Who is Kevin Attard in the eyes of Kevin Attard?
I’m an ambitious athlete that loves extreme challenges. My character, my determination to focus on a dream, train for it and work till it is achieved makes me drawn to these kind of challenges.
How did you start off as an athlete?
When I was 15 years old, I started training in freestyle wrestling until I was 21. I then started running, swimming, playing squash and biking. A few years later, I started training for extreme triathlon. My focus has always been on individual sports.
4 years ago, my friends and I went up to Sicily for a cycling trip, and this encouraged me to start training seriously again. On the way home from Sicily, one of my friends read an article about a Sprint Triathlon. We decided to compete in this race, and after competing in about 6 more triathlons, I started training seriously for a Half Ironman, which is a 1.9 km swim, 90km bike ride and a 21.1km run. This was my first extreme challenge.
You’re currently gearing up for the 52 in 1 Challenge. Can you tell us more about the process?
The 52in1 Challenge is a personal challenge that I want to accomplish in order to break a Guinness World Record currently held by James Lawrence. The current record for the most Half Ironman triathlons completed in a year is 22. I am aiming to complete 52 in 1 year – that’s one per week in 2017.
I’m currently training for 9 hours a week, averaging 1.5 hours a day with a one day rest per week. This will increase gradually to 18 hours a week till August, and it will remain like that till December 2016. In 2017, training will be reduced back to 9 hours a week and I will add the Half Ironman Triathlon per week.
In order for the record to be recognised, we are currently in the process of contacting the Guinness World Record, who will verify the 52in1 Challenge. We are also actively looking for sponsors for the challenge.
Throughout your career, you’ve namely touched upon wrestling, cycling and squash. Is there anything else on the bucket list?
Those sports were all extremely useful to build up my character for the extreme challenges that I do today. The next goal on my bucket list is to complete the Triple Ironman, which is similar to the Ironman and Double Ironman that I have already completed, but with longer distances – 63.3km running, 11.58km swimming and 540.75km biking. I will attempt the Triple Ironman in 2018.
What are your go-to super foods?
At the moment, my main go-to super foods are fruit, mainly bananas and smoothies.
What advice would you give to aspiring athletes?
Start slow and gradual. Find a coach that is good, that believes in you and stays with you all the way. Enjoy the training and set realistic goals. Train for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day at the beginning. A big piece of advice – don’t do the crazy things I’m doing! Jokes aside, if someone tells me that they want to do an Ironman or Double Ironman seriously, I would help them and offer my advice for sure.
Kevin’s aim is to encourage people to start leading a physically active lifestyle and to focus on a goal, train for it and achieve it by any means possible. We invite you to join Kevin during his training sessions at the University Ground and at the National Pool. You can come walk or jog for 30 minutes at your own pace. Not only will you be improving your physical fitness, but you will also be promoting a healthy lifestyle!
For more information, visit The Real Ironman website and stay updated on Kevin’s Facebook page.