Vladimir Voloshin, co-founder and marketing director of the IRONSTAR project, a triathlete and businessman, told Ira Morgunova how the athlete differs from the sportsman, why sports should be treated the same way as business, and what you need to do to become a cool triathlete.
- My sports career began with swimming and athletics - when your parents are professional athletes and coaches, you have no choice sooner or later you’ll come to sports anyway. In 83, a biathlon appeared in my life, and I ended my professional career already in the junior squad of the national biathlon team of Estonia. Other times came - it was necessary to work, earn money, study. Career came to the fore, and sport automatically and quite naturally went by the wayside.
I continued to train, I just did it solely to maintain health, well-being and good spirits.
In 2007, I returned to sports - I began to train actively and a year later I took part in competitions, but among amateurs. My first start was a super sprint triathlon in Moscow - I assumed that I could swim, ride a bike and run, but everything turned out to be not so simple as I imagined. During the swim, swallowed water, barely unscrewed the bike and barely ran to the finish line. This, of course, was a strong blow to pride.
After the race, I came to the coach and said: “Let's get ready!”.
I approached the training thoroughly - I took lessons at a professional synchronized synchronist, when I realized that I had problems breathing in water, I separately found a coach who was engaged in swimming technique with me. Bicycle trainings were with one trainer, running with another. The result was a very fragmented picture - at that time there were not as many coaching programs as now, it was impossible to turn to the former triathlete and ask him to prepare for the races. There may have been many former triathletes, but not all of them were ready to make their debut as coaches.
Once, when a friend and I, inspired by the finish of a complicated ski marathon, sat and thought about what to do next, I first heard about IRONMAN. A friend talked about the “iron” distance - the numbers just did not fit in my head, I got the feeling that this is something beyond. Beyond, but interesting. I agreed.
Fortunately, at that time there was a trainer who, in early March, learning about our grandiose plans for July, said: "Guys, you won’t succeed.
You just won’t finish. Not enough time - you you don’t have time to prepare. " But since he liked the idea himself, he agreed not only to prepare us, but to train with us, so that in a year we could make IRONMAN. That summer, the three of us participated in the semi-iron triathlon in Germany at the European Cup stage. They wanted to see what it was all about.
Of course, we really liked it, but at the finish I realized that I was already at the limit - I could not even imagine how difficult it was. I then realized that the coach was right - you can’t go to the start IRONMAN unprepared . To do this, you need to mature.
We continued to train hard and consciously when in July 2010 the three of us made our first full IRONMAN in Zurich. Everyone had their own plan for the finish line - we already clearly understood our level of training, we understood how much we would overcome each stage of the race.
Accurate arithmetic and knowledge of your body is the basis of everything. In addition, there were already several starts behind - Olympic and semi-iron distances covered. As a result, we showed very good results - our coach finished with the time of 9 hours 40 minutes, I - 10 hours 20 minutes, and my friend - 11 hours. And as an unexpected bonus, the coach and I completed the CCM triathlon norm. It was nonsense for us - we didn’t at all plan to win any titles, we just played sports that really fascinated us.
That IRONMAN was the beginning of a big story for us - every year I wanted to set a new goal, prepare, achieve. The realization has come that the big start is the goal for the year . A goal that stimulates and prevents relaxation. A goal that disciplines and puts in order thoughts. You begin to plan and distribute time more correctly for work, family and training.
Less sleep - more to do. And what is especially valuable - through the prism of sports, it was possible to meet incredibly interesting people.
Amateur sports are, in principle, a very good filter. Where there is a game, a team, stamina and a challenge, bad people do not get along. We need charisma, we need clear life guidelines and the right system of values - we all have families, we raise children, we are not afraid of responsibility and difficulties, we work hard and do everything.
began at the end of 2013 with a very ambitious idea - to bring IRONMAN to Russia. We gathered a group of enthusiasts (which subsequently transformed into a group of partners) and began to discuss how we could realize our idea. Alas, at the end of 2013 this idea was not destined to come true - there are too many external factors that prevented this. But we didn’t depart from ours - we decided, in order not to waste time, to register our own company and our own brand, agreed on consulting with our European colleagues, they shared with us the experience of holding such large-scale competitions as IRONMAN.
Preparation of IRONSTAR takes a lot of time and effort, because we are not ready to compromise - everything must be done efficiently, in compliance with all international standards.
And I am very glad that all the efforts expended are bearing fruit and IRONSTAR is developing at such a furious pace.
A year ago, we brought our European colleagues to Sochi - showed them the tracks and their layouts, they gave an expert assessment, helped develop a promotion plan and fill in the gaps. And last June we opened the Russian season in Sochi. Everything was the way we wanted it - quality and safety at the world level. In total, about 350 athletes took part in the race - they were people who simply believed in us.
