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“My father thought I let it up, but I insisted so much that he bought me a bike, since then I have not gotten off it.”

I am Irene Caminos Yarza de Tolosa (Gipuzkoa) and I am a trial pilot. I am currently Top 3 in the world ranking, 3rd in the 2017 World Championship and 3rd in the 2018 World Cup. After these two results that are the most important of my achievements, I aim to achieve the rainbow jersey in the World championship.

When and how and why did you start with this?

Since I was little I am very fond of sports. 8 years ago some friends from Barcelona came to Hondarribia for a competition, I went to see them with my father and some friends. I liked it so much that I asked my father for a bike to do the same. That same year I started surfing and playing soccer, so my father thought it would pass me, so much insisted that he bought me a bike, since then I have not gotten off it.

How many hours do you dedicate to the week and how do you combine it with your family and / or work?

I train every day of the week, normally in the mornings I do physical and in the afternoon Trial, in total 3-4 hours a day. This year I am focusing more on the bike, but I am also preparing for the firefighter competitions.

Do you follow any feeding criteria, omnivore, flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan, …? What do you think of all this? Do you lean on a sports nutrition professional?

I believe that everyone is free to eat as they see fit. I am happy with Jesus, my sports nutritionist. I would say that each nutritionist has their own criteria and their own experience, so surely everyone is right. I stay with Jesus. As for the criteria, I believe in a balanced diet, you have to eat everything and in your right measure. And I, being an elite athlete, have to take care of some aspects more than others. For example, how many vegetables, salads … but I do not follow any diet with its own name like those mentioned. Just as each person is different (height, weight, physiology …) and the sport they do is also different, the diet must adapt and evolve as it affects the person and the sport. That is why I am not entirely convinced of closing myself to a specific diet. We are omnivores by nature.

How important to you is food? Do you follow some guidelines? How do you plan? Is there a difference between training times, before, during or after the tests?

Food as well as training are everything. What if. There is a difference for what was mentioned above. Training throughout the year to maintain the level is not the same as preparing a week before a world test. Diet changes. For example, in a week of sports stress, such as the world cup, I try not to eat too much. I explain myself, the sensation of a long digestion affects me a lot so I try not to consume saturated fats, I try to consume clean foods, without mixing many elements in a single intake. At dinner before the competition I usually eat salad and chicken. As a curious fact, my competition mates eat pasta 4-6 hours before a test, I can’t. During testing I try to keep my blood sugar, vitamins, and electrolytes high. For this, I use bars, gels, isotonic drinks … and when finished, fruit and recuperator.

As an athlete, we understand that you consume a higher% of protein than a “sedentary” person, could we know your sources? Do you consume the classic protein shakes?

Of course. I take care of protein intake, but I do not usually consume smoothies, until now I did not know products with clean ingredients that make me change my mind. My protein intake comes from eating: turkey, chicken, eggs, white fish … and as vegetable protein: lentils, peas … I love legumes! All this, as I have mentioned before, in a clean way and to be accompanied by vegetables or salad.

What is your main criteria or criteria to choose one brand or another? Recommendation from a colleague? from a nutrition professional? your own criteria? Are the ingredients of these relevant to you, do you usually read the labels?

There is everything, I am not used to staying with a brand, I try different brands and products based on the positive experiences of colleagues and coaches. I ask them if it is good! And when I try them, I see how they feel … I give them a month to say something, and I value whether or not to continue consuming them. I would say that I base myself on the effectiveness of the product and how natural it is. The more natural it is and the less additives they have, the better!

Do you practice outside, in nature? What does it bring you? Do you prefer it to the gym?

Whenever I train I do it outdoors, except when gym workouts.

I love training abroad, the beach is my favorite place to do trial. The landscape, the sound of the waves, the tranquility you feel … I love it! Every time you come back from a trip you always try to climb the mountain with my dog, I like the feeling of freedom that is felt when training abroad.

Do you perceive a greater awareness for respecting the environment?

I think that people are increasingly aware of respecting the environment but there is still a lot to do. For the part that I have to try to keep all the places I go to train or trial parks, clean. Since many places that I am going to train people do not respect the place, they throw plastics, they dirty everything … and this makes me very angry because we are destroying nature and if we do not respect the environment tomorrow we will not have it.

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