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Thoughts on being a team in swimrun and in life​​​

It all started in February 2019, when I [Saby] was looking for a partner for the season. I got in contact with Nicolas, knowing that Team Envol was well-known in the world of swimrun and that surely he would be able to give me some advice or direct me to anathlete he knew.

It so happens that in February 2019, Alexis joined the team to improve his swimrun skills and gain more experience. Nicolas had the idea we should get in touch. He also suggested signing up forSwimrun Estérel in the South of France. I met Alexis the night before the race; the day after we won our first race together!

After this success we decided to do the season together: we raced in Utö, in the icy waters of May 2019 and finished 5th, in a race where the best Swedish teams competed at that time. Carried by a strong desire to improve further, we prepared for other competitions (Ultra Swimrunman Verdon – Ötillö Isles of Scilly –Ötillö Engadin) ... perhaps we got a little carried away in our enthusiasm… The body needs quite a bit of recovery time,especially after competitions at this level. But we did get great results and managed to qualify for the Ötillö 2019 World Championships. We worked hard to get ready for the final, we knew that the podium was untouchable but in such long races anything can happen. We finished Ötillö WC in 9h30min in the 4th place in the mixed category! An unexpected result that gave us a great boost for the future.

Many things have changed since 2019

Many things have changed since 2019: Alexis moved in with me(without actually announcing his arrival) after receiving a job offer at a company located in my home town. Doing so he had to adjust to the “Saby diet”: no more ravioli at every meal! We started a new life together trying to balance work and sports in the most effective way possible.

We both work full time, Saby as a PE teacher and Alexis as a Materials Engineer for Timberland. It's not always easy to be able to train especially when you don't have much time to recover. In the past two years we have come up with a routine that works for us. It allows for enough training volume in order to improve, but also leaves a sufficient amount of recovery time. We are convinced that our team works well because we are important to each other, especially in the hardest moments: those where fatigue appears, where there is discomfort because there is no progress, those where stress plays on our mood. We are able to understand when the other one needs support and when he/she needs more space.

We are convinced that in swimrun, training with your partner is definitely an advantage to be exploited. We have the same training plans, the same objectives; therefore from the organizational point of view it is easier. However, there are also more complex aspects where you certainly need to be very organized; for example managing a house, having a dog, taking time for friends and family. Since both of us are training, all duties outside of sport have to be shared. This requires juggling training schedules with your partner, sometimes training separately or doing a different training from your partner. I can’t imagine the day we have kids… (but our dog Luna is definitely a big BEGINNING…).

We have totally changed our lifestyle

We certainly invest a lot of energy in what we do, but we do it with all our heart and with the desire to always strive for higher goals. It is true that in recent years we have totally changed our lifestyle. We have made sacrifices but frankly they don't weigh on us. Indeed, we are very rewarded by the personal satisfaction we get during our daily outings and our performance at races, and byseeing how we can be a great source of inspiration to some people.

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