10 Oct Fermac Cargo invests in sport. Our next destination is Hawaii
From Fermac Cargo, we are very proud to be able to sponsor our super athlete Alejandro Casado. Classificated for IronMan Hawaii in the 35-39 group, the competition it will take place on Saturday, October 13th. This is the second consecutive year that competes in Kona. And for us, he is already a champion.
Check out the interview with our triathlete and how are his training to prepare for this difficult challenge:
When and why did you start competing in Ironman?
I started four years ago. I had played football all my life and when I quit for multiple injuries I started to get fat. When I turned thirty years old, and after spending a lot of time without doing any kind of sport, I decided to go running to the park.
I ran 500 meters and stopped out of breath. I had to walk back. That’s how it all started.
Then one day my wife and I were watching TV and they were broadcasting Ironman Wales. I had no idea what it was about and when the commentators said that it consisted of swimming 3800 meters, 180 kms of bike and to finish a marathon I told my wife “This I can do” to which she replied “You don’t know how to swim!”, and she was right…
One year later I was on the start line of what would be my first long distance triathlon.
What was your first Ironman?
It was Challenge Roth, a mythical race within the Ironman distance. The race turned out to be a nightmare for me. I wasn’t ready enough. The whole race was a calvary. I had a very bad time and I promised myself that next time I would be better prepared.
What do you like most and least about the sport?
What I like most about is the mental battle you have to face. Our mind sets the limit in this type of events and you have to train it to beat it. I think it’s key to teach your mind to enjoy suffering.
What I like least it is an excessively expensive sport. Without sponsors it would be very difficult to go to Hawaii, for example.
Now, as a parent, where do you get the time to prepare?
First of all, my wife helps me a lot to complete all the training. Without her help, this wouldn’t be possible. I try to get up very early, about 4:30-5 am to be able to do the first session before going to work. Then I look for a gap during the lunch hour or in the afternoon for the second session. On weekends I like to get up early to finish as soon as possible and enjoy the rest of the day with my family. I do 100% of my bike training on the bike trainer. That allows me to save a lot of time since I don’t have to hit the road.
How does your training look in a normal week?
I train 15 to 20 hours per week depending on when we are in the season. I normally swim 4 sessions of 1 hour. I do 10-12 hours of cycling at home divided into 3 or 4 sessions and about 5 hours of running in 3-4 sessions.
How has been your improvement in the last 3 years?
Well, I’ve gone from doing almost 15 hours in Challenge Roth in 2014 to achieving 9h15 minutes in Ironman Austria. And I know that there is still room to improve much more. I’m new to this sport and it takes a few more years to develop the aerobic system in its fullness.
Which of the 3 disciplines do you prefer? Is that the one that you are best at?
The bike is what I am best at and where I can make up most of the time from my competitors. The swim is definitely my worst discipline. I’m a poor swimmer. Unfortunately, I learned with 30 years and the improvements are minimal every year despite spending a lot of time in the pool.
Taking into account that every second counts how do you train the transitions to reduce the time between swimming, cycling and running?
In long distance triathlon the time between transitions is not so important because the race is very long in duration compared to the time lost in T1 and T2. However, I try to practice transitions in training to not leave any detail to chance. Knowing in what order to put the things that go in the cycling bag (helmet, glasses, gels …) or running is very important, so I try to do it at home to avoid hesitating come race day.
With such a demanding challenge, what happens in your head at kilometer 30?
It is a very hard moment where your mental strength is really put to the test. I think of all the sacrifices and hours dedicated to fulfilling my goal to turn those last 12 kms into something trivial compared to everything I’ve done during the season.
What differentiates Hawaii from other Ironman races in the world?
Participating in Hawaii is the dream of every triathlete. Here is where Ironman began and here is where the best athletes in the world race year after year. But being able to come is not easy. You have first to qualify in one of the multiple races that are celebrated all over the world. The competition is very high and getting a place can be almost an impossible task. As for the race, heat and humidity make the race very hard, so acclimatizing before is key to be able to perform the D-day.
In one week I participate for the second year in a row in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. My goal is to achieve a better time than last year and get a decent place within my age group.
For the next year we will definitely look for qualifying again for Hawaii 2019.