon, but it is true that progressing everything is easier

Ivan: The triathlon runs through my veins and I do not understand life right now without training or competing.

Thank you very much for your attention, we are sure that you will continue growing, training and competing with so much enthusiasm and enthusiasm ... giving example to many triathletes.

Photos: Colage Joan Dols Clota / cycling Luarca David Fernández /

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