Mr. Timur Cerkez is the youngest Ironman in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). He is the current (18-24 category) record holder for the half ironman distance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After September, he will have a month or two of easy training followed by preparation for the 2020 Ironman European Championship where he also plans on beating his previous record of five hours.
He starts the interview by saying that his triathlon journey began early since he has a background in scuba diving so that meant a lot of swimming.
“Since I was also a chubby kid trying to lose weight I added running to my regular training,” Mr. Cerkez explains.
“Through diving I met one of our first ironman finishers and his stories just blew me away. I knew then that I would do the ironman,” he adds.
It took two years of stagnation for that idea to come in motion but it took guts to go straight to the hardest distance so even now he understands his hesitation.
When it comes to the special regime, diet and other things that are important for doing sports, Mr.Cerkez says that every person is different meaning they should have a different approach to their training goal. So, the training depends on the individual and his preferred distance.
“Smaller distances like the Olympic distance triathlon require more intense workout while the Ironman is composed of long will-crushing workouts,” he explains.
“I think the importance of nutrition depends on the needs of the individual. If you want better results you will need to master nutrition but for those casual racers, it’s all about doing what you like and enjoying the process (especially the eating process),” Mr.Cerkez adds.
His current plan puts him at 2 workouts per day and 6 training days a week so 12-ish hours. The catch is that he truly enjoys what he does so it becomes easy after some time.
When it comes to his plans for the next five years, Mr. Cerkez says he does not actually think about the future too much since thing often go as we want them to.
“I would like to be able to get more people into this sport and healthy lifestyles in general. This country has so much untapped potential when it comes to sports because people are used to pushing through when it gets hard so I believe it would be a shame to throw it away. As for myself, in five years I hope to still be in this amazing sport,” he explains.
For the end of the interview, Mr.Cerkez gives advice that triathlon is all about individualism when it comes to races. To be better persons should read a lot and listen to those with more experience but also understand their body and its needs. What works with some athletes might not work for others.
“But also, just because it’s an individualist sport, it doesn’t mean you should spent all the time alone, use the training period to meet other athletes and get more experience. Last comment is that with other people it’s easy to get lost in all the expensive gear so I suggest those starting out should just aim to have fun and enjoy the sport,” Mr. Cerkez concludes.
Interview by Zejna Yesilyurt