Ivan Risti, from pool swimming to Triathlon champion!
In the last interview that our team carried out, we discovered Ivan Risti, Davide Camicioli's athletic trainer; hence, we decided to interview him and get to know him better.
How did you and Davide Camicioli meet?
What a difficult question!
We got to know each other through mutual acquaintances. We were both orbiting in the same sporting circles, like the DDS of Settimo Milanese.
Initially he relied on me, because he had to improve his swimming a little, having started his first Triathlon competitions.
From then on we got to know each other better and he relied on me for the rest as well.
Davide told us that in the event that he has work commitments that do not allow him to train, you can change the training schedule and adapt it. How do you take care of his workouts?
Is simple. Except that in general I do this with many people; therefore, I got used to their needs too. What's the point?
Triathlon is quite complicated, putting together three or more disciplines, considering that all of these characters, including Davide, have a life that is often quite hectic for a thousand commitments that may arrive at the last minute, you have to be a bit available.
Usually either they send me a message or through the platform we use, I change the program of the day.
The advantage is that you can still make some changes to the program because you can alternate different disciplines with triathlon, while for other sports you may have to invent from scrap.
One day you can't cycle you can run, one day you can't swim you can cycle. In short, the alternatives are always there, so you can also change the program.
Do you only have triathletes?
Yes, I mainly train triathletes.
I am known in the world of triathlon. And this then led me to train many, in recent years more and more. Mainly because I did Ironman, and this made me get to know many athletes who have as their ultimate goal the participation in this race.
What sports have you practiced in these 37 years?
I practiced swimming seriously from the age of 6/7, and at the age of 8 I joined the team. I started in Merate, in the province of Lecco, at the time it was the only one in the area that had a structured team.
From there I only swam until I was about 20, then I moved on to triathlon.
The one who approached me to this sport was Gianpaolo Sala, he helped me a lot at the beginning to enter the world of triathlon. He was a bit of inspiration to get started.
I was already good at running, along with the classic school competitions.
I started triathlon at 22, practically 20 years of triathlon this year, considering that I did my first race in 2002.
In all these years, what have your experiences been like as a professional athlete?
In swimming I knew more or less the times that the first ones did, even if in swimming time is not everything, you have to know how to stay in the water. In the sense that swimming in open water like in triathlon is not like swimming in a pool and it is not all linear, there are variables that influence. That is, those who swim hard in the pool do not necessarily swim in open water as well.
My mastery of the element was then a starting point to have confidence in facing the first races, where you say "Who knows, these pass under me and I make you laugh."
Instead I knew that in the first fraction anyway I was a strong point. And from there this allowed me to compare myself almost immediately with the best in Italy in the space of a couple of years.
Then I was called up for the national team. Fascinating to end up in this world out of nowhere. Because since 2001 I have never done a triathlon, not even seen, and then in 2005 I was in the national team and in 2007 I won the absolute Italian triathlon title. Then the second part of my career was a bit longer, because I got closer to long distances; therefore, at half Ironman first then at Ironman and there let's say that I enjoyed competing but they are also slightly different challenges from a physical and mental point of view, so you need even more time.
While the first years of my career, short distances, I threw myself in, I exploited the qualities of being still young, running strong, having a little desire and therefore I was also able to quickly bring home some good results, too. unexpected.
But then the second part of my career was an even more fascinating journey, I discovered the challenge against ourselves.
Which race do you have a good memory of?
There are many, but the one I remember most is the first ever, a sprint triathlon in Lecco in 2002.
I threw myself.
The guy I mentioned earlier, Gianpaolo, lent me his racing bike and I did the first race without ever having cycled on a racing bike or in short, not seriously.
And then again in Lecco, when I won the Italian title, because I was competing for the Lecco triathlon team, which was the first team to sign me up.
Having won the race organized by my club, in addition to the fact that it was the same race in which I made my debut, made me feel at home, making me find old emotions.
I saw that your wife, Elena, is also an athlete. What is the life of two sportsmen who may be raising two future athletes?
