The reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion Tim Reed offers up some insights into his year as he looks to defend his title in Chattanooga.
July 26, 2017 | PERSONALITY|
TriathlonWorld.com: How has the world title changed your life? Does it open many doors?
Tim Reed: I feel like I was already very fortunate to have some great sponsors behind me enjoying relative security before winning the world title, so, while it did provide some opportunities, there was not a drastic change.
It has been pointed out a few times that when an athlete has a big win it changes the way they then approach their racing. Do you think your win has changed your style?
Certainly in the first part of the year, I struggled to stick to my race plan and perhaps raced overly aggressively at times paying the price in events like Ironman Australia. I can happily live with second, third or 10th, but not when I don't feel like I maximized my potential on the day.
What is annoying you about the sport right now?
Pros that think the sport owes them something.
Is Kona still the biggest test in the sport?
For long course guys, absolutely. However "in the sport" is a big reach. It would be hard to argue that Hawaii is a tougher test than winning an Olympic gold medal against the top short course racers.
With races like Super League taking shape, are you tempted to switch focus and look shorter? Would it need to have more "cement" around it to get you on?
Honestly, I wish I could do both. I think it's unrealistic for long course guys to think they can mix in Ironman training and the drastically different training to have half a chance in these super fast events. The only way to do this would be to have short course and Super League/Island House style racing at one time of the year and then Ironman at a very different time of the year which is not going to happen. Regardless, I would still love to be involved in more short course racing, particularly if non-drafting short course was to start to creep back into the event landscape. I feel that if we want to increase general participation in the sport then we need to bring back a lot more sprint and olympic distance events to make triathlon a more sustainable hobby for people with a family and a full time job.
Who are your biggest threats this year to go back to back?
I'm pretty bummed Lionel Sanders isn't racing. I'm not confident I can match that guy on many occasions but once or twice a year I want to put everything I could into it. Of course there is Sebi (Sebastian Kienle) and Ali Brownlee and a whole host of stars that are great candidates for the 2017 70.3 world title. One of the biggest threats that no-one really seems to be talking about enough is Sam Appleton. He's won five out of six starts this year and it's still July. He's not just winning, he's killing the rest of the field riding seven to eight minutes into former world champs like (Andy) Potts and guys that have podiumed in Kona like Tim O'Donnell. Ironman 70.3 Racine, was one 70.3 this year where I could really just do 70.3 training and, compared to early this year, finally some consistent uninterrupted training. I had a great race going a solo 44km/h with a 1:11 run. Appo out rode me by four minutes! The big guys always put out there absolute power number while the little guys always promote their watts per kilo. I can tell you, Appo's watts/kg are as high, if not higher than Lionel's and he has the potential to run within one minute of Lionel's run split. Plus, he's going to swim 2.5 to three minutes faster pretty much every race. Appo is in that great spot in his life where he has a wonderful opportunity that's there for the taking. He's in a very happy and relaxed place. The kid can eat, sleep, train and play X-box. Pre-kids, pre Ironman ambitions and onto a winning training recipe. If the pressure doesn't get to him I think he's going to be hard to beat. Of course, I'm biased but ask anyone else who's raced him this year and they'll tell you the same thing.
What have been the teachable moments for you in 2017?
I'll tell you at the end of the year if it works, however we are sticking to a similar plan to last year with even more emphasis on less early in the year. The first few months: more time with the family, ticking off other commitments etc. I find this really hard to do, but every year I got into peak fitness too early and I was not great in September or October. Mid year, I get stuck into some really serious training and take far more of the selfish professional athlete attitude required to do the excessive training and get the necessary recovery. The big difference to 2016 is instead of being in great shape from late July through to September we aim to hit peak fitness a month later so that I'm still holding form come October.
Can you ever see yourself at some of the more interesting races like Norseman or Roth?
Yes. 100 percent. There are so many challenges I would love to take on before I'm done with racing.
Do you watch the Tour de France much? How much next level are these guys?
Haha, such a weird question. Yes every morning while in the U.S and "heaps next level."