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Professional Endurance Athlete
What does your standard training week involve?
Between 20-30 hours of mixed training, dependent on what events I have on the schedule. My disciplines range across mountain biking, time trial cycling, swimming, kayaking, off-road and on-road running. I also include yoga, massage and strength training in my schedule.
Where is your favorite place to train?
What is your favorite 2XU garment? When do you use it and why?
Compression socks: I use these for training, racing especially for long endurance events. I have had problems with my calves in the past and cramping and these socks have taken away these issues for me.
What is your favourite training accessory?
My watch: the Suunto Ambit 3.
What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?
Racing in my first stage race in Mongolia with Richard and Elina Ussher and Stu Lynch. This was the darkest spot of my racing career as I felt out of my depth and at my limit for most of the 4 day race. I learnt a lot about how far my body and mind is capable of going at a young age. Which as set me up for racing harder and stronger and pushing the limits of what I am capable of.
What’s the most common training mistake you see on the circuit? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?
Undertraining/underpreparing for an event. Solution: Train harder. Over-training is a big subject out there but the hard yards are pretty effective for making improvements and preparing you for race day. My training adopts the philosophy of intensity, rather than volume. It works for me, but everyone is different. But if you don’t keep the body guessing, then it tends to get complacent and your times don’t seem to change much.
What motivates you to train and race harder?
Competition, beating people! I really enjoy racing. I like getting to know the people I am racing against and working out how to beat them. This will always motivate me.
Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:
I try to eat as clean as I can leading into a race. Avoiding processed food and focusing on protein, veggies, fruit etc. Quite often this doesn’t always work out especially when you are racing in China, South America or anywhere where you have to fly. In these situations I just roll with the punches and eat as best I can. I try not to over-eat and I focus on my hydration using electrolytes. I also use natural supplementation to reduce inflammation and to help my muscles repair whilst travelling.
How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?
We have two children and we travel together as a family to races most of the time. This year we have been in the USA and Canada for 5months. My wife likes to stay fit too and my son is really into mountain biking and climbing. Our two year old gets dragged up mountains for fun. We spend a lot of time outside of training as a family and we build my training into the family schedule as much as possible. My life is purely family and training or racing. There is no time for anything else but I am lucky because my wife manages all the behind the scenes work that goes into making what I do possible. We have a great team.
What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful (either for training or competition)?
I take green-tea (strong anti-oxidant), liquid B vitamins for energy, turmeric for inflammation, probiotics and glutamine to keep my gut healthy Magnesium for muscle recovery and protein powder for muscle repair. I also take electrolytes and minerals daily.
Best and worst thing about being a professional athlete:
Best thing is winning! Worst thing is being in a lot of pain a lot of the time.
In five years time, I'll be:
I’m 29 years old. I have been racing pretty hard for 3 years. I think I have done over 45 major events in this time. I race more than most people so I hope I am not in a wheel chair in 5 years’ time. My goals for next 5 years include becoming XTERRA World Champ, ITU World Cross Tri Champion and the World Half Ironman champion. Big goals but I will give them a good crack. I don’t plan much more than 1 year in advance as our life changes all the time and every year we do things we never would have dreamed of. So I just hope that whatever comes is a good surprise.