They believed, and we did not deceive their expectations. The response was incredible. And in September, when we closed the season, almost a thousand participants came to our “semi-iron” distance as part of the Russian championship. This event, of course, did not go unnoticed - in January of this year we were invited to the French Olympic Committee, as our IRONSTAR project was included in the four best starts of the year. Of course, we have something to strive for - we play for the future, we want to maintain our brand and our status, and bring cool competitions and cool athletes to Russia.
And we have all the opportunities and resources for this.
Of course, organizing such a large-scale competition is not easy. Just filling out all the documents is a tremendous job. But this is a given and these are the requirements that we must fulfill. We know that this part of the work should take four months, which means that instead of complaining for four months, we systematically collect all the necessary papers.
Perhaps one of the most serious problems is the lack of volunteers. It would seem that the Olympics have passed, the Universiade has passed - there have been more sporting events, and the volunteer base is not growing. For each start, we need 350-450 volunteers, last time we managed to gather 250 people. You understand, yes, that each volunteer is worth its weight in gold - it needs to be cherished and cherished, watered and fed, so that in no case will it go away.
The development of triathlon and amateur sports are two processes that are closely related to each other.
There are people who are interested in sporting events, and if in Russia there is no decent and interesting offer for them, they will go abroad. Of course, any large-scale competition is a big responsibility. Organizers should clearly understand what people expect from them, and meet these expectations. For example, last year we invested a lot of money in public opinion research, in communication with participants, in feedback analysis. As a result, we got a huge report, on the data of which we rely now to make the competition even better.
Our goal is to make the triathlon not an elite look sports, and affordable, as he, in fact, is all over the world. In France, Germany, Great Britain, the USA people of all ages participate - from 18 to infinity. We have only one age participant, who is 67, that's all. There is not enough mass yet. But you need to remember that the development of amateur sports is the task of absolutely all the organizers of competitions in Russia.
If they start to make quality events that people will come to, then dynamics and development will appear. And if it’s lousy, then it won’t work.
As my friend says: “Than an athlete is different from a sportsman in that the athlete has a goal. " When a person has a goal associated with the achievement of something supernatural, something that requires serious preparation, he has to reconsider not only daily habits, but also generally adjust his attitude to his own lifestyle. A clear daily routine, discipline, responsibility, a systematic approach, the pursuit of new knowledge and communication with people who can share experience - this is what comes to the fore.
I am convinced that setting goals in sports can be a catalyst for positive changes in other areas of life. I do not agree with the opinion that preparing for serious competitions means giving up everything else. And what about the work? But what about family and friends? All these things do not disappear anywhere. Training is a private matter for everyone, which is why they should not interfere with anyone and anything. For example, I try to include them in my daily schedule in such a way as to achieve my goal without harming others.
In addition, the triathlon is also a family sport, everyone is involved in it. When we go to competitions, we go all together - daughter, wife, sister, friends. After conducting a survey, we found out that 80% of IRONSTAR participants consider us an alternative to family leisure - people go to our competitions and then stay for a few more days. Children bathe, parents train, someone is preparing to start, someone is resting - no one is suffering. On the contrary, shared experience makes these families even more united.
We focus on the fact that the triathlon - this is not only an individual story, it is also a great sport for teams. Last September, we set an all-Russian record - 87 relay teams came to us, almost 300 people took part in the competition. These were those people who so far could not go the whole distance on their own, but working as a team, they were able to show good results. In my opinion, this is a very cool corporate topic - team building, strengthening the spirit, setting a common goal. I am basically for treating sports as a business.
He promised - did. Dates and deadlines must not be violated. If we have a goal, then we are looking for resources to prepare. We are looking for partners to support us. We must understand our strengths - not to get sick and take care of our health.
Must go to the start on time and finish. These are links of one chain that lead to a result.
Any person who decides to take up the triathlon should begin first of all with a assessment of his capabilities and the time he can devote to preparing. The second stage is drawing up a training plan depending on the goal of the athlete. Sprint, in principle, is an affordable distance for most people, you can prepare for it in 10-11 weeks , under the Olympic triathlon you need to lay 16 weeks of preparation, for a “semi-iron” triathlon - 26 weeks , 37 weeks - for IRONMAN.
To take part in the “iron” triathlon , you must have at least two years of active training behind - at least three hundred hours of physical activity per year. It turns out that 50 days is rest, and all the rest of the time you should train at least one hour a day. With the sprint, everything is simpler - you can prepare in three months . For the "semi-iron" distance you need to train at least 7-10 hours a week . And of course, it’s very important to get support - to tell all your friends about what you want to do.
IRONMAN requires high concentration and a great desire to change something in his life.
And that what you need to do to prepare for the first sprint triathlon in your life, read very soon on our website. Read and TAKE PART.