I met Mauro Cavanha this summer at Tower 26, at an early morning ocean workout run by Gerry Rodriguez – legendary open water swimmer. Mauro was not only one of the strongest athletes of our group, he was also one of the friendliest. Mauro, a spirited Brazilian, always wore a big grin and a psychedelic Speedo, even on the coldest mornings.
I found out from others in the group that Mauro is a professional tri-athlete with a long list of accomplishments; National Champion – Brazil, two time 2nd place winner at the South American Championship, 5 timetop 3 at Continental Cups, and 3 time top 6 at 70.3 Ironman.
Mauro’s colorful taste in swimwear seemed like the perfect match for Mr Turk so I asked if he would wear some of our new suits. Below, our interview and above are the photos from the shoot:
Mr Turk - You have an Ironman race coming up in Cozumel Mexico on November 24th! Tell us about what an Ironman consists of.
Mauro - The Ironman is one of the hardest endurance races on the planet. Every athlete challenges them self to complete 140.6 miles (2.4 miles of swim, 112 miles of bike and 26.2 miles of run)! Summing up, the Ironman is also an insanity certificate! lol
Mr. T - How many Ironman races have you done?
Mauro - Cozumel will be my first full Ironman! But not a total newbie, this year I have raced in ten 70.3 Ironman events, which are half of the distance (1.2/56/13.1).
Mr. T - What was the most difficult race you’ve competed in and why?
Mauro - Huatulco World Cup in 2009. It was an Olympic distance race (1mi swimming, 25mi biking and 6.1mi running). There was the steepest hill ever on an 8 loop bike circuit and I remember that hell sensation climbing it at 5 mph in very humid weather and 107°F. My hands were so sweaty that I could barely hold the bars. 65 athletes were at the start line, and only 23 finished it!! I survived, and placed 22nd!!
Mr. T - What kind of training schedule do you have to maintain to be able to compete at this level?
Mauro - swim, eat, bike, eat, sleep, run, eat, sleep!! lol Being a pro is even more complicated, the whole day should be planned to complete the 4 to 6 hours of daily workouts. Siri Lindley is my coach and we usually divide it in 3 sessions a day, rest and refuel are essential to keep on trucking!!
Mr. T - What is your diet like, is that part of the training process?
Mauro - Yes, like I said before refueling is a part of the training process! I always try to eat as much natural as possible balancing carbs with fats and proteins!! I do also Gluten-Free!
Mr. T - How many times a year do you compete and what types of races are they?
Mauro - I compete in any kind of race that involves swim, bike and run!! I love races, and they keep my motivation high. I have 5 or 6 high profile races a year, which I train for. I have many other races (10ks, open water swims and Triathlon’s) where my training volume doesn’t change (no tapering). I use these races as training for the more important events. They could be called a really hard training day. My main focus for the next season is the 70.3 Ironman, after that I will focus on the Olympic distance circuit, planning to race the 2016 Olympic Games at home, Brazil!!
Mr. T –Wow! Good luck with that! Let’s switch to what’s really important, FASHION! How would you describe your clothing style when you are not working out? I know you love colorful swimwear.
Mauro - I have a very minimalist style and I’m a big fan of attitude especially by contrasting colors.
Mr. T - What are some of your favorite places you have gone to compete?
Mauro - Sardegna, Italy; Auckland, New Zealand; Pucon, Chile; and of course Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!
Mr. T - Do you have any advice for the Mr Turk readers who are interested in trying a triathlon or Ironman?
Mauro - My first advice is to face it as a game, you need to have fun!! Be patient and start with the short races. You don’t need a super bike and you don’t need to train everyday! Be careful with nutrition and don’t train over injuries. You will certain love it. When you start setting higher goals then you may want to look for a specialized tri coach! But mostly HAVE FUN!
Thanks Mauro, Good Luck in Cozumel! I’ll be rooting for you.