Ira Morgunova spoke with Alexei Panferov, a businessman, managing partner of a large investment company, a marathon runner and a triathlete, about why IRONMAN can do everything for everyone, why you need to learn patience and how sport can make you free.
- It all started in 2005, when we decided to start running. I then headed the investment department, was the deputy chairman of MDM Bank, and in order to unite people within the company and establish communication with clients, we regularly held football and hockey tournaments with partner teams. And in 2005, after returning from South Africa, I had an idea - why don't we try running again. The fact is that there, in South Africa, we had a very interesting guide.
Once, while lighting a cigarette and at the same time showing us the charms of Johannesburg, he said that every year the most complicated ultramarathon “Two Oceans” runs around here. At that time, I assumed that I could run a maximum of ten kilometers, hardly more. And when in Pretoria we caught the legendary train Rovos Rails, which took us further, across the country from north to south , I thought - why don't my friends and I try to go for the next stop. So we did - in front of the Kimberley station we got out of the car and ran along the railway. Of course, all passengers poured out to look at this sight.
We ran five kilometers. I was terribly tired, but won this race. Won and wondered: "How do people manage to overcome more than 50 kilometers at a time?" . I decided to find out. Together with my friends, I signed up for the first half marathon in Germany and then, in 2005, ran it.
I did not have the worst result - 1 hour 45 minutes. Well, for the first time, not bad. But most importantly - I tried it and I liked it.
After that, my friends and I began to run half marathons quite often, but so far did not dare to do it. At that time, there was such a prejudice that a marathon is very harmful.
But soon a guy appeared in our company, an expat from America who repeatedly ran marathons and did semi-ironmen. It was he who told us that all this is nonsense, and the only thing needed is a systematic preparation. But since at that moment there was no time for any special training, we ran our first Moscow marathon in 2008, rather than thanks to a systematic approach. Without nutrition, without special training - only willpower. As a result, a terrible result: 3 hours 51 minutes.
It is very slow.
After the marathon, we decided to go in for cycling and arranged several family trips to France where they traveled 100 kilometers on road bikes daily and learned to ride in contact pedals. It was fun - beautiful castles, stops in picturesque places, communication.Then the idea came up to combine running with a bicycle and add a third discipline - swimming. So we were faced with a real challenge - a triathlon, and in 2009 we made our first Olympic Games in San Remo.
Finishing was very difficult, but despite all the difficulties, we liked the race, and we decided to increase the distance. I made my first semi-ironman in September 2009 in Monaco, just three months after the Olympic Games. And he did it well, despite the fact that the distance was quite difficult. I then realized that everything is possible. Yes, difficult, but not prohibitive.
So the next item was the full IRONMAN.
Thanks to my friends, the book "Iron Ambitions" fell into my hands. I decided to contact its author, John Kellos, who, to my surprise, answered me immediately. John supported my decision and introduced me to my future coach David Vorden . David suggested choosing a distance and warned that it would take at least nine months to prepare.
At the end of 2009, we started training, and on the first of August 2010 I made my first IRONMAN in Germany in 10 hours and 45 minutes.
Having finished IRONMAN, I began to attract and involve my friends, and in the end, together we created the Trilife website. Moreover, “Trilife” was originally conceived simply as a place for sharing photos. We traveled a lot, and we have accumulated huge photo archives that we wanted to upload somewhere. And since there was little information about the triathlon (count, there was none at all), we decided not to confine ourselves to photographs, but to lay out reports on the races completed and share our own experience.
As a result, people began to stretch to the site, a party began to take shape. Now Trilife is a platform for communication and information exchange. It is very important to find like-minded people of your own circle of interests with whom you can share your own experience and, if necessary, ask for advice yourself. In addition, the triathlon is a very progressive sport, it is constantly transforming and changing. You can’t stop at some point and say: “That's it, I'm at the peak of my form, so I’ll always be the best.
” No, you must always develop and work on yourself and your technology.
Preparation for a serious start is very poorly combined with other areas of life. I generally believe that if the manager hired by the company starts preparing for IRONMAN, then he needs to be fired urgently. He should think about work, and the next nine months his head will be occupied with completely different things. So there are only two options: either his training will turn into a fiction, a la IRONMAN on foot, or his hobby will cause damage to the company.
I see my son trying to prepare for a half-ironman working full time in London. I see how he suffers and cannot find the time. And this is only a "half". So if we are not talking about a person who works for himself, it is better to abandon IRONMAN.Marathon? Yes! Half-Ironman? With a stretch, but also yes! But it is unrealistic to engage in up to ten hours a week and prepare for the "iron" distance.
