Tell us about your first triathlon?
Way back in the 80s (1980s Thorso not 1880s) it was in Bondi and the swim was in the ocean. It was onshore winds and about 4-foot surf, you would not hold one in those conditions nowadays. I was first out of the swim and then on the bike and headed towards Malabar. No road closures, no traffic marshals or green lights it was like driving in an Asian city and do your best at the intersections. I had no idea where I was going and waited until Greg Reddan caught up to me (he was from Freshie Surf Club and finished 7th in Kona in 1982 and was the first Aussie to finish Kona). I followed him as best I could and then when other cyclists caught me I followed them till I was dropped. I got off the bike and did the run and was passed by more people. I liked it so much it was on my bucket list after I did surf Ironman’s and the Channel.
What is your favourite triathlon event?
This is split between Club Champs and Husky. Some might say my fav would be an Ironman but I like the team spirit and social side of these races, you get to see your club mates and friends. We are all have different abilities and time schedules so it’s not always possible to train together (there’s not too many WTC members on the road at 3am).
What is your favourite training session, and what does it help to achieve?
Swimming: 3 rounds of 3x300 on 4.30 plus 4x50 on 60 recovery -Distance Per Stroke
Why: helps your endurance strength and range of movement
Bike: Leading up to an Ironman
Weekday- 4 x 15 mins FTP with 5 mins recovery
Weekend- 160km ride.
Why: ride at an honest consistent wattage with pressure on the pedals for the whole ride with HR under 130bpm. Shows you have the endurance strength which is what you need after the bike in an iron with the run still to come (no one can help you on the run leg)
6 x 1km FTP 60 sec recovery
Hill sess 6 x 90 sec up down Recovery, 6 x 60 sec up down Recovery, 6 x 30 sec up down recovery. All at the same pace, controlled breathing and form
Why- There’s no real spiking in an iron run leg.
What is the highlight of your triathlon journey?
Where do I start, I came from a surf ironman back ground (Uncle Toby’s Iron Series) where we did everything together so I really cherish the memories of the races where we have been travelling and rooming together with people from the club, people like Hooky, Neil McNeil (yep that’s his name), Smithy, Bev and Thorso, Tracey Spindler, Pete Walker and the Coffs Drive, Pete Jacobs etc. Rooming with Hooky in Cairns and he is asking should he go to the hospital as he had a blister on his foot, he was serious. I still remember having Pizzas at Thorso’s place after Forster Ironman 20 years ago, or going into Rob and Carmel’s unit on the morning of a Canberra Half Iron and having a bath to warm my legs up. Hooky’s and my place didn’t have one.
Some would say the highlight would be the 70.3 Worlds in 2016 or Kona, that may be with regards to a result but to me it was in 2005 at Forster where I had to walk the run due to a torn disc, in 2004 I had run a 3.18 on a hilly course but ended up doing 7.10 in 2005. Being out on that course for an extra 3-4 hours I saw a different side to the “race”. For some people, this would be the biggest sorting thing that they would do. I was ok physically (jury is still out on the mental side of things) but I wasn’t allowed to run so I walked. I helped people out of gutters and encouraged them to finish and to worry about what “went wrong “after the event. I helped 9 people finish that day/night. Up until then I never really saw the people after 10 hours as I would be having my own issues after finishing an iron race. It really hit home that this was a huge achievement for these people.
Why do you love being a member of Warringah?
Well I could say it’s because I can hassle Thorso on the group Facebook page or that I can yell out to Smithy when I am riding past his place in the early hours, but to be honest, you get to meet a lot of like similar people that are drawn to the sport and they are at various stages of their lives and they train and race and get it done “with what they have got”.
What is the best advice you can give to other athletes?
Be realistic. It takes time “to improve” all components of each leg (again be realistic).
I see so many people training SO hard but they have no way of doing it in a race.
Something I wish I knew when I first started in this sport.
That I would have a reminder of Thorso on my key ring in my shorts for most of the day
What are your best racing tips?
Train at the correct intensities (don’t redline it)
Have confidence in your ability and training
It’s too easy to go toooooo hard on the bike, there’s still a run leg to go (Tri = 3 )