Javier Gomez Noya on The Road to Rio
How did you become a triathlete? What fascinates you about the sport and what does it give back to you?
JGN: I come from the swimming field. When I was a kid I trained and raced with the swim team of my hometown, Ferrol. At that time some triathletes came to swim at the same pool. They knew I was not like the other swimmers because I liked to run and ride for fun sometimes. One day, they encouraged me to go to a triathlon with them when I was 14. From that day I became fascinated with this sport which has given me everything; my friends and my social life are all around triathlons. It is a kind of lifestyle, because at the end, from when I wake up until I go to sleep, I am 100% involved with the triathlon. I am in debt to this sport.
2. MIZUNO: Many people struggle to find enough motivation to exercise and improve in one discipline. In triathlons, you need to be excellent in three areas: swimming, running and biking. Do you need to train 3x as hard? Where do you find your motivation?
JGN: I think that training for three disciplines is more rewarding than just for one. It is obviously very demanding, but I prefer to do one session of each every day, rather than just be focused on one of them. For me, motivation comes naturally, triathlons are my passion and it has become my job. I feel lucky for it.
3. MIZUNO: You compete in many different competitions around the globe, don’t you ever get tired/exhausted?
JGN: Yes of course, travelling is one of the key factors you have to face and must manage well, otherwise you take the risk of becoming injured. Flying, airports, and jetlag are also very tiring. They are some other factors of stress that make you busy.
4. MIZUNO: Your licence to compete internationally has been removed by the CSD not only once, but twice in the past. How did you bring up the strength and courage to fight this hardship twice?
JGN: At that time I was just a teenager that wanted to do what I liked, I was not thinking of being a World champion, winning races, etc. I enjoyed training as I do now. With that being said, there were some very hard and tough moments for me. The support of my family and my inner circle was very important to overcome the situation. Looking back, all the situations I lived through, made me mentally stronger.
5. MIZUNO: When thinking of Rio de Janeiro, most people think of the Copacabana and Carnival. What do you think of when you hear the word?
JGN: I think of Copacabana as well, because the triathlon will be hosted there, but not of the Carnival… haha. Rio is the main goal of this year, I am putting all my efforts into this race. Anyhow, nowadays, I am hearing this word “Rio” too many times, everyone reminds me repeatedly, encouraging me for the preparation, the race, etc. This is when you realize that the Olympics are different to any other race, many people even out of the sport, know about the Olympics.
6. MIZUNO: How do you prepare for Rio? Are you making any changes compared to your preparations in 2012?
JGN: Yes, I will probably race less than in 2012 before the Olympics. Rio is a different race course than London, the bike section has a steady hill, added to the humid and hot weather conditions we might find in Rio in August, the race will probably be different. I do not expect the running course to be as fast as we did it in London due to the demanding bike course; therefore you have to be very solid in the three disciplines to win the race.
7. MIZUNO: Do you have a pre-race routine that you go through before an important race such as Rio?
JGN: My pre-race routine is always the same for every race; I like to swim, bike and run a bit before the race, having the last meal 4 hours before the race time start.
8. MIZUNO: Imagine yourself standing at the starting line in Rio. What will be on your mind?
JGN: I will probably be very focused on the swim start horn, so I can be concentrated on swimming very fast until the first bouy. In a triathlon you can lose the race in the first buoy if you are not well located and the swim is fast, then the race can be broken, if you are not in the leading group, the medal options are over.
9. MIZUNO: You’ve won more or less every important international triathlon title already – except for Olympic gold. Is this the ultimate goal? What will come after Rio?
JGN: No, it is not my ultimate goal, but it is the most important now. What will come after Rio I do not know yet, I have to think if I will keep my focus on Olympic distance, or jump to long distance races. Honestly, I do not know yet, but I am not thinking on it right now.
10. MIZUNO: What comes to your mind when you hear the slogan ‘’Never stop pushing“? What does it mean to you?
JGN: I feel totally identified with this slogan, it is the way I understand this sport, not just in racing, but even more importantly in the daily training. Obviously you cannot go 100% in every workout, but I believe on having a daily routine and making sacrifices; to wake at 6am, no pain no gain.