Inside Triathlon magazine’s editor-in-chief talks to two-time Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty before he heads out to Sydney.
New father and New Zealand native Bevan Docherty is in a special club: He and Simon Whitfield are the only men on the planet with two Olympic triathlon medals. Inside Triathlon magazine editor-in-chief Courtney Baird caught up with him recently to see what he’s been up to since she profiled him in Inside Triathlon’s January/February issue. Baird talked to him just as he was about to jet off to Sydney from Santa Cruz, Calif., where he lives, for the first race of the ITU’s World Championship Series.
Triathlete.com: So how has your training been going since I saw you last?
Bevan Docherty: Training has been going really well, actually. I haven’t been doing too much different [training] to what I did last year, except I’ve just incorporated a little bit more rest into it. My form has come together quite nicely, and I’m actually right where I want to be. I’m really looking forward to the weekend.
Triathlete.com: Are you still training with Graham O’Grady?
BD: No. Graham decided not to come back to America. I think I scared him off. Yeah, I was telling you how we train really hard and we kind of over did it. I think he gets a little homesick and a yeah, when you’re training with me it’s never easy. I guess I’ve got that intense personality. I maybe scared him off a little bit, which sucks because he was a great training partner. I’ve managed to con a few other people to come and train with me, though.
Triathlete.com: Really, like who?
BD: Will Smith. He’s a Kiwi guy [living in] Wisconsin. He was down in Oceanside last weekend. He’s been training with me. And I’ve actually got a whole of bunch of Kiwi guys coming [out to Santa Cruz]. Kris Gemmell is going to come over for a couple of months, and a bunch of younger Kiwi guys, so that should be good.
Triathlete.com: What’s life been like now that you have a new baby?
BD: I guess until you’ve actually experienced it you can never prepare yourself for it. It’s been bloody difficult, but I guess that’s the thing that, you know, that happens when you have a baby. You have to adapt and you learn to adapt. You have no choice but to adapt. We found a good happy medium between training. As far as timing, it was perfect. [She was born in the offseason] and now she sleeps through the night, and she’s not really affecting [my training] too much. It’s been tough work. It’s kind of one of those things with a lot of highs and a lot of lows, but we have an au pair living with us now, just to sort of take the pressure off, and that makes a big difference. It is hard, especially when your arms are tired from swimming and training, but she’s worth it. The fatigue side of things has been hard but the joy, and, you know, the good endorphins that she gives back to you is a bonus, as well.
Triathlete.com: Any training tips for triathletes with new babies?
BD: Read a book called “Baby Wise,” and you’ll learn a hell of a lot. [Editor’s note: the full title of the book is “On Becoming Baby Wise.”] Get into a routine as much as possible. Be nice to your parents is probably another good one. Make sure you live close to relatives. Unfortunately, Cheryl and I are a long way from any of our relatives. And also just enjoy it as much as possible. They do grow very quickly and she’s a hell of a lot bigger, and we didn’t want to miss a thing.
Triathlete.com: The book’s called “Baby-wise”?
BD: The book is basically about sleeping patterns and trying to get them into a routine and that will certainly be a lifesaver as far as getting a full night’s sleep. I’m not much of a reader and it’s probably the first book I’ve read in 10 years. It was well worth the read … As soon as we applied that she went from being up five times a night to only being up once during the night.
Triathlete.com: Are you going to get the jogging stroller out?
BD: No. I’m not a big jogging stroller person. I’d probably get injured or to be honest I do all my running off-road. I’m not one of those people, so I certainly won’t be doing that.
Triathlete.com: What’s the plan for this season? Is it all about Olympic qualification?
BD: Yeah. It’s all about Olympic qualification. Our qualifying race is actually the London World Championship Series event. That’s in August. Everything is sort of based around that. I’m still going to obviously focus on the World Championship Series [as a whole]. I’m racing Sydney and I’m hopefully racing Yokohama. I’m pretty excited to race there. Then I’ll be on to Kitzbühel [Austria]. I’ll also try a few other things. I’ll do St. Anthony’s and I’ll do [Escape From] Alcatraz. But all those races are oriented around training or focusing on the World Championship Series in London. I’m still getting Olympic points and qualifying the country. I haven’t really made too many plans after London. I’d certainly like to race Des Moines [Hy-Vee], which is a week before the World Championship Series finals in Beijing. There are other races I’d like to do around the U.S., but everything is geared towards London, and we’ll see what happens in that race and take it from there.
Triathlete.com: What are your thoughts on Hy-Vee now being non-drafting?
BD: Um, it’s one of those things. I can understand the move for them to go to non-drafting being with the WTC’s 5150 series. I’m not too fussed about it. I’m still going to try to put myself in a situation where I can qualify [for Hy-Vee] and maybe it will be a slightly weaker field with the fact that people do have to qualify. Something that is going to stir quite a bit of controversy there is a clause that WTC can select an amount of athletes to race without qualifying. It’s going to be an interesting issue when it comes to the race. I’m keen on racing it. I still feel like I have a good chance of doing quite well there…for me personally, and the type of athlete I am, it [the fact that it’s non-drafting] doesn’t really change too much. For other people, the likes of Jarrod Shoemaker or those sort of ITU-specific athletes, I’m sure they would be frustrated.
Triathlete.com: Thanks Bevan! Good luck in Sydney.