2006 ITU World Champion Tim Don kicks off his 2010 campaign at the Dextro energy Triathlon ITU World Championships in Seoul this weekend. We caught up with Tim to find out how his preparations have been going and what he expects from this season.
This is your first World Championship race of the year – how are you feeling?
Yeah, I’m really excited. I’m not sure what my form is but it’s always exciting to do a new race. It looks like they’re putting on a fantastic show here so I’m really looking forward to seeing where I’m at and it will be a good baseline for me for the rest of the year.
How was the off-season? Have you been working on anything in particular over the Winter?
Winter training went really well. Last year I was injured over the Winter and this year – touch wood – I’ve been injury free so hopefully that will put me in good stead for the year. I didn’t start training until later this Winter because I got married in the middle of the Winter which was exciting.
Consistency is key and I was just really lucky to be consistent.
There are some strong guys competing out in Seoul. Can you mix it up at the front? What are your tactics going into the race?
I’m number 33 going into the race so I’ll definitely be looking at the other 32 people in front of me! As you say, everyone is on fire. Bevan [Docherty] will be confident after a good race at Alcatraz last weekend. Then you’ve obviously got [Simon] Whitfield, [Jan] Frodeno – a whole load of Olympic medalists. It’s going to be fast and furious at the front so hopefully I can get a slice of the cake at some stage.
Given the kind of season Alistair Brownlee had in 2009, does that put more pressure on the other UK male triathletes to perform or do you not think about it that much?
No, not really. It’s such an individual sport and each race is an individual effort. Alistair had a fantastic year. Unfortunately he’s been badly injured over the Winter so hopefully he can be fighting fit for later on in the year.
But no, it’s an individual sport so I just worry about myself.
How do you make sure that you are as fresh as possible for a race that is so far away?
Well I’m lucky, I’ve been training in Asia for the last month so it’s not too far for me to fly and there was only one hour time zone difference. So hopefully I’ve planned this one well in terms of jetlag – there isn’t any!
Why did you choose to base yourself out in Asia?
I chose Asia because of the race. Obviously it’s the first big race of the year so I want to make sure that I’m in the best shape possible, and that includes physical shape, mental shape, travel shape, jetlag.
I’ve trained in Asia a lot before when preparing for the Beijing Olympics so I thought I’d do the same again.
What races have you got planned for 2010?
Definitely the London Hyde Park race and Budapest. I’ll be racing some French Grand Prix races for Beauvais – my team – which I enjoy. And I’ll probably do a few smaller races in the UK. I probably won’t race that much this year, but when I do I’ll make sure I’m in top shape to get my body used to peaking once or twice in the year which is what will be needed for 2012.
In 2009 you had a look at Ironman 70.3. will you be doing anything like that again this year?
No. If anything, shorter. I had a play last year after the Olympics with a half-Ironman, but this year it’s all about the Olympics. I don’t want to kill my speed if I’ve got any left with longer stuff.
So what are the goals for 2010?
There are certain goals I’ve set myself. I want to be competitive – I don’t want to be racing for sixth of seventh. I don’t mind getting sixth or seventh but I want to be in the fight. If I blow up with 1km to go and get sixth, seventh, fifteenth then so be it. But I want to be up there with the big boys and just enjoy it. There are some great cities we’re racing in, a great vibe in ITU triathlon and I want to be a part of it. And I win them all!
Which of the ITU races are you looking forward to?
Obviously London. I was looking forward to this one in Seoul because it’s a new city and I saw the course and it is a bit crazy so that should be exciting. Hopefully it won’t be dangerous. Budapest as well. I’ve never raced in Budapest but have raced in Hungary a few times, and they always put on a good show.
People know what to expect this year with it being the second year so I’m looking forward to it!
You can watch this weekend’s Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship race LIVE at triathlonlive.tv.