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Orca triathlete Roger Serrano

What do you do? What is your profession?

I do a lot of things. I swim, I ride and I run. Sometimes all together and always well feed. I also do physiotherapy and play guitar sometimes.

How long have you been a triathlete?

I started with this at the age of 19, five years from now, but my first x-terra was in 2013.

Do you think your education or your career has helped to prepare you mentally for racing?

I can’t talk about how hard are other sports apart from swimming and triathlon, but I can tell that when something is physically hard is mentally hard to. Pain and suffer are not easy things to handle every single day, specially when you are a 14 years old boy and all your mates are hanging out there with bikes, skates and other cool stuff.

University is more than what you learn. Its something you start and you must finish, and if you do, you feel confident with yourself. It’s a long distance race.

Have you been an athlete all your life or did you have some sort of epiphany that got you into it?

Since I was 8 I’ve been involved in sport. I started in a pool, had a one-year break 10 years after, and then, with some help of another ORCA athlete, Albert Moreno, I began with triathlon.

What do you do when you're not training or racing?

I like to spend time with my girl, my dog and my family. I also like good food, good wine and discover new beers. When it’s off-season, everything is allowed.

What’s been your worst moment in a race?

Alpe d’Huez short distance triathlon back in 2013. I had some hormonal problems due to veganism. My body collapsed. I was not tired, but it was impossible to go any faster or any slower. It was that kind of feeling you can’t explain with words.

How did you overcome this?

When you are out you can’t blame yourself. I just tried to reach the top of the mountain, stop thinking about race result and start enjoying my first Alpe d’Huez climb. Thinking about what is next helps.

Tell us the main differences you see between physical and mental strength.

Physical strength to me is something so easy to overcome. When your coach sends you your weekly plan and you see more than 30 hours of training you know that your legs will sore. It’s something you can predict so you can be ready for that. But mental things are not that easy. So many inputs involved in your mental stability; Family, food, friends, girlfriend, money, work, good or bad sets in you sessions…all this things can make you shake.

When you feel you can’t go any further, when you want to give up, what goes through your mind? What does your body tell you and what does your mind come back with?

When It’s a big race and everything has been set for that, there is no chance to give up. Too much time training for that race, too much suffer, fatigue, too much of everything to give up for a bad feeling, for a crash or for someone that overcomes you. You just have to clear your mind and get ready for the most painful feeling in your life. It’s just that.

How do you normally feel before the start of a race?

I’m lucky about this. My swimming background helps me a lot. My whole year preparation was for a 50 seconds race so you can’t fail any kick. In a X-terra race there are so many things that can go wrong, so you can’t be expecting for everything to go well. The best thing to do is keep calm and get ready to act quickly if anything goes wrong.

In triathlon is it necessary to have inner strength? Be made of iron maybe?

I think you have to be made of iron in any single sport that requires you more than a 100% of every inch of you. It’s said that triathlon is one the hardest endurance sports, but you know, that reward you get when you do you job, gives sense to every sacrifice you have done. There are a lot of iron people out there…they just don’t know that yet.