Seneca once said, "luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity". These quotes came to my mind as soon as I finished interviewing Fedi Fianto (@gapaitinggi). He is a sports endurance activist who has experience doing various crazy races, such as being the first Indonesian to take part in the North Pole Marathon FWD in 2018. Besides that, he just finished the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon in Norway. These are just some of his achievements in the world of Marathon, Triathlon, and Ironman.
Actually, I wanted to call him an athlete, but he wasn't one of them. He is an ordinary human being who does more than anyone else. Not only a tough person, but he is also quite good at attracting sponsors to fund the race he joined. In this article, Fedi will also share tips on how to become a sponsored athlete. he also shares his opinion on the safety of wearing a mask while exercising.
For all of you who want to know how to get a sponsor for a marathon or other extreme sport, you should read our full interview with Fedi. Check this out!
"Triathlon for me is swimming in the open sea with the bonus of biking and running."
RDPNT: Hi Fedi, it's an honor for us to have you in our Stories Time. First question, what makes you love extreme sports, like Marathon, Ironman, or Triathlons?
Fedi: Actually, it is more accurate to call it, endurance sports because what I do is not so extreme. I have always exercised since I was a kid, ranging from swimming, running, climbing mountains, to rock climbing. I used to run around Sabuga Bandung by myself alone. The enthusiasm for running was not as crowded as it is now.
RDPNT: Marathon might be well known to Indonesians, what about Triathlon?
Fedi: Triathlon is fairly new in Indonesia, maybe it started about 10 years ago in Bali. At that time, the participants mostly foreigners and expatriates than locals. From then on, I started routinely following the Triathlon.
The main obstacle of marathoners who follow Triathlon is swimming in the open sea. Meanwhile, as a divemaster, I really like that. Triathlon for me is swimming in the open sea with the bonus of biking and running.
RDPNT: To pursue endurance sports requires high preparation and dedication, starting from the time, energy, and cost. How do you do it while being productive in business?
Fedi: I have my own business, so I can be more flexible in terms of exercise time, but that does not mean easy. Triathlon or Ironman requires six months of training. We trained twice a day, in the morning and afternoon, for six months.
If we want to exceed our personal best time, the training is very helpful. Because I also have to work during the day, I reduce the training volume. Of course, this affected the result.
Building good endurance takes a long time. Serious training will really help you during the race. It's better to be tortured during training than when you're racing.
"Choose a training buddy that is equivalent to yours in terms of speed, stamina level, and race goals."
RDPNT: How do you overcome boredom when practicing?
Fedi: Choose a training buddy that is equivalent to yours in terms of speed, stamina level, and race goals. However, usually, if you are near the race deadline, you will be motivated to practice even if alone.
For example, to run a marathon, you must reach the peak of training in 2-3 weeks before race day by running 35 kilometers. If you get through it, the race day will pass easily. However, if it fails, get ready to suffer during the race.
RDPNT: Which race was the most memorable for you?
Fedi: North Pole FWD 2018. Running at the north pole gives me a lot of experience. It's great to be able to run in a snow-covered land with the sun always there at 8 o'clock and seawater right under our feet.
Race preparation is also unique. Some local soldiers do skydiving complete with their weapons to anticipate polar bears when landing. Then, they prepare a special runway for participants. Luckily I wasn't asked for skydiving either. I might land in the wrong position. Hahaha.
RDPNT: When you joined the race, you were funded by a sponsor, right?
Fedi: Yes, of course. Some are funded by sponsors, but some are from my private money.
RDPNT: Are there any tips for getting sponsors?
Fedi: The best is getting sponsors from parents. Hahaha. Jokes.
There are three main factors that you must pay attention to. First, the sponsor wants to get a fair exposure in return. So you have to be active in various communities. In addition, the community also helps you to get a channel to the sponsors.
Second, you have to adjust to the company's campaign. Don't just send a proposal because it will waste your time. You should do enough research first, then adjust your activities to the program being held out by the company. Make sure you can represent their products.
The third and biggest factor is luck. You have to keep trying it over and over again.
"So you have to be active in various communities. In addition, the community also helps you to get a channel to the sponsors."
RDPNT: How do you keep your body fit in a pandemic situation like this?
Fedi: I reduced the volume of training. This pandemic gave my body time to recover. After the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon in Norway, participants are required to have a total rest for 6 months. During recovery, all the wounds on my body seemed to disappear. So far, I've only run about 5 km.
RDPNT: By the way, what do you think about using a mask during exercise?
Fedi: The association of sports specialist doctors has made a statement that exercise using masks is safe. I have also been cycling using a mask since one year ago.
We must know the process of spreading the virus first. The main thing that should be worked on is actually maintaining a safe distance between people. However, the problem in Jakarta is too dense, so you should wear a mask to prevent transmission.
RDPNT: WHO gave a statement not to exercise using a mask, what do you think?
Fedi: WHO issued a statement that was general for all countries, ages, genders, and activities. We must define the notion of the sport first. In other countries, the so-called sports are climbing, swimming, soccer, basketball, and so on. In Indonesia, a leisurely stroll when the car-free day is also called sports. This cannot be compared.
RDPNT: However, does mask use affect the amount of oxygen we take?
Fedi: I learned this from diving. Oxygen in the air is only about 20%, while nitrogen is around 70% and followed by other gases. In fact, humans breathe oxygen about 4 liters per minute. Of that amount, only about 4 percent is bound by the lungs. So not all of them are used. Not right if we are afraid of running out of oxygen when using a mask.
RDPNT: Then, what actually happened? Why do we have difficulty breathing when exercising with a mask?
Fedi: The mask makes CO2 gas trapped inside the mask. So, the more we panic and hyperventilate, we cannot take oxygen optimally.
Therefore, what must be trained is to increase the resistance of the CO2 threshold in our body. You do this by regularly breathing in and breathing out slowly or we often call it deep breathing. This will increase the amount of oxygen we bind to the lungs. Normal people take about 4%, while trained people can be 6-9%.
"I do this endurance sport while traveling. Because usually Triathlon races are held in remote and very good places."
RDPNT: Thank you for the explanation, Fedi, we learned something today. Last question, when will you stop doing this endurance exercise?
Fedi: I really enjoyed it. Maybe everyone's journey is different, there are those who pursue achievement and who have fun. I do this endurance sport while traveling. Because usually Triathlon races are held in remote and very good places. I aspire to compete in the Sahara Desert, Morocco. Wish me luck.
This is a very inspiring interview experience with a very humble and funny person. After talking with Fedi Fianto, it was difficult to stay in bed and be lazy. So many beautiful places and crazy things we can do for a lifetime. The only way is to prepare carefully while waiting for the opportunity to come. Make your own luck, buddy!