Combining the three disciplines of swimming, cycling, and running, triathlon is a true test of fitness, athletic skill and endurance. On Thursday, 5 April former Aztec Jersey Tristar Ollie Turner will be competing in the 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) on the Gold Coast, Australia. We got to know a bit more about Ollie, and his journey from the Tristars squad to the Commonwealth Games.
Tell us about how you started with Aztec Jersey Tristars.
I started training with Tristars when I was nine years old. I originally wanted to be a footballer but my friend asked me to come along to Tristars training with him and I realised I wasn’t too bad at it. I enjoyed it a lot too, so it all started from there really. My first coaches were Andy Kemp and Dan Hawksworth and I learnt lots from them.
Could you have imagined yourself being in the Commonwealth Games when you were training as a junior triathlete?
When I was little, I couldn’t run to save my life – I was terrible! I’ve never been naturally talented but I put 110% into it and worked my hardest to get to where I am now. When I was younger I wouldn’t have thought much of it, but you have to set long-term goals, and being in the Commonwealth Games has been one of my long-term goals for the past three years. Whether it was realistic was another thing! I tend to set myself goals that aren’t very realistic but it’s always good to have something high to aim for.
How old were you when you left Tristars and began training with the adult club?
When you get to Youth you are usually 15-16 years old, and then you join the Academy, which Aztec also sponsor, so I was in this for two years and this year is the first year that I haven’t been in it.
What does your weekly training routine look like?
My training routine varies but anything from 2-6 hours a day and around 20-30 hours a week. Some days, I’ll be up at 05:30 for a two-hour swimming session, followed by a two-hour ride after I’ve had breakfast. When I’m not training, I sleep quite a lot, sometimes up to an extra two to three hours a day. But I do try to keep myself busy as well; recently I’ve been visiting schools like St. Michaels and FCJ to talk about hard work and determination and how you don’t have to be the best to take part, it doesn’t matter how big or small your goal is.
Do you think a growing Tristars group will encourage more kids to be interested in the sport?
Definitely, they run a novice triathlon for kids called the Bloodwise Triathlon which has 300-400 kids that take part every year, and numbers are always increasing which is really positive. When I was younger there was only 10 or 12 of us in the junior team and now there’s over 100 kids. It’s incredible to see the sport grow so much in the space of 10 years. Tristars have been a massive help, because they have links with major British triathletes. The coaches really helped put me out there so that I could get to where I am today. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own.
- What’s the best thing about being a triathlete? The fact you can eat whatever you want and not worry about getting fat! The amount you burn off from training always exceeds however much I eat, so it’s impossible to put on weight.
- Do you have any pre-competition traditions for good luck? I always have pasta the night before a race and I always drink at least three litres of water the day before.
- What is your moto? ‘Go hard or go home’ or ‘If not now, when?’
- What is your favourite song to train to? Questions – High Contrast
- If you could have dinner with one celebrity/athlete who would it be? Chris Hoy.
Aztec Jersey Tristars is a triathlon club for children aged 7-19 years, aiming to introduce the sport of triathlon as well as promote a fun and healthy lifestyle. You can find out the latest about the club on their Facebook page.
Tristars wishing Ollie good luck for the Commonwealth Games 2018.
Photo credit: Aztec Jersey Tristars.