It is certainly fascinating to live with an athlete because we understand each other much easier. Now with the girls then the need to train, to carve out the time to train, they try to give each other a hand, it is not easy but even that is more understandable if you have a person next to you who understands the need to play sports and train. Moreover, it is easy to share because in any case sport, especially at a high level, teaches you a mentality, at least it taught me, also to have a mentality and face daily life or professional challenges that helps you a lot. Having a person next to you who has gone through the same experience probably puts a bit on par on this. In addition to being an athlete, Elena also helped me a lot on the nutritional aspect. That was a key element in extending the career as an athlete. It is not trivial to manage to never have an injury or anything serious. I have seen many athletes stop because in the end they ran out because they managed badly, perhaps, training or many other aspects. Elena taught me just that, in addition to the other coaches and people around me, she taught me a lot of things that have helped me manage these superhuman Ironman efforts in recent years.
In short, in addition to being a support as a wife ... private life, working life, you support each other because you are able to coordinate.
Yes, but look, I give her a hand now and in any case in the life of a couple we also help each other simply with advice. We fit together well from a professional point of view also because working both in the world of sport is perhaps easier.
Are you currently training for further competitions?
The pandemic stopped me a bit. Last year I did a few races because I wanted a little to get back to savoring the races. In 2020 I hadn't done any because there was no way. There had been a few races in September / October but then it didn't make much sense for me to compete a bit like that. Now I would like to go back to racing but maybe in the second half of the season. For now I have done some running races. I will now do a race at the Monza Montevecchia which is a couple race, a bit like the Monza Resegone which is more famous as a race and is made up of three.
For now I have dedicated myself more to the coach side. I continue to train. For some years we have been organizing training camps where Davide has also come.
What do these triathlon camps consist of? Can all athletes participate or only the athletes you follow?
Training camps have always been done. Triathlon as a sport needs to find moments of aggregation because many train individually, especially amateurs, maybe they are working people. You may train with a swimming group, but many train alone even when they swim. These are also moments of aggregation that various teams organize them. In our case, I have been organizing them for many years with Daniel Fontana, with whom we have shared many years of competitions and training. He and I started organizing them in the summer, because we went to train in the mountains, in the cool, and we started a couple of years like this for fun with friends and from there we thought about creating a group. Before it was "train with us, we go out, follow us", the first year. Then it became "Ok, we organize the camp in such a way that whoever wants to come and we make it a moment that lasts a week / 10 days, where we coach by training with them." Because we go out on the bike with them, we ride with them, but we coach.
It has evolved like all things and now we organize 2 in the summer and 2 in the spring.
Practically for a couple of years we have been part of this group called SWATT which was born from the bike but now also has the triathlon. We organize the cycling camp with them. We organized it last year in Livigno.
In Livigno we do two camps, only one of bikes with this group. Last year we did the first and it was a good success, we had more than 30 people doing this camp. Now we have repeated it in the spring in Tuscany, another place where we have been going to training camps for many years. In the same way we have continued to do triathlon camps which are born even earlier as far as we are concerned. Now we did the camp at the end of March, the camp at the beginning of April, we did the triathlon camp also there in Poggio All’Agnello which is a resort near Piombino, in the Gulf of Baratti. And we have been doing it there for many years also with our team.
For us it is a way of taking a vacation by training and therefore we bring about thirty people to swim, pedal and run during these 10 days in Livigno.
We do this camp where we try to experience it as triathlon must have been experienced at an amateur level, but also making them feel a little like professionals for those days because in any case they train twice as much as they train at home because you are there to do just that. You pay us to come there to sleep, eat and train. You don't have to do anything else. There are those who prepare food for you, there is the hotel that offers you a thousand services, if you want they can also clean your bike, wash your clothes. So you don't have to do anything but train.
There are also moments of confrontation between amateurs and those who practice this sport as a professional.
All these exchanges that exist in everyday life teach you a lot if you want to improve your sporting activity.
On your site there is DDS triathlon team ...
I was registered in DDS and I trained in DDS, I also collaborated with them as a team. They are a historical company, especially of swimming, which is in Settimo Milanese, which is the company of Luca Sacchi, who is a Rai commentator on swimming. I have been there for many years. Luca is our president. Now I have been a member of this team here called SWATT for a couple of years.
And after sending him our box with our products, we just have to wish him good luck for his future races from all our team!
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