Mario Mola – Triathlon
- Q- First of all: How are you?
A- Good, thank you. These are very special circumstances for all of us, but fortunately we are in good health, we have been able to train normally since post-lock down and get back our routine, which is the most important thing for us, and as far as possible we are enjoying being able to continue improving and thinking about new objectives.
- Q- How are you coping with the pandemic period?
A- These are very complicated circumstances, obviously. Despite the fact that one lives in one’s own little world, which in my case is sport, it is impossible nowadays to isolate oneself from reality, or in my case it has been impossible not to be aware of what was going on out there… and without doubt having a hard time in that sense because of such an atypical situation and because of all the people who were on the frontline, fighting it, and for all the people who are suffering, of course. But hey, in my environment we have been fine. I personally, after the “standstill,” have been able to resume training and keep myself focussed on sport, as much as possible. In the end I think it’s what we’ve all had to do – try to forget or not think about the negative news and have our daily goals to get through this.
- Q- During lock down, the issue of training and being at home, bearing in mind that the competitions were still scheduled, meant that you had to continue to be at the same level, how did you do it?
A- We have all gone through various phases or stages in the last year or so. At the beginning, of course, the doubt and the impossibility of not being able to do any activity other than getting on the bycicle roller and pedalling once a day. Afterwards, we were able to gradually incorporate running, but what we have missed most is the swimming pool. We are used to swimming all year round and at most we don’t swim for a week out of 365 days. But this year we spent more than two months without even touching the water, so it was atypical, but this has shown us that afterwards, with some patience and returning to work, calmly, we have been able to regain the level we had before and that’s where we are, back to routine, to normality and thinking about 2021.
- Q- Have you gained any positive aspect or learned anything from the situation in which we are living?
A- It’s difficult to take something positive from all this – well from this and from any situation like this. But one learns to play down the importance of things that normally worried us or that we considered important and in the end were not, and a situation like this makes you see this with a greater perspective and now, as I said, you don’t give the same importance to things you did previously..
- Q- What does it mean for someone who is used to travelling, competing every week, training every weekend… stopping everything and being at home?
A- Adaptation. At the beginning it was a tremendous shock! We are used to spending more than 200 days a year away from home and suddenly we can’t travel, go out, or train… But we look on the positive side of everything: I hadn’t spent a summer in Mallorca for more than 10 years and this year I had the chance to do it. Besides, we are lucky to be training in Calvià, where the weather is helping us and we can’t ask for much more.
- Q- Speaking of which, is your training in Mallorca due to Covid-19? Does training in Mallorca restrict you in any way at the moment?
A- With the experience we had last year, the intention this year is to make things as easy as possible in terms of logistics and travel so that we can train with continuity and be in the best possible form during these first 4-5 months of the year in which we know that the circumstances are beyond our control because we depend on the measures taken.
- Q- Talking a bit about the future, if that’s at all possible under these circumstances. In terms of objectives, do you have anything planned? We have seen that you have finished the season starting in athletics events such as the 5,000 and 3,000 m. Are this year’s objectives still the World Triathlon, and the Olympics …?
A- My goal, which I already had last year and, of course, will continue to have this year if the situation allows it, is the Olympics. I’ve been lucky enough to compete in many world championships and to have won a few titles… it’s not that I don’t consider them important, but during your career you look for new objectives and the possibility of being in some Games fighting for medals, under good conditions, I think I have to take advantage of that, so it will be the main objective.
The Triathlon World Cup is a parallel objective because it is impossible for us to spend eight months training without competing. We are going to use these races to check our form but also with the aim of competing in them and from then onwards we will see what happens. As you mentioned, last year I had the opportunity to return to a series of races that I had always kept on the back burner or that I had in mind and that I was particularly looking forward to competing in, such as the Spanish Cross Country Championships, some track races… it’s something that I will certainly return to in the future, but I think that the priority now, in an Olympic year, is fairly obvious.
- Q- You are a sportsman of reference at international, national and local level. In Calvià you are a benchmark for young athletes. What advice would you give to these youngsters to keep them motivated by sport?
A- I think sport allows you to live experiences that would otherwise be very difficult to undergo. In the end, the values that sport transmits to you, such as the simple act of participating, sportsmanship, work, sacrifice… I think it is something that any boy or girl has the opportunity to acquire thanks to sport and what I would recommend to them is not to throw in the towel because, obviously, there are times when you feel like doing other things rather than sport, but the training of a sportsperson will always accompany you and I think that the environment and the company you keep in sport will also do so.
- Are you considering being a Mario Mola athlete instead of a triathlete, combining the two, or has this year simply been as it has because you needed to compete, so you have done so?
A- Last year transpired as it did, because at that time the triathlon was completely put on hold and the possibility of running in cross country was something I already had in mind to take up again and it happened from one week to the next. I enjoyed it very much, and I’m sure it won’t be the last one.
I’ve always liked the track and I’m looking forward to doing more events, both on the track and on the road, which I think is more similar to my sport. I don’t know about the future. I think it’s all about motivation and ambition. I think I still have a lot to do and learn in both worlds – both in triathlon and athletics, and as long as I’m healthy and can keep doing it, I’d like to continue to be linked to both worlds.
- Q- Last question. You, who have had the opportunity to travel all over the world and train in different facilities: Is there much difference in those you are training in now, or do you think we can compete with other destinations in that area?
A- I think that without a shadow of a doubt we can compete with any place. We are seeing it. We had already been training here when I didn’t spend much time in Mallorca and let’s be honest… a facility like this track is not easy to find just anywhere. The weather we have here I think is the envy of the rest of Europe. The roads we have for cycling…, in the end we don’t value what we have. And the possibility of having 5 or 6 swimming pools within a very short radius allows you to waste very little time travelling, which both for us and for those who want to do it as a hobby and combine it with work, means that they can go to the pool without wasting a whole morning. So I think the conditions are there and you just have to genuinely want to do it.
- Q- Well, that’s all. Thank you very much for your time.
A- Many thanks to you.