Meet Alejo, a 30-year-old civil engineer hailing from Argentina, whose life is a captivating blend of sportsmanship, wanderlust, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence. Ale, self-proclaimed as a 'sports addict,' has seamlessly woven his athletic endeavours into the fabric of his identity, having engaged in various sports since the tender age of 6. From a remarkable 17-year stint in basketball to navigating the challenges of CrossFit and, more recently, embracing the dynamic world of Triathlon, Ale's sporting journey reflects a relentless drive for self-improvement and achievement.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm Alejo, a civil engineer from Argentina. I consider myself a 'sports addict' because I've been participating in sports since I was 6 years old. I played basketball for almost 17 years, did CrossFit for 2 years, and lately, I've been loving Triathlon. I'm a very curious person who has always wondered how life is in different parts of the world. Hence, I started backpacking 5 years ago and have traveled mainly around Asia and Oceania (now visiting Europe for the 1st time; currently, I'm in Italy). My passion for traveling, sports, and COVID made me decide to settle in Australia for the moment.

What motivates you to train and compete?

I'm a very competitive person. The ambition of trying to be the best in what I do is what keeps me motivated all the time. Winning is what keeps pushing me to overcome challenges. Also, traveling! Having the opportunity to travel using sports as an excuse is amazing.

How do you handle setbacks?

The same way as victories, I just dedicate enough time to celebrate or be frustrated. Not too much, just a few hours, or a day tops. I try to think of everything that went wrong and do lots of self-criticism. Not to get myself down, but to motivate me to start training again and do it better next time. Take a deep breath and start all over again!

Can you describe your training and preparation routine?

My training consists of 12-14 hours a week, every day, with 2 sessions per day. I push harder on bike training sessions and try to improve as much as I can on my swim (I'm not very good at that). Running is very natural for me, so those are the sessions I enjoy the most. A daily routine involves smashing a session early in the morning before work and one late in the evening. On weekends, we have long sessions, usually transitions practice.

How do you prioritise recovery, and what are your favourite recovery techniques?

To be honest, I don't care too much about this, and I know it's wrong. I have been pushing myself lately to sleep at least 7 hours (a big achievement). Lately, I have incorporated Peak Performance Ice Baths on the weekends (as during the week I work outside Perth), which have improved my recovery a lot, despite hating the cold water! I try to focus a lot on what I eat and when to eat each type of food. Also, I use supplements such as protein, creatine, and magnesium to help my body a bit more.

What role does mental preparation play in your performance?

Mental preparation is the key before any physical training. Due to the fact that I've played and competed in so many sports, I think I have developed a really strong mentality. I believe that without it, it is very difficult to achieve any kind of result. Knowing how to listen to yourself and when not to can make a lot of difference during training sessions and even more during competitions!

Who are your role models?

My family in general and, in particular, my parents. My father has been a sportsman his whole life as well, and I really admire his discipline, determination to succeed in what he does, and the passion he puts into competing and training. My mother does physiology. My mental training comes from her. My way of analysing my achievements and 'failures,' setting myself challenges and seeing how I can face them (always from an analytical point of view) is due solely and exclusively to her.

Where can we see you compete next?

Ironman 70.3 Busselton, Western Australia! Can't wait for it! December 3rd, 2023.

Stay tuned for all of Alejo's escapades by following him on Instagram @aletabbach, where he chronicles his love for travel, encapsulates the multifaceted life of an engineer with a backpacker's spirit, and showcases his unwavering passion for sports!

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