Each year increase the number of women athletes in triathlon and duathlon. Le Gist meet Andrea Iglesias, a Triathlon and Duathlon athlete.
Andrea Iglesias, triathlon, duathlon and road athletics… When did you start practising these sports? How did you discover them?
I am 31 years old and I have been practising sport for the last 10 years and in recent years in a more competitive way.
Before starting Physiotherapy at University, I didn’t do any physical exercise. It was there that I gradually I started to discover their benefits and I got more and more hooked every day.
At first, I only went running a couple of times a week, just to feel good. But one day, in 2012, a colleague at work encouraged me to take part in a popular 10km race and that’s when it all started. I started training on a more regular basis with an athletics club, where I have made a lot of good friends. Whilst preparing for 10k races, I started to venture a little bit more into long distances.
The duathlon and triathlon came later, in 2017, when, after preparing for the for the Valencia marathon, I ended up with an injury that prevented me from running for 2 months.
‘It is true that there is a lot of physical work behind it, but you can do it without effort if you like what you do and on a mental level‘
So, I looked for alternatives; I bought myself a bike and started swimming. I had a teammate from the athletics team who already participated in triathlons and it seemed interesting to me. In a few weeks I was already running in my first duathlon and during that race I was contacted by a triathlon club, I was very lucky and thanks to being part of a club, I have been able to participate and win Spanish championships, both individually and in teams.
“That sport is wonderful and that there is nothing to stop us from practising it”.
-The practice of these sports requires physical and mental strength; Has this helped you in your personal life?.
What it requires is desire, a desire to do things, to move around and to enjoy the outdoors and your companions.
It is true that there is a lot of physical work behind it, but you can do it without effort if you like what you do and on a mental level, you often need to draw on your strength, especially when you are suffering a little bit on a race and you think of throwing in the towel.
“Sport also helps you to face everyday life in a different way, with more strength and willpower in those moments when we face challenges and when we have more complicated moments”.
The relative participation of female athletes in triathlon has increased over the last three decades, and currently represents 25–40% of the total field. Women have progressively narrowed the gap between their triathlon performance and that of their male counterparts over time.
-What would you say to other women to encourage them to take up these sports?
That sport is wonderful and there is nothing to stop us from practising it. Also, that there are no levels or minimum requirements, everyone can enjoy it and benefit from it.
Don’t miss these great athletes:
• A former competitive swimmer, Great Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay made the switch to Ironman triathlons and is now a world champion.
• Triathlete Daniela Ryf made the step up to the Ironman distance in 2014 and has gone on to win an incredible five IRONMAN World Championship titles since
•Anne Haug is a German medium and long distance triathlete considered one of the best in the world. In his sporting record he has a runner-up in the Middle Distance Europe (2013), two bronzes (2018,2021) and a victory (2019) in the IRONMAN World Championship.
LP Sport Photography.