Select your country

Shop online

Orca Community Blog

Middle distance interviews

The ironminds

June 1, 2021

“MENTAL STRENGTH IS THE INVISIBLE PART OF THE ATHLETE, WHICH MAKES YOU WIN OR LOSE A RACE”

When talking about mid-distance experts, the first names that come to mind are those of Emma Pallant, Imogen Simmond and Pablo Dapena. They are three of today's most outstanding triathletes with the most athletic achievements. We have chatted with these three Orca ambassadors who have a great season ahead of them, with their attention especially focused on the 70.3 events.

Question: What is a motivational quote or a phrase that encourages you?
Emma Pallant: My favorite is the one of "Train with the fight of the underdog, race with the confidence of a champion."
Imogen Simmonds: If you're hurting, someone else is hurting even more.
Pablo Dapena: Che Guevara's "Let's be realistic. Let's demand the impossible."

Q: How do you normally feel before the start of a race?
Emma Pallant:: A combination of excitement and nervous adrenaline. With an excess of energy, trying to stay calm and contain it and let it accumulate, but at the same time you just want to run and let it go, so it's a feeling of controlled patience.
Imogen Simmonds: Pretty nervous, but excited and anxious. I always tell myself it takes a little nervousness to get that adrenaline. However, you have to find a good balance because, if you are too nervous, suddenly, you can't eat or sleep well before the race.
Pablo Dapena: A little uncertain since you never know how your body is going to react in the competition.

Q: When you feel you can’t go any further, when you want to give up, what goes through your mind?
Emma Pallant: I just think of all the amazing people and sponsors who believe in me and I keep going for them.
Imogen Simmonds: I tell myself, “take 50 more steps and go from there” ...
Pablo Dapena: That giving up is not an option.

Q: What do your body and mind tell you?
Emma Pallant: When my body is really sore, I always tell it that there is a limit to the pain.
Imogen Simmonds: My body tells me "no," and that's when it's up to my mind to get over it.

Q: Is there any difference between mental and physical strength?
Emma Pallant: I think there are a lot of similarities between the two, you can train both. I think maybe mental strength is a little more stable, you have more control over it, it's not prone to injury, etc.
Imogen Simmonds: Physical strength is tangible, but mental strength is less visual, so it often goes unnoticed. But one without the other won't get you very far in the world of sports.
Pablo Dapena: Absolutely yes. Mental strength is the invisible part of the athlete, which makes you win or lose a race.

Q: What are your main goals this season?
Emma Pallant: I'm trying to be a member of the team for the Collins Cup. I would love to get on the podium in the 70.3 World Championship, and just do all the races the best I can, keep growing in strength and consistency as an athlete.
Imogen Simmonds: To run some races! But especially, try to qualify for Kona and be ready for some 70.3 in the second half of the year.
Pablo Dapena: The Almere ITU Long Distance World Championship on September 12 and the Challenge Ranking (Challenge Family Races).

At Orca we will closely follow the season of these three great triathletes. We hope that their mental and physical strength will prevail so that they can achieve all their goals.