Triathlete & CEO: The Extraordinary Life of Cyril Bedat

Triathlete & CEO: The Extraordinary Life of Cyril Bedat

Cyril is a CEO who doesn't just tackle triathlons in his “spare time”; but conquers them. At Ironman Langkawi in October this year, Cyril clinched a stellar 7th place overall finish, and he nabbed a 2nd place spot in his age group.

But here's the kicker - Cyril isn't your run-of-the-mill triathlete. For those who don't know, he's also steering the ship at Purpose Performance Wear as the company experiences rapid growth.

But, wait, there's more! 

Cyril also heads up Simply Active, a quality sports nutrition store that distributes some of the best nutrition products from across the globe to athletes in Singapore and soon to be Malaysia. So, basically when he's not crushing triathlons, he's making sure you've got the right gear and nutrition to do the same. 

Cyril's journey is as fascinating as it is inspiring, and we're about to dive into the story of a guy who's got the triathlon world and the business world in the palm of his hand.

A Triathlon Dream Come True

Cyril’s dream to qualify for the World Championships started in 2017 when he did his first 70.3 race in Santa Cruz. When asked how it feels to achieve this goal that he has been working so hard for, he replied, 

"I have to admit it's an incredible feeling when you train hard and give your best, and you qualify for what is still the epitome of our sport where only the top 2-3% of athletes in the sport converge. I am extremely grateful", said Cyril. 

His sentiment was more about gratitude than mere accomplishment, as he went on to reflect upon the unwavering support from those around him during grueling hours of training.

Beyond the thrill, he expresses profound thanks, especially to his family, for understanding that this is more than a hobby and accepting his dedication to excellence.

Mastering the Elements: Racing in Intense Heat & Humidity

Zooming in on the race, we asked Cyril how this race compared to his first full distance triathlon attempt which was earlier this June in Germany.

He said he was actually looking forward to a very hot and humid race and he wanted the pros and the rest of the international athletes to understand how challenging it is for athletes in Southeast Asia to compete in this weather.

He never wished for anyone to experience cramps or bonking, but he wanted them to realize and respect the local community, the people who train under these tough conditions, every day of the year. 

“When you consider that almost half of the men in the pro field didn't finish, I'm sure they will have even more respect for the triathletes training in this region", said Cyril. 

For his own race strategy, Cyril kept it simple. His goal - avoid overexertion. 

Given the challenging course and the hot, humid weather, he wisely followed his coach's guidance and his plan, trusting in his ability to execute. But also, being at Langkawi to play a dual role representing Purpose, deboer and Simply Active from a business perspective, he admits it was quite a challenge.

Cyril had to adapt due to the busy work week leading up to the race and find ways to remain focussed on his race day plan. 

Nutrition Matters, A LOT!

The next pressing question we had, was how did Cyril improve his time compared to Roth which was in a much cooler climate. Cyril explained that it all boiled down to nutrition. 

At Roth, Cyril experienced a severe stomach cramp that he endured at approximately 70% of the bike leg. This cramp prevented him from consuming additional food as it only worsened the pain. In the run, he only had around 50g of carbs in total which significantly affected his pace.

However, in Langkawi, Cyril executed a more effective nutrition strategy and as a result, he accomplished a 3h32 marathon in the region's heat and humidity. He believes that in less hot conditions, he could have achieved a 3h20 marathon time.

Of course, we wanted to know more about the nutrition specifics so here’s some detail we gathered from Cyril on his fuel plan:

  • Cyril practiced gradual fueling of the body to train his gut for gel consumption during his training block
  • He primarily used PURE nutrition with some Precision Hydration and included solid bars like Strive and Jolt for the bike leg. 
  • He had a quick gel 30 minutes before the start, knowing he has a challenging hour of swimming ahead, followed by another gel in transition 
  • He consumed a steady 60-70g of carbs per hour while cycling, and during the run, he continued with gels, taking one every 30 minutes and occasionally having coke from the aid station. 
  • Cyril's pre-race diet was mainly Indian vegetarian with occasional chicken, . On race day, he stuck to his typical balanced breakfast of banana on white bread toast with peanut butter.
  • One crucial aspect he vigilantly observed was sodium and electrolytes. He made sure to incorporate 750 mg to 1g of sodium per hour, recognizing that relying solely on gut feeling and topping up may not suffice. He learned this valuable lesson in 2019 during the 70.3 race in Langkawi and was determined not to repeat that mistake.

Cyril acknowledges that even with the best pre-race strategies, unforeseen factors can influence the race and one's physical and mental state. Drawing from past experiences, he no longer overcompensates due to the fear of energy depletion.

This time, he places greater trust in his training and ensures he consumes an adequate amount of carbs to sustain his performance.

Fueling Racing Excellence: One Size Does Not Fit All

Cyril was also adamant to highlight that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work in sports nutrition. What suits one athlete might not work for another. He said that’s why Simply Active is committed to offering only the products we believe in and maintaining quality standards for the community.

He refuses to promote products that he himself doesn't trust and chooses only the best in energy, recovery, and hydration.

“My personal training and racing experiences significantly influence decisions regarding the brands Simply Active carries. In a recent instance, we stepped away from a conversation due to differences with the product sales team's approach.

We take our reputation seriously and ask our community to place their trust in the products we endorse. Thus, maintaining integrity is the highest priority.”

Triathlon Training and Running a Business

No doubt the biggest question on your mind now is how does he do it all. When does he rest? Cyril humbly acknowledges that he might not be the best source of advice when it comes to rest and recovery.

Despite his passion for racing, with two quickly growing companies he admits that the boundaries between work and leisure often become blurred. But, he also admits that running a business drives him to go the extra mile.

While he may not be resting enough, indulging in ice baths, or getting massages frequently, he does his best to stretch and he will not sacrifice on his post-workout smoothie, featuring a blend of banana, avocado, and vanilla Pure protein powder, which helps with recovery and reduces post-workout carb intake. He also will not go a day without Pillar Performance Triple Magnesium. This supplement enhances his deep sleep quality. 

Triathlete must-haves

When asked what other must-haves an ambitious CEO and triathlete has in his arsenal, Cyril candidly acknowledges that his response is inevitably influenced by his position at Purpose.

However, he genuinely believes that comfort and resonance with the brand he wears does significantly impact his performance. 

When he competes, he wears many hats: Purpose CEO, a foreigner making Singapore his home and racing under the Singapore flag, a loving husband, a Dad striving to set an example of perseverance for his daughters, AND a representative of the regional triathlon community that he aims to support and promote.

In his current life stage and role, Cyril's commitment lies in bolstering the sport and its associated communities. Looking ahead, he aspires to compete in Kona, not merely to participate but to deliver a strong performance in a highly competitive field.

Another goal on his radar is the qualification for the 70.3 World Championships in Taupo in December 2024. To prepare his next race will be a 70.3 event, and he's also considering participation in the full-distance Challenge Taiwan in April 2024.

Cyril’s Advice to Other Triathletes 

Cyril's philosophy centers around personal experimentation and finding what suits you best. He stresses that not all brands or products cater to everyone, and the key lies in trying them out. Once you find what works, it's a significant accomplishment.

"Continual improvement is possible, but nailing down the right formula is the first victory."

He also reminds us not to underestimate electrolyte needs, both during races and training. He sees this often and wants the community to know that ensuring your body receives the necessary micronutrients to replenish daily losses is essential for sustaining your training regimen and preventing injuries.

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