Sundried discover how Rob Osborne balances his triathlon training, with a full time job and being a father of three - and twins as well!
Somehow, “I don’t have time” doesn’t seem like a valid excuse anymore, does it?
How did you get into triathlons?
I used to swim competitively until the age of 11 and did track athletics (400m hurdles) at University. For some time I had always fancied doing a triathlon. The impetus I needed was when my age 90 year old granny told me I was looking 'a bit porky' at a family reunion and that I needed to lose some weight. That evening I went straight home and entered the Thames Turbo Sprint Triathlon. I dabbled on and off for several years getting OK results until I qualified for the GB Age group team in 2012 and I’ve improved a lot since then, I've really just focused on sprint triathlons.
How do you balance a full-time job, three kids and keeping competing?
I try and get a lot of my training done whilst the girls are sleeping or incorporate as part of the work commute. I do most of my cycling on the Turbo trainer (I use Zwift which I absolutely love). I try and choose some local events, where the family can come and watch too (traffic free races generally have a more sociable start time). Work is busy too and can be manic so I'll often be working in the evening after the kids have gone to bed or at weekends. One of the things I don't balance very well is sleep. I typically get about 5-6 hours - it would definitely help me if I could get more than that!
What’s your top tip for other triathletes?
It's a cliche but have fun and don't take yourself too seriously! It's important not to lose perspective after all triathlon is a hobby (I may have been guilty of this once or twice before a big event). Also don't try and smash every session. Easy workouts and rest are as important as a smashfest.
What has been your biggest fitness challenge to date?
I did the Oxfam trailwalker event in 2006 - 100km in 24 hrs, however I think the hardest event I've done is my first (and only) marathon (Zurich in 2008). I'm more of a fast twitch athlete and I properly hit the wall with 10km to go and it was not pretty!
What is your proudest fitness achievement?
Last year I won the British age group sprint triathlon championships (40-44) which is my proudest achievement. I got silver in the AG European champs in 2012 and 2013 .However, perhaps my best performance despite not getting on the podium was in the world champs in London in 2013. It was a split wave race. I won my wave but finished 4th overall in my AG when 3 guys in the other wave recorded a slightly faster time.
Have you ever fallen off the bandwagon?
Fitness is such a dynamic concept - it never stays the same. In the past few years I've been reasonably consistent but have always allowed myself some downtime between seasons or big events. In 2013 after the World champs I found it really hard to pick up the motivation to train to the level I had been in the previous months so I did have a dip for a few months. I find the best way to get back on track is to enter an event or 2 which gives the motivation and the urgency to train. Without a fixed goal to aim for my training sessions are much less focused.
What’s your next event and how are you preparing for it?
I'm doing the London City mile next weekend which should be fun. It's local and free to enter! I've also entered for the Leeds Castle Sprint triathlon which is also the English National championships. I recently did the European masters swimming and then had a family holiday for a week, so I think my main focus for the next week or so is to build back some endurance and strength on the bike which has been a bit neglected. Ideally I'd like to recce the course beforehand but I don't think I will get a chance - the run course looks scarily hilly!