Ivan is a Macedonian triathlete. He talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
Swimming has been my passion from a young age. When I was 16, I became Macedonian National champion in 100m, 200m butterfly, 1500m, 800m freestyle, 200m breast-stroke and was always in top 3 of the races in the following period.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
Over the years, my priorities changed but I always stayed in sports. In 2017, I did my first triathlon - South Riding Sprint Triathlon - while I was living in South Riding, Virginia, USA. At that triathlon I won my age group, which led me to compete in Olympic distance at the 2018 USA National Triathlon Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, which is probably by far the toughest yet favourite race in my career. That was the moment when triathlon became my lifestyle and taught me (and still is teaching me) valuable life lessons.
What is your proudest achievement?
Achieving 2nd place over sprint distance at the Macedonian National Triathlon Championship in 2018 and several top 3 placements at local triathlons around Virginia and Maryland, USA. My best result is 2:20 Olympic distance (2019), which I am sure would have been a lot better if I was not suffering from a knee injury.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
I wish someone had emphasised the importance of strength and flexibility workouts. These type of workouts not only prevent injuries, but also help in performance improvement. But, as I always say, if it does not kill you, it teaches you to be smarter and stronger.
How do you overcome setbacks?
When facing a challenge, I remind myself of these 3 things:
- Keep your eyes on the goal, keep going forward and look back only to learn from your mistakes.
- Work hard, but smart.
- Have a defined training plan and winning strategy.
What are your goals for 2020?
As I prepare for the new season, I have set 3 key goals:
- Finish an Olympic distance race in under 2 hours.
- Become Macedonian National Champion over Olympic and Sprint distance.
- Finish top 5 at the Balkan Triathlon Championships in September.
Who do you take inspiration from?
My biggest inspiration and motivation come from my partner Bojana as well as my family. Bojana is always caring and supports me during the toughest times and every time I have some crazy idea (like buying a new bike part that will save 0.5W). Their support means the world to me. In the end, what is the purpose if we don't have our closest ones by our side to share our achievements and happiness?
What do you like about Sundried and what's your favourite bit of our kit?
I respect Sundried’s dedication to low carbon, eco-friendly and wellbeing projects and policies. It is a great way of showing support and responsibility to the community. I love the uniqueness of the clothing and can’t wait to try the new collection.