Do you hate training? No worries, sometimes so do the experts! Joe Tidy Sky News reporter, seasoned triathlete and creator of The Tri Review website, tells us how he got into the wonderful world of triathlon.
Tell us about what you do? Why is it people may recognise your face Joe?
I’m a reporter on Sky News and I present triathlon coverage on Sky Sports and Channel 4 too. I also used to present and report on CBBC Newsround before doing “grown up news!”. I also blog and vlog on triathlon on my site trireview.co.uk.
How did you get into triathlon training?
I got into it by mistake really. I did marathons and got really bored of the monotonous training (running, running and more running!) so I started mixing it up with biking and swimming and thought I’d give a triathlon a go. I’ve never looked back!
How often do you compete?
I’ve been racing about 3 times a year since 2010.
We’ve read you hate tri training, how do you motivate yourself to train?
I do! Although I do love the feeling at the end of a long session and after a shower. What’s better than a great big slice of cake if you’ve earned it?! I motivate myself out of a fear of being rubbish in races and vanity – got to keep the dad bod at bay!
What gave you the idea to create tri review?
I had the idea for tri review whilst lying poolside in our hotel in Abu Dhabi a day after racing the Abu Dhabi triathlon. I had such a good time and really wanted to share the experience. I also think that races can be quite expensive and a big commitment so it’s good to have a community of endurance athletes who can give people the low-down before they book a race. There are about 30 people on the site who review races. Although I’m always looking for more!
Where has been your best and worst tri’s and did the tri review community agree with you?
I think the big ones are often the best. The likes of Challenge Roth and Ironman Bolton don’t get their reputations for being world class easily. Then there are the smaller races like Isoman – only a couple of years old that are trying to change things up in a really interesting way – this one is an ‘equalised’ tri with more balanced distances in each discipline. There are so many races popping up all over the place. I just wish I could get around to racing them all! There are some races that could do with some work. Naming no names (check the site!) but some organisers are either out of their depth or cutting costs and it shows on the weekend.
What are your top 3 tri tips:
Train, train and train! Although I can’t really say that can I as a self-confessed hater of training! So I would say: be consistent in your training, hang back for clear water in the swim and make sure you fuel up on the bike.
Why do you think tri has become so popular in the last year? Have you noticed an increase on your site?
Yes definitely, the site interest has gone up but I actually think the sport could be reaching a plateau in the UK. I hear that race organisers are not seeing huge increases in numbers generally but that could also be because there are so many more options for triathletes now. The Brownlee Brothers can take a lot of credit for the huge uptake in the last 5 years or so as they became so famous and did amazing things. I also think the popularity is down to the cycling revolution as more cyclists usually mean more triathletes as they come to their senses and take up multisport!
What has been your best fitness related report and why?
I once completed the Blenheim Palace Triathlon for a TV report for BBC Oxford and it went horribly and hilariously wrong. I was being followed by a cameraman and stopping every now and then for updates to camera. When I got into the second transition after the bike I was amazed to see I was the first biker back. “I’m amazing!” I thought and pretty much said to the camera before running off and smashing my wildest dreams for what was one of my first triathlons. It wasn’t until I got to the end that I realised I’d missed an entire lap of the bike course! What a muppet.
What’s you next fitness challenge?
I’ve done 2 races this year and have concentrated on improving my kayaking skills for a coast-to-coast multi-sport challenge next year. Swimming, cycling, running with some paddling thrown into the mix too – what am I thinking?!