August 22, 2019

A talk with Leo Chacón

Mhairi McLauchlan

Athleticism is in Olympian Leonardo Chacón’s blood. Son of triathlete Rafael Chacón, 33-year-old Leonardo has dedicated his life to the pursuit of greatness, one he’s achieved by testing his mettle in two Olympics, competing in the 2012 and 2016 summer games. In his native Costa Rica, Chacón continues to challenge himself by showing off his strength in the annual Tri Las Catalinas triathlon, an event his year-round training primed him to win.

A day in the life of Leonardo Chacón doesn’t allow for much leisure time; the prolific athlete admits to spending up to four hours every day on cycling alone, saying that the sport “fascinates” him. Following his cycling session, Chacón keeps his blood pumping by spending an hour running, after which he takes a brief rest to eat lunch before he begins his 3-kilometer swim. Even on days when he’s giving himself a lighter load, Chacón hits the gym to build muscle and has physical therapy to keep himself in top shape. To aid in his training, Chacón uses the apps TrainingPeaks, Strava and Garmin to help keep him focused and accountable; he notes the social aspect of some of these apps as a particular boon to his workouts, allowing his trainers in other countries and on other continents to see how he adheres to his intense training routine.

Despite his many achievements, Chacón admits that his greatest joy is his family, including his father and brother, Rafa, both of whom he regularly trains with. In fact, it’s his family that gave him the courage to pursue such a demanding and competitive field in the first place. As for the best piece of advice he’s ever received from his inner circle, Chacón says it’s a simple mantra from his parents that still rings true: “Persevere,” says Chacón. “Never give up.”

Foto by Braulio Romero- Green Media

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