Seaford College Head Boy Harry Leleu is a hugely talented triathlete who regularly competes in races across the country. He aspires to compete at the 2020 Olympics, and has recently won one of the Chichester Corporate Challenge races, beating several older and more experienced athletes.
How did you get into triathlon?
My parents are both very sporty; my mum does yoga and my dad did gymnastics, trampolining and swimming. I was enrolled in swimming aged one, and I finished all levels of swimming by the age of 11 or 12. I could then choose to do triathlon or to continue swimming. I had never run before, but I had cycled, so I gave it a go and joined the Arun Triathlon Club in Felpham and really enjoyed it. By the end of Year 7 I was swimming, running and cycling all of the time.
When did you realise that you had a talent for triathlon?
Through the Chichester Triathlon Club I started competing in the South East Regional Series. When I was 14, I entered the South East Regional Academy, which is made up of 20 athletes between the ages of 14 to 18. The Academy runs six to seven training weekends across the summer season, and I was finding it impossible, it was so much harder than anything I’d ever done. But I realised that running was my strongest area, even though I’d been doing it for the shortest time. I was doing better in anything over 1500m; I had a lot of endurance, which is unusual as younger kids tend to be quicker.
What is your training schedule like?
Winter training is less intense, but longer. I’ll do three to four hours road biking, run three to four times a week, bike two to three times a week, and swim seven times a week. With swimming you really have to spend lots of time in the water; if I’m out of the water for two weeks it feels like I’m swimming in oil. I spend a lot of time on my technique, and I have a couple of guys who look after me. One is a lecturer in Sports Science at Portsmouth University, and he keeps an eye on the amount of running I’m doing and sets sessions for me. He sets the right pace for me, and makes sure I don’t over train. He’ll look after my running until I go to university.
What competitions do you have coming up?
This weekend I’m competing in the National Duathlon Championships, which is made up of a run, then cycling, then another run. I’d love to get into the top five, but I should make the top ten. I’ve got a two month gap after that, and then I’m competing in an Aquathon, which is a swim in an open water lake and a run. I train at Westhampnett Lake and I live close to the beach, so I’m used to swimming in open water. I’ve then got three big races, all triathlons at Blenheim Palace, Loughborough and Eton Dorny. These triathlons are organised by British Triathlon, Continue reading