Most triathletes enter the field from one of the sports’ three disciplines. Raul Tejada transitioned from motocross.
“When I was 4 years old, my dad bought me a motocross bike,” he recalls. He dedicated himself to off-roading – even coming to the U.S. to train with other aspiring professionals – until age 19; at the suggestion of friends who saw “the toughness that I have because of motocross,” he entered his first triathlon … and won.
Instantly hooked, Raul followed up with an impressive string of age-group victories. Last year, at age 25, he turned pro. His first year as a professional went “better than I expected,” with the Guatemalan triathlete landing on the podium at the IRONMAN 70.3 in Cozumel.
Still, he finds the transition to be “a huge challenge.” Going from being “a fast age-grouper” to “a nobody” on the pro circuit “hasn’t been easy. But I love [it] because it challenges me everyday to become faster!”
To other young triathletes looking to make the leap, Raul suggests a two-tiered strategy: “time and consistency.” “Everything in life takes time,” he observes. “Never give up. Just focus on training well with the best equipment on the market! The Endless Pool has helped so much on my weakest leg.”
After his first Endless Pools® swim exceeded his expectations, he installed a Fastlane® swim-current generator in his home pool. Now, he’s devoted to the Endless Pool swim current for it’s ability to let him concentrate on a faster, more efficient stroke.
“It’s awesome swimming against the Fastlane. I use it everyday,” he says. “I love jumping in the pool to get a quick non-stop Endless Pool session!”
Without the traffic or crowded lanes of the nearest gym pool, Raul’s backyard Fastlane makes it easier for him to “get my training done. The current also makes your stroke be more consistent and accurate!”
For other Endless Pool swimmers, Raul offers this stroke-training tip: “I use a snorkel to help me focus on my technique.” By isolating his stroke, with no head turns, he’s learned “to be more efficient and use less energy on the swim leg” of any triathlon.
With faster swim times, he’s on his way to meeting his 2015 goals: “to get some good racing in and get on some podiums!” He’s off to a strong start, winning the inaugural Herbalife 70.3 Triathlon in El Salvador this January. “I know I have a long way to go,” Raul observes, “but I’m hungry to achieve my goals as soon as possible!”
His ambitious schedule for this year includes 10 races (so far) with IRONMAN events from Ecuador to Racine. Grueling, yes, but “It’s a dream that I have always had, and I am doing what it takes to make it real.”