Gameplan: Triathletes are built for tough

Hiyasmin Neri
Finishing strong may also mean finishing with whatever you have left. The rewards you will get when you are willing to go further is always satisfying

MANILA, Philippines – Gameplan talks to experienced triathletes Gianluca and Philip of Ford Forza Triathlon Team to know how a strong mind and a big heart powers them to the finish line.

“My hardest time was I was training for Xterra Mountain Bike. I fell down, and I fractured my C1. And then I had to pull down for six months, after one week, I was already in the bike with a collar, and two weeks I was swimming with a collar”, says Gianluca, a full Ironman finisher.

Gianluca believes that the toughest part of a race is to keep your mental side strong so that you will not easily surrender to the discomfort before getting to the last meters of the finish line. Asked about how he deals with difficulty during a race, Gianlucca says, “When you have pain, you have to try to think about something positive in life. When you’re down, you get up,” says Gianluca. 

Admitting that he is competitive in nature, Philip takes to mind that he should finish what he started. He recalls, “I experienced cramps when I joined the first 70.3 in Cebu. Hindi ako sanay na may katabi na nag-swim. May iba na aapak sayo, parang nalunod na ko ng konti. So ginamit ko yung kick. So paggamit ko ng kick, nag cramps ako. Which is super, super hard. How can I manage this, I need to overcome this, this is my first triathlon, kailangan ko talaga matapos ito …the pain is only for hours,” says Philip.

(I experienced cramps when I joined the first 70.3 in Cebu. I’m not used to swim alongside someone. I got stepped on, so I felt I drowned a little. So I used the kick, and when I used it, I cramped. Which is super, super hard. How can I manage this, I need to overcome this, this is my first triathlon, I need to finish this… the pain is only for hours.)

Philip believes that calming your mind will help you handle the tough challenges of the race. He says, “Kailangan mo lang mag-relax. I-relax mo lang yung katawan mo, i-relax mo lang lahat. Everything will be fine.”

(You just need to relax. Relax your body, relax everything. Everything will be fine.)

Finishing strong may also mean finishing with whatever you have left. The rewards you will get when you are willing to go further is always satisfying.

“Here you are going, you are almost there, then you’re at the last hundred meters, and you give it all, your heart is beating, your arms are swinging, and your legs are propelling you. And you wanted to cry and praise the Lord that you did it. The discovery is that the mental is over everything, we are trained to go further and we train our mind to be the best that we can and we use our legs and our arms and our body to propel us further,” says Gianluca. – Rappler.com