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The world's fastest triathlete doesn't just ride a bike

Posted Sep 28 2010 10:35am


When not driving his IndyCar at 230mph chances are you’re likely to see keen Triathlete Tony Kanaan swimming, biking or running around the streets and waters of Key Biscayne, Florida.

Kanaan is an accomplished Triathlete and having completed one half Ironman and six sprints, Kanaan.

The 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion (who drives the No. 11 Team 7-11 car for Andretti Autosport says), "I don't think I can call myself a triathlete, but I'm in love with the sport. It's harder than racing my own car. Here it's just you; you can't blame anyone else for how you do."


The talented Brazilian was boyhood friends with Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello. Kanaan's father died when Tony was 11, the Barrichellos took him into their family and raised him) and is currently training for the inaugural Miami 70.3 on Oct. 30 where he will compete for the Blazeman Foundation.

Standing at 5 feet 5 inches, when he first tried to get into racing Kanaan was told he was too small to be taken seriously. Now he is considered to be one of the fittest men in the sport having gone from 105- 158lbs.  Kanaan can bench press 310lbs and has a body fat percentage of just 6.60...which he puts down to a rigorous training schedule.

“My normal routine is six times a week twice a week, alternating swimming and running and cycling. I cycle 30 to 60 miles on the road every day, starting at like 6:30 a.m. And in the afternoons, usually around 6 p.m., I alternate swimming and running between Monday and Saturday. For example, on Monday I’ll swim 2000 to 4000 meters and on Tuesday I’ll run 4 to 8 miles.”

Triathlon training goes hand-in-hand with racing, Kanaan says, ”People think of car racing as not physically demanding. But you wouldn’t believe how demanding it is. Sitting in a car, bringing your heart rate to 180 while just sitting. Training for triathlons keeps me focused so physical condition is one less thing to worry about while driving”


Nicknamed the ”Kanaancept”, Tonys newest speed machine is a Trek Speed Concept 9.9 with Dura-Ace SRM crankset, Zipp R2C shifters, LOOK Keo Blade Pedals and Fizik Arione 2 Saddle tricked out in Brazilian colors and sponsors logos.

Looking for a sub 4:45 at Miami, Kanaans Triathlon ambitions don’t end there. One day, he adds, "when I retire, I’ll go to Kona and try to do the Ironman!"

This story was written by Danny Ward (our British Bureau chief) of ( TriSport Epping ).

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