Triathletes must be adaptable, having to excel in three endurance disciplines – swimming, cycling and running.
Cycling is the most time-consuming segment of the Triathlon. Each triathlete’s reality is the majority of their race will be spent on a bike. Fortunately for Christophe Manchon, a 32 year old amateur triathlete, cycling is his favourite discipline.
Christophe, from Brisbane is captivated by the sport so much, he’s returned to University, to study nutrition and dietetics. When he graduates, he hopes to work with elite triathletes, helping to educate them on how to better sustain the body for the demands of this style of competition.
So why Triathlons and why at this stage of his life?
Christophe was an athletic kid at school, playing football and a number of other sports. But a groin injury in his mid-twenties put a stop to pursuing any of those sports further. To help with recuperating from the injury Christophe started riding a bike and has never looked back.
Christophe rode a bike as a kid but as an adult he re-discovered road racing as an exhilarating form of exercise – what he refers to as the “pure” joy of cycling.
“There is nothing like pushing yourself up a mountain, followed by the fast, daring descent. When I’m on my bike outdoors, enjoying nature, its my chance to escape from the world.”
“I’ve always been a healthy and active person, but training for Triathlons has taken my fitness to a different level,” he says.
His motivation for participating in this endurance sport, is not to turn professional. He is motivated to inspire others to live happier, healthier lives and to work with endurance athletes of all abilities to enhance their performance through effective training and nutrition.
Triathlon training also gives Christophe a chance to spend time with friends on long rides and adventures, or moments to reflect on long solo runs. What he calls “down time” from a schedule many would find a challenge to maintain.
Training at this level takes dedication and commitment. Christophe works with Chris Weier of Fitnance Australia (East Brisbane) on a balanced training program of two 1-1.5hr sessions per day. Throw in a couple of gym sessions, “the key to core strength and injury prevention,” Christophe says.
It is not only training, eating well and studying he needs to find time for, there is also the need to earn an income. Christophe works part-time, three days a week for the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. There is a significant dollar investment in those racing machines, these lyrca-clad athletes ride. An appreciation for their expensive equipment is another good reason (apart from their safety) for motorists to give cyclists some space and understanding on the road.
Christophe has set himself some lofty goals for the future, the first is to finish studying and graduate at the end of 2015. He will compete in local cycling races and triathlons throughout 2015 to maintain his fitness, then in 2016 he will ramp up his training for the half Ironman 70.3 World Championships to be held at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.
To compete at the Ironman world championship in Hawaii, the pinnacle of the sport, is the ultimate goal. In the meantime, Christophe’s studies are his priority and cycling will remain the constant driving force, motivating him to get up every morning and keep living the dream.
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