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What does your standard training week involve?
My weekly training involves getting up at 4:30am six days a week and heading to the pool where I do swim training under the guidance of my coach Michael King. It also involves heading to the beach every afternoon where I complete 3 ski paddle sessions, 3 board paddle session, and 2 ironman sessions over the week. Along with that I also do 5 gym sessions where I focus on both upper and lower body strength exercises.
Where is your favourite place to train?
I’m so lucky that my training ground is the beach. It’s my favourite place to be, not only for training but in general too. I grew up by the beach so have always had a real appreciation and respect for the ocean. I love that every day I get to go down and get out in the ocean as part of my job. It’s always different, no two days are ever the same so it keeps it interesting and exciting. I never really know what it’s going to be like, so I’m always eager to get down and get out there and be with nature.
What is your favourite 2XU garment? When do you use it and why?
Long Sleeve Elite Compression Top - I don’t take this thing off in winter. It’s great for training on the water and is so comfortable. It does the job of keeping my muscles warm allowing me to train at my best without having to worry about the chill factor and it’s also awesome for recovery after any session.
What is your favourite training accessory?
Omega wave. It helps keep me in tune with my body and helps regulate the stress I put it through in training. It provides me with a little guidance on how ready my body is for every session and helps indicate how hard and far I should push myself.
What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?
Being injured and having to miss out on doing what I love. I had a rocky year and got hit pretty hard with illness and injury and as a result had to withdraw from racing in the Kelloggs Nutri Grain Ironman Series. This is my main event and I really pushed myself to be ready for it after overcoming illness when my body just wasn’t ready. As a result I only made myself sicker, and made the road to recovery a lot longer. I was forced to have time off, which I now see was a bit of a blessing as, as a result I have changed a lot in my life for the better. I’ve made new partnerships with professionals who have really helped me get back, changed my diet, my way of thinking, and who have really made me more aware of my own body and mind which is going to be nothing but beneficial to my career as an athlete.
What’s the most common training mistake you see on the circuit? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?
It’s like in any sport, you have to get the basics right before you go try and win races. I’ve learnt so much about focusing on the little things, and perfecting them in training in order to have a smooth and successful race on the day. I see so many young guys super eager to get out there and win, that they forget the basics of what we train for and make small but critical mistakes that end up costing them the race.
What motivates you to train and race harder?
I’ve always had my own in-built passion and love for competing which fueled me at a young age and made me very competitive. Now, as I’m older I look back on all the people who have helped me get to where I am today and their support and sacrifice motivates me to get up and do it not only for myself but also for them. I want to succeed for them.
Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:
Again I believe this is all about getting the basics right and not getting too carried away with what everyone else is doing. I focus on eating lots of the most nutrient rich, natural, organic products and stock my body up with these ready for race day. I also ensure I am keeping my body hydrated, drinking plenty of water and fruit juices to again make sure I am getting as many nutrients in as possible.
How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?
My training regime is pretty full-on so I have gotten used to making sacrifices to follow my dream. I understand that life is all about balance so I find it really important to get out and do things I enjoy in my spare time rather than getting too consumed by thoughts, racing and training. When I have time off, I definitely make the most of it and fill it up doing the things I love, and spending as much time as possible with the important people in my life. I’m still learning to completely ‘switch off’ and just embrace the present situations in order to attain that perfect balance.
What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful (either for training or competition)?
I’ve recently changed my diet pretty dramatically, and now I focus very heavily on only consuming natural, organic products, which means my body shouldn’t require much extra. In terms of supplements, i only take a few vitamins daily which all work together with my diet to help me out with training and recovery.
Best and worst thing about being a professional athlete:
I absolutely love what I do. I am so lucky, getting to train at the beach, compete in the ocean, keep fit and healthy - all as part of my job. It’s taken me to some pretty cool places and introduced me to amazing people which has opened endless doors in my life. It’s hard to say that any of it is bad but the only thing I can think of is, I guess the fact that I’m always ‘on’ thinking about what I’m eating, how I’m feeling, getting enough sleep and all those little things that really can make a big difference to my performance.
In five years time, I'll be:
Still racing, still giving it all I’ve got, and hopefully still keeping up with the best.