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Kit Walker Interview

Kit Walker Interview

When did you start competing in triathlons and why? 

I did my first triathlon in 2011, My brother was competing in an event local to me and offered to lend me his old road bike to race on if i wanted to so i had a go.


What is your favourite leg in triathlon?

Definitely the Bike!


In a race, transitions between each of the sports is very important. Podium spots can come down to seconds. How many hours each week do you practice that?

Probably not enough! I do run off the bike a couple of times a week but rarely do swim to bike sessions and should do more work practicing getting into my shoes on the move.


How do you stay motivated?

I'm generally motivated by my next race, I'm not too big into setting very specific goals but always have an idea of what i want to achieve and work towards that.

 

Time to do a self critique: Which part of a triathlon is your strongest? Your weakest? Why?

Strongest is either my swim or my bike, I have a background in both of them growing up as a swimmer in a squad and riding mountain bikes for years. Weakness is definitely my run, its something that i just don't have the years of experience in and am working to build up and strengthen.


What’s your biggest accomplishment in your triathlon career so far?

My race at Outlaw this year has to be up there, also my race at Challenge Weymouth 2015 is one i am proud of as it I lost my calorie bottle on the bike and was in a bit of a state as i started the run but hung tough and managed to salvage the race and get a good result.


Preparation is obviously the key to success.  What is your training regimen?

I train pretty much 7 days a week 2-3 times a day. I run every day and do 4-5 swim and bike sessions a week. I generally always do a session first thing before work which is normally a run then the rest of my days training in the afternoon. I do a fair amount of my cycling on the Turbo year round for convenience and time efficiency and so i can keep an eye on the kids if i need to!


Are there times when you think “Why am I doing this?”

Yeah there are definitely time where motivation drops or getting out of bed in the mornings is tough. Im not very good at resting or building rest into my training plan and i think this comes back and bites me on the ass sometimes and i need to get better at to keep motivation more consistent year round.


Give us a bit of insight as to what goes on inside your head during a competition and how you keep yourself going.

When racing i try to be very process oriented. Not thinking too far ahead just about what i need to do in that moment. In the swim thats controlling effort and technique then onto the bike i ride to power and then making sure i am fuelling properly. In a long course race the start of the run is all about relax and hold yourself back then the second half is all about pushing on! I have been known to talk to myself when things get tough at the end of an Ironman but thats when things start to get messy.


How do you approach race nutrition? 

Keep it super simple, I'm fortunate that i can stomach gels all day long so thats what i do. 20 gels in an ironman is pretty much what i go through along with energy drink on the bike and coke on the run.


How long do you see yourself competing?

Hopefully competitively until I'm late 30’s at least! i am pretty inspired by guys like Craig Alexander and Cameron Brown who are racing at the top level into there 40’s still. After that I'm sure i will always be involved but at a lesser level.


What’s your advice for someone just starting? 

Have fun with it to start with and don't get caught up in having to have all the gear that some people have to race and feel any pressure to compete.


What is your biggest challenge right now in racing?

Getting my run up to speed to match the fast guys. This year i have started to find my feet a bit in training and get and understanding more of what works and i think i just need to keep doing that and pushing to improve.


How did you get on in your first full Ironman race?

I did Challenge Copenhagen in 2012 before it became an official Ironman event, Swim was great and i went OK on the bike and was way quicker than i expected but my longest training run was 11 miles and that was a crazy experience. I actually got pretty emotional on the run with about 10km to go as i was so low on calories and tired but the finish line experience was phenomenal and i finished in 10.28 and smashed my sub 11 goal.


Many people only think about the physical aspect of competing in an extreme event, but don’t take into account the mental part. Which is the more difficult aspect of preparing for the competition, the physical or the mental? Or are they equal in difficulty?

I think they are equally difficult and equally important. Training the mental side means you have to push yourself to some pretty dark places mentally and attempt training sessions you wonder are actually possible. This is something i think i have some room to improve on more in training than actually on race day.


Do you feel that there is a particular personality that is drawn to the Ironman Triathlon? If so, how does your personality fit that mold?

Ha Ha yes the stereotypical obsessive athlete type A person! I think i fit that a bit too well, i do have a habit at times to get a bit too hung up on more minor things and maybe loose sight of the bigger picture sometimes and struggle to maybe keep things in perspective but i am learning to relax a little more when needed.


Who are you inspired by as a triathlete?

In the triathlon world Jan Frodeno is one of my favourite athletes, partly because like me he is over 6ft and can run fast and race well in the heat.

Training for my first Iron Distance event in 2012 though i got given Chris McCormacks book and could relate a lot to how he felt towards racing and his motivation and mindset and love the way he approached things so that always inspired me from the start.


What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Focus on the process and try not to get too caught up on the outcome.


What advice would you give to Ironman novices?

Same as above really, enjoy the process because its a long one for Ironman and you have to love the training. Yes results and goals can be important to people and strong motivation but you have to focus on the things that you can directly control.


How did you get into coaching? 

Just through wanting to be a bit more involved in triathlon and learn some more so i got on a British Triathlon Coaching Course. I then had a couple of local guys and girls ask me to coach them so i started helping them out and it grew from there really.


What’s your favourite piece of triathlon kit? 

Definitely anything Pink and Blue with Raceskin written on it :)