This temporary of interval is simply not enough. And in peak weeks, when long training sessions (race simulations) begin, the athlete should generally train for 6-7 hours. How do you plan to combine this with other areas of life? I became interested in all this only when I began to work for myself. So nowhere to hurry, the time will come. But self-deception is definitely not worth it.
If you want to walk IRONMAN on foot, do not call it a competition. For me, any IRONMAN has been laughing for more than 12 hours. This is not a race, but physical education.
Remember: everyone can do IRONMAN. The limit is 16 or 17 hours (depending on the race).
During this time, you can calmly, without straining, swim the first stage in two hours "frogly", then barely barely ride the second stage in seven hours on a bicycle, and as a result you will have seven or eight hours to go to the marathon - you in general, you can walk it during this time. And yes, you finish anyway. You can even get a tattoo - you have crossed the finish line. But in my opinion, it’s a shame to specifically go somewhere just to record the fact of limp passing the distance. I enjoy the result I show at the finish.
And throughout the race I suffer. Even if this is your first IRONMAN, you need to strive to show a good time at the finish. Yes, the race is a race of discord. A lot depends on the venue and on the specifics of the distance itself. For example, to make IRONMAN in Lanzarote in 12 hours is honorable, but the plain race on the island Cozumel in more than 10 hours, no - the question immediately arises why did you come at all.
All triathletes should strive to get to the championship in Kona, and come there to hang out, it's like coming to the base camp at the foot of Everest, chatting with everyone there, and then, when everyone goes upstairs, stay down. It seems he saw the peak, he seemed to participate. Of course, to each his own, but, in my opinion, this is not the way of ambitious people. What will I tell you then? What won the lottery participation in Kon? Yes, I will never participate in the lottery in my life. Either I’ll go there according to the sporting principle, or I won’t go at all.
It is my choice.
There has not been a single race in which I would retire. Concussion, broken shoulders, bleeding - I still get there. I can’t give up. I always finish what I started.
Yes, there are people who are ready to give up everything just because they have a little baked head. I can’t do that. But this is my philosophy, and I do not impose it on anyone.
I am an ambitious person and I think that you should always strive for progress. You can’t always stagnate.
Why are you doing IRONMAN? To cross the finish line again? Try something else, after all, this is not the only endurance competition, the light did not converge on it like a wedge. For example, for me a multi-day trip to the mountains with climbing is a much more interesting and difficult challenge than IRONMAN. It also requires endurance - you have to show your character, focus, develop a training system, be effective, find your efficiency, understand how to spend time in such a way as to maximize this efficiency.
In principle, we have very little time. Ask yourself, what are you wasting your minutes on? What do you achieve with every act? Doing something simply in order to light up somewhere is clearly the destiny of those who have completely different accounts over time.
Now we are not talking about sports tourism - I do not argue, this is also cool. My friends and I continue to arrange bike rides with our wives and children, and there is no time or ambition on these trips. But when it comes to racing and competition, then my main incentive is progress. It is important for me to get better, to develop.
Preparing for the start is hard work.
I never go in for sports just like that. For a psychotype like mine, without competition in any way. This is one of my incentives. Running just to keep fit is not enough for me. If I am not striving for anything, and I have not built a seasonal training system, then I can’t get rid of the feeling that I’m just “eating up” my life.
This is not for me. More precisely, this: it is too simple for me. Nevertheless, I support people who play sports for pleasure or health, and I am against copying me. The life of any ambitious person is always a struggle, which, in essence, is very difficult.
For me, sport is an incomparable feeling own capabilities.
When you say to yourself, "I can run 42 kilometers." I can get up and run a marathon right now. I can get up and walk 100 kilometers in the mountains or in the desert. I can cycle for 500 kilometers without stopping. I can swim 15 kilometers.
I can do it. Now. Do you understand the degree of my freedom? I am a free person, I have no limits. And this is such a buzz.
Why limit yourself? Train and feel like a free person.
Will they call for the Moscow half marathon? Run in less than two hours without thinking. Want to see Paris when it is closed to cars? Sign up for the Paris Marathon. Want a beautiful honeymoon? Get ready and run the Two Oceans marathon.
I enter those half percent of people who need something- it's very complicated. I always need to set goals that are almost impossible to achieve.
In principle, I am convinced that physical suffering is nothing compared to mental suffering.There are many more psychological problems, and if a person does not have a base, then it will be very difficult for him to transfer them. You need to be steel. And psychological stamina is built on physical stamina. And to be ready for life’s challenges, you must physically test yourself.
You must make yourself stress resistant. Tempering the body, you temper the soul.