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Our Athlete of the Week this week is Alex Cancado, after showing that you really need to dream big.

How long have you been coached by Endorphin Fitness?  “3 years.”

What made you decide to join EF? “I was looking to get a coach and Endorphin had exactly what I was looking for. Triathlon specific expertise and online programs for adults.”

Tell me a little bit about your fitness / triathlon journey from start to finish. “I got into triathlon 10 years ago as a way to get me in shape. It didn’t take me long to get hooked and start wanting to improve my times to place better on the races. I was doing ok, but I wanted to step up, so I set a goal to qualify for Escape from Alcatraz. That was a big challenge for me as I wasn’t even close to be able to do it. That is what led me to reach out to Endorphin. For the past 3 years working with Kate I made huge improvements and last week at Westchester I felt for the first time that I had a real chance to finish top 2 and Qualify for Alcatraz. I finished the bike tied for second, but ended up in 6th.”

How has Endorphin Fitness taught you to be more? “Endorphin gave me a structured workout plan tailored to my needs and that really made a difference for me.”

Which race distances have you done and what is your favorite? “I have done anything from a super sprint to an olympic. I would say the olympic distance was my favorite.”

What are your main goals this season? “The main goal was to finish top two in Westchester.”

How has your season gone this far this year? “I had a pretty good season, making to the podium a couple of times.”

Tell me about your favorite and least favorite race experience. “I find the start of the swim really exciting, and I love getting into a groove on the bike and feeling the speed. I am not a big fan of running after the bike. ;)”

What is your favorite part about triathlon? “The fact that you have to train 3 different sports provide a variety that is so good for the body. You are much less prone to getting injured and the fitness you get from it is much more well rounded than if you were training just one sport.”

Greatest advice to beginners? “If you are planning on getting competitive with it, consistency is key. Sometimes the progress is slow, but if you stay consistent you will keep improving little by little and that adds up to substantial improvements.”

To conclude, Coach Kate Fisher had this to say about Alex:

“Alex has been training with Endorphin Fitness for the past several years.  As a former competitive, tennis player, he had started racing triathlons but struggled to see the gains that he wanted.  He came to us because he knew that was capable of more.  When we first asked him what his goals were, his first response was that he wanted to qualify for the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.  To qualify, athletes need to finish in the top 3 of their age groups at a few select races across the country.  These select races are among the most competitive in the country.  A qualifying spot is not easy to obtain.  Alex had chosen the Westchester Triathlon just outside of New York as the race he would try to qualify at.  When we looked at the top 3 times in his age group to determine performance goals that he would need to achieve, he quickly backed off this goal as the times seemed too much of a stretch.  Instead, we worked on improving his speeds in the swim, bike and run so we could get him closer to qualifying times.

Alex is a dedicated father of 2 who is unwilling to compromise his family time.  We had limited training time to use between his work and family schedules.  However, Alex was all-in when it was time to train.  He made the most of every training session and met if not exceeded the goals for the workout.  To optimize his training, he did most of his bike work on the trainer in his garage next to his friend the trash can. After long hours in the heat and cold on the trainer he would joke about his friend the trash can.  Even after hours on the bike, he kept a good attitude about his training.

Fast forward to Westchester 2016, Alex placed 4th in his age group.  He was the first roll-down spot for Alcatraz!  Alex was shocked at his finishing place.  He had even left the race before checking the results!  Although the qualifying spot did not roll-down, he became determined to work harder for the next season.  With more PR’s and  increased thresholds, Alex returned to Westchester this past month to race again.  He set a 6 minute PR over last year and placed 4th in his age group.  Those elusive qualifying spots are hard to achieve, but Alex is within striking distance of taking one of them home.  Alex’s story is proof that you need to dream big.  You never know what you are truly capable of until you give it all you have.  The body can achieve what the mind believes (with a lot of hard work!).” – Coach Kate Fisher


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