Name: James Thorp
Club: Performance Triathlon Coaching
How many years in triathlon: 4
Age Category: Professional
Occupation: Tennis Coach
What inspired you to take up triathlon?
Triathlon is something I always wanted to get into but never made the jump, instead focussing on other sports. I look back at that decision with mixed feelings. Given it was running to increase my fitness for tennis that eventually led me to triathlon I can't be too disappointed it took me so long to find triathlon. Seeing the increase in my general health when I started endurance sports sparked my interest, the ability to push myself towards something great inspired me to give triathlon a real shot.
What is your favourite training session?
The PTC group does a ride/run brick workout every Thursday morning in the warmer months. This workout started as my least favourite after crashing and taking down a teammate during my first Thursday morning but has since become my favourite. It is great race simulation coming in and out of transition against your mates. Seeing the sunrise over Telstra Tower and the arboretum is an added bonus.
What is the toughest challenge you have had to face in life and how did you overcome it?
After packing up my life and selling the majority of my possessions I moved to France to race Grand Prix triathlon in 2015 only to break my foot in the swim of the first race of the season. Having all my life in my bags and not being able to come home to guarantee surgery meant I was left in a cast to see if the bone healed by itself. I tried sitting still for a day but decided to pack a small backpack, pick up my crutches and spend the money I'd saved for triathlon to travel around Europe. It was tough for a lot of people to understand what I was doing but we all overcome life's challenges differently. I try to view challenges as opportunities both in and out of triathlon
What advice would you give to a first time triathlete?
Enjoy your training. Race day is the parade in which you get to celebrate the training you have done but 99% of your time in triathlon is spent training. If you find yourself struggling to enjoy your training it Iis probably time to mix it up a little.
What do you love about triathlon the most?
Passion and drive are two of the most attractive features to me. There is no place these two qualities are more evident than in triathlon. It was easy for me to fall in love with triathlon being surrounded by people trying to better themselves day in, day out.
Who do you think is the most influential person in the world and why?
This is a tough question. I feel that everyone is the most influential person in their own world. I think a lot of people fail to realise this and often put life down to chance. Although I do believe the decisions you make in life are half chance, I also believe you have an abundance of power over the path you take in life.
What is unique about triathlon that is different to any other sport?
A couple of things stand out. Part of the reason I love triathlon is that the majority of success comes from hard work and discipline. Outside of injuries and a certain level of talent, the athlete that works the hardest and is the most dedicated is usually the most successful. This is not the case in a lot of sports. In triathlon I can be at peace if I get beaten because I know I have given 100% and if someone managed to beat me to the line they must have put in a tremendous amount of work to get there.
If you could change something about triathlon, what would you do?
I would increase the amount of media attention triathlon gets in a bid to make it a more mainstream sport. I often get frustrated at athletes, particularly pro triathletes that don't see this as an important thing for our sport.
If you found yourself on a deserted island, what are the five most important things you would want with you?
- Am I allowed a helicopter?
- My physio. Knowing me I will do some kind of injury trying to get off the island.
- My running shoes
- Bug spray
- A lot of food
1. Movie – The Shawshank Redemption
2. Food – Salmon.
3. Race – Miami 70.3
4. Athlete – Any of my PTC teammates
5. Place to train – Canberra!! (Don't underestimate how good our city is for training!)