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Meet the young-gun tri-athlete from the highest big city in the world

SuuntoTri — 21 July 2017

Mexico City is many people and many things – but few would think that the 2000m-high metropolis is a triathlon training hotspot. But one look at 21-year-old Mauricio Mendez , and you’ll wonder if the future of tri is spelled ‘ tríatlon ’ – he’s a force to be reckoned with on both traditional tri races and XTERRA courses – where he was last year’s world champion. Read on to learn more about how this already-arrived young-gun was serious from the start. 

I started with triathlon at age 10

Now I'm 21. Here in Mexico we have a lot of races for young kids - that’s really good! However, not many are very competitive – but I was serious on it from the start! For me, there’s nothing funny going on in the races. The very first race, I was in it to win it. But we have a very big community – and the past five years, it has been growing in the whole country. 

I love the bike

It’s my favorite discipline to train. But my best competitively is the run. 


"Mexico City is at 2000m, so think sometimes that the altitude gives me a training advantage." – Mau Mendez 

I have two big races this year

The 70.3 Worlds in September, and of course, XTERRA Worlds in October. There’s a few people mixing it up between normal tri and XTERRA, but as far as I know, no one really has dedicated themselves to doing both like I have. I would say I have had more success XTERRA racing, because in long distance triathlon I need more time for muscle maturity. It's all a process. I believe with really hard work I can succeed in both as I have done in XTERRA – and that means to be the world champion.

I’m a go-by-feel kind of guy

But I definitely use all the technology – I pay tons of attention to heart rate and wattage on the bike. I use the Spartan and I loved my Ambit – I have always loved the Suunto brand, and the way the brand keeps you motivated to do different things and explore, and I’m really happy about that. It’s a good tool to go out and find some adventures.

I do a 30-hour week of training

I’ll go the mountains in Mexico City – about five sessions of swimming. The bike is pretty difficult – so I do a lot of indoor and mountain bike, about 15 hours, and about nine or ten  hours of running, approximately five hours of swimming, and then of course some functional gym stuff.

“I love the bike. It’s my favorite discipline to train.” – Mau Mendez

Living in Mexico City is a plus and minus

It’s at 2000m, so I think sometimes that the altitude gives me a training advantage. But I have to do some mixed training, because that way I can do much more volume. Often I’ll go to sea level at San Diego or to Cozumel for more training.


I always talk with my dad before the race

We talk about the strategy and make the plan. I’m nervous, but it’s a good feeling. I’m mostly a relaxed guy – except on the race course.


And so is my age

At the moment my age is an advantage sometimes – I’m one of the youngest pros, always – and I’ve got a lot of energy. But that also means a lack of muscular maturity. When you’re totally mature with your muscles, you’ll be stronger - simple as that.  I still have another six or seven years until muscular maturity, so i’m hoping to be performing at my best then. I think the bike takes the longest to get better at. But everything is going well.