‘Chicky’ Perez’s double challenge in Riga and Amsterdam

“I know I’m a marathon runner and will keep trying if I don’t succeed. I won’t retire without saying, ‘This trail is all I’m worth’.” this is how he says goodbye Juan Antonio ‘Chicky’ Pérez (Ciudad Real, 1988) A long conversation followed in which he once again showed that he is a different, special athlete. This time he is just 10 days away from new international status Road World ChampionshipIn his beloved half marathon, less than a month after a new attack on the marathon, this time far away from his favorite city, Valencia, because 15 October Will be on the starting line of 42 kilometers and 195 meters amsterdam,

There, where he was already an international player on the track at the European Championships held in 2016, he wants to overcome his troubles with the marathon (debuting with 2:11:50 in 2019 and returning in 2020, both times) . Valencia). And he wants to do it with the peace he sometimes lacks, knowing that his feet can run in Olympic minimum (2:08:10) Which may or may not take him to the Paris Olympic Games. But that doesn’t bother him, he has already learned from the tragic summer of 2021, in which he was one place away from living in Tokyo: “I would do it differently. Whatever has to happen will happen, but I Not going back to go.”

Why did you decide on Amsterdam?

Since I had the minimum amount for the Half Marathon World Cup and knew I was going to be training all summer, I thought about doing the marathon later. I was looking at the calendar and Amsterdam or Frankfurt were the best choices for dates, but my manager Miguel Mostaza told me that Amsterdam was going to be a better race. I don’t know the circuit but from the marks made I know it is fast. Also, I’ve always run marathons in Valencia and it’s a city I love, where I’ve done better in other distances, but the marathon stuck out for me.

Does the fact of not racing in Valencia take pressure off you?

I’m a very competitive person and I don’t care if other Spaniards race, although it can cause some tension. But I like it. I’m not going to Amsterdam because I don’t want to race with other Spaniards, but because the calendar makes sense to me.

Tell us how the training is going.

I am feeling great. I was in the Sierra Nevada for two weeks, two weeks at home and now two weeks at altitude again. I would definitely be down for seven days before the World Cup race and three weeks to Amsterdam. In terms of volume, I am not one to train for many kilometres, I am able to cover more than 170 kilometers in six or seven weeks and that is enough for me. Also, I feel great running, unlike the last race in which I covered 30 kilometers at a pace of 3:18 min/km and I had to run at a slower pace. It’s been a long time since I felt those emotions.

‘Chicky’ Perez’s final long walk on his Strava account.

How are your feet, which are usually your weak point when it comes to blisters?

On the track I faced a lot of blister problems but on the asphalt ASICS work very well for me and I don’t have any problems. I have huge bunions but I am doing great with them. I think I will have no problem completing the marathon.

And how do you manage the pre-marathon calm down? You have always been a very enthusiastic athlete.

It is difficult for me. I’m very impulsive but marathons are a different story. I’ve come to accept this: You have to be conservative. What I can’t do is run a half marathon in 62 minutes and die. I’ll try to lead my group with the rhythm I want and get to the back.

It’s in my mind that I want to go for the Olympics at least.

And what rhythm do you want?

I have it in my mind that I want to go for the Olympic minimum, go below 2:08:10. Pass through the high of 63 and look for that low. I think I can do it. I know the marathon is a different story, but below are my marks in the distances and how well I am absorbing the kilometres… so it will depend on the day, but I am confident about it.

Nutrition topic. Are you going to play it safe?

I can tell you that every race I have done has been done on an empty stomach and with gel. I will drink more in a marathon. Life Pro Gel is very good for me and I am going to take it with water every half hour. I’m not trying anything new. I know what’s good for me and I’m going to implement it. In other marathons I have become addicted to gels, salts, etc. and things have gone bad for me.

Chick Perez during the 10,000 meters Spanish Championships. Sportmedia.

What gives you the most confidence?

The fact is that I am absorbing the kilometers very well, with weeks of around 180 kilometers.

And what are you most afraid of?

That I have a problem with my right foot because I don’t tie my shoes properly. I am not afraid of the others.

Is the World Cup (Amsterdam Marathon) a means to an end?

Yes, I’m going to die in Riga, but the important thing for me is Amsterdam. It’s going to be like the last strong test before the marathon and I’m going to work hard, even more so when you’re with the national team. The level there is exaggerated. I want to run smart, not the way I made my mark by running 10km in 28:10. I hung in there but I could have exploded even more.

How do you value the fact that there is only one half marathoner at this Road World Championships?

The minimum was quite demanding (1:02:30) and no one had it. They could not go. If they had raised their hands there would have been people who would have wanted to go. I think he should have completed the team with guys like Yago and Guerita, who ran a high 1:02 in Madrid. Even more so with the championship taking place in Europe. Other than that, where we were able to do the minimum, which was in Valencia last year, the day was terrible and I was the only one who could do it.

An image of Chick Pérez at the 10,000 meters European Cup held in 2019. Sportmedia.

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