We’ve decided it’s time to start interviewing elite athletes in English. The aim behind these interviews is to become internationally interesting and bring aspects of the lives of these elite athletes to people who like sport.
Here we present Milan Tomin – one of the best serbian triathletes.
A triathlon is a multiple-stage competition involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines.
The word “triathlon” is of Greek origin from τρεῖς or treis (“three”) and ἆθλος or athlos (“competition”). The first modern event to be called a ‘triathlon’ was held at Mission Bay, San Diego, California on September 25, 1974.
The race was conceived and directed by Jack Johnstone and Don Shanahan, members of the San Diego Track Club, and was sponsored by the track club. 46 participants entered this event.
While many variations of the sport exist, triathlon, in its most popular form, involves swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances.
Triathletes compete for fastest overall course completion time, including timed “transitions” between the individual swim, cycle, and run components.
Sportinterview: How would you introduce yourself in three words?
Milan: Honest, passionate and friendly.
Sportinterview: What do you love most about triathlon?
Milan: The best thing about triathlon is that is always unpredictable, in training as well as in racing. That’s what keeps me motivated.
Sportinterview: You recently finished 1th at aquathlon National Champs and become national champhion– how did the race go for you and did you expect this great result?
Milan: Yes, I just won that race and it was brutal. The race was held at noon of the warmest day of the year; and I don’t respond to heat at all. However, I expected to win since I was training really well in the past couple of months and I’m pleased I came home with the gold.
Sportinterview: What triggered your interest to triathlon and did you try some other sport before triathlon?
Milan: I have started triathlon because of my brother in 2008, but not until 2012 I was serious about it. Just as in many sports before triathlon I didn’t have any kind of pressure from my parents and I was guided by my hearth not their wishes, which I am extremely happy about. Even though I was very good in water-polo – sport I was training before triathlon – I stopped playing it because of the coaches and their negative attitude. Then, a little later I started with triathlon where it was all about fun and I let myself fall in love with sport. Only when I heard about Youth Olympic Games back in 2012, a flame inside of my hearth started lightening and a wish to go there was strong enough to become 100% committed and train even when I’m not feeling motivated. Meanwhile, the nature of the sport took over the goals and now I do it because of love not the results.
Sportinterview: Tell us something more about your first experience with triathlon.
Milan: Oh man, I will never forget my first race. After a month of training, on borrowed bike, in soccer shoes, a swim suit and beach shirt I raced in my home town against my big brother and some other older guys. Although unexperienced and much worse in trainings than my brother and other teammates, I was out of the water in one of the first positions. Then hard bike and out on the run where I immediately dropped into second. However, because I am extremely competitive and I love pushing myself to the limits, I came back and won in the sprint finish by less than 20cm in front of the second guy. It was ridiculous, I couldn’t believe it.
Sportinterview: What part of your racing is the strongest?
Milan: When I started triathlon swimming was by far my worst discipline so in the winter 2012 when I started swimming every day I made a boom. My swimming improved so much and is still probably my best discipline. Sometimes I’m struggling when there’s a lot of people on the start but then swim segment turns into fighting more than swimming, and I don’t like that. But I guess that’s part of sport too, and I’ll have to work harder to overcome the obstacles.
Sportinterview: Do you have any advice for those who need help improving their swimming?
Milan: For those who are starting with swimming consistency is the key. Five to six times a week, and not less than 3km. Then, working on technique as well as the strength (eventually, strength practices have to become dominant part of trainings whereas technique should already be integrated and normal in everyday swimming). Also, one of the big mistakes is monotonicity, so try to avoid swimming same stuff over and over. Furthermore, by implement something different, training itself would be more interesting and enjoyable.
Sportinterview: What is your biggest challenge right now in racing?
Milan: Hmm, my running is probably the part of racing that is giving me a hard time. Somehow I do run really well in practices (even off the hard bike) but I’m struggling to translate that into racing. I’m still confident that I can pull out a good run this weekend but that’s the part I’ve been struggling the most in the races. Besides that, since I’m pretty good biker, I cannot resist to go easy during the bike leg and I end up working way too much or sometimes too hard. So I should turn off my competitiveness off during the bike segment and let other do the work.
Sportinterview: What do you do to combat that problem?
Milan: In order to overcome some problems, for example overworking on the bike, I usually have to control my emotions. To control them better I convince myself that I can benefit from doing things smart and not just and always with passion.
Sportinterview: What advice could you offer to young triathlete who are thinking of making the step up to Pro level?
Milan: Thus far in my career I have learned that no great result is possible without true love and passion. So do it professionally only if you truly love it; and to know if you love it, give yourself a lot of time to enjoy it without training for results but pleasure.
Sportinterview: What are your goals for next season?
Milan: I’m currently focused on this season where I want to finish in Top 20 at U23 European Championships. On top of that, in the US I want to win Conference Championships (individually and with my team Queens University of Charlotte).
Sportinterview: How do you celebrate your victories once the competition is over?
Milan: Well, I don’t really celebrate. Although I like to think of all the crazy ways how to celebrate a good result, but it usually ends up just with a nice dinner with my family. Good result is enough for me to be happy, I don’t need a party or something like that.
Sportinterview: What sets you apart from other triathletes?
Milan: Great question… Maybe the fact that I don’t care who I am racing against. On the field all athletes are the same for me. I won’t let anyone tell me what to do, and I would never let someone go just because he is known to be better. If anyone wants to beat me, they need to show on the race day. Also, I would never give up without fight; fight till the finish line no matter what.
Sportinterview: What is your favourite place for training?
Milan: Oh, there are many! I like to swim in Charlotte at my university’s pool, cycle in Swiss alps and run in a National Park near my apartment in Novi Sad. Also some of the roads in Alicante, Spain are just stunning.
Sportinterview: Are you doing anything different to train these days?
Milan: I actually do. I train a lot different than ever before. Since I started university in the US I don’t have time to train as much as before. But thanks to my coach Sonni Dyer I somehow managed to pull out great fitness with only 50% of what I used to train. I even improved which I didn’t expect. Now I train less but more efficient, there are not many easy sessions.
Sportinterview: Who did you admire growing up?
Milan: When I entered the world of triathlon Ognjen Stojanović was the guy who I admired the most. He was the only one I heard about, whose results I could see and was the only one with special lane for swimming in our club. However, now I don’t admire anyone, I just have a lot of respect for some people (and athletes) for all they’ve done to achieve something great. People to mention are Nikola Tesla, Novak Đoković and Simon Whitfield.
Sportinterview: Best of luck with the training and the races.
Here you can read more about Milan – http://www.milantomin.com/
You can also read: http://www.sportinterview.net/maki-nagayoshi/ (interview with Japanese girl who is practising kendo in Zagreb)