Joe Tidy is a Sky News reporter, seasoned triathlete, and creator of The Tri Review website. He talks to Sundried about how he got into the wonderful world of triathlon.
Tell us about what you do.
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 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 have been your best and worst triathlons 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 which are only a couple of years old but are trying to change things up in a really interesting way. The Isoman is an ‘equalised’ triathlon 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!
What are your top 3 triathlon tips?
Train train 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 triathlon 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. 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 the 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 your 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?!