This week Alex caught up with NSWIS and Australian Traithlete Aaron Royle in Vitoria Spain. Aaron is one of the rising stars currently in training as a member of the NSWIS squad in Vitoria Spain. Enjoy the interview below.
You have had some great results so far this season, what has been the highlight for you so far?
This year has showed me that if you put in the hard work, stay healthy, injury free and do the little things right then you’ll be rewarded. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far and I want to continue to keep doing this and keep improving into a senior elite athlete. The highlight for me would have to be Oceania Championships in Wellington where I finished a close second to New Zealander Kris Gemmell (See Photo). It was a day where everything seemed to work out well for me. You need luck on your side but you also need to create your own luck and I think I did a good job of this in that race. I lead the swim out feeling pretty comfortable and on the bike a group of 8 of us continued to keep the pressure on until eventually midway through the ride we were able to extend the lead to over a minute. It was a good day and it showed a glimpse of what will come in the future.
What phase are you in at the moment with your training and what specific things are you working on?
At the moment everything is geared towards September for the World Champs in Beijing. Obviously with 6 weeks to go training has
been pretty damn hard. The focus, like it has been throughout the whole year has been my run so I am consistently hitting 115km-130km run weeks with the empathises being on holding form under fatigue. My coach likes to have quality runs in consecutive days to try and replicate running hard under fatigue which seems to be working as my running is continually improving.
You have got a start in the Dextro London WCS race next weekend. This is a huge achievement, how are you feeling going into it?
This will be my first WCS race and to have it at the 2012 Olympic course makes it even more special. The start in London became totally unexpected as I didn’t even nominate to Triathlon Australia for this race. But with some solid performances and some unlucky circumstances with other athletes being injured I was asked by TA if I would like to race. I go into this race with nothing to lose and I will use it to further work on things that I have been working on in training like holding it together in the back end of the run.
You had a race in London a few weeks ago, are you looking forward to getting back to the city?
To be honest my first experience in London was last year and I hated the place with a passion. I went to London for a race totally unorganised and it caught me out where I missed trains, planes, connections and even went to the wrong hotel at first. But this year it has been much better to me. I had a good result a few weeks ago in London city and it is always good to get back into an English speaking country where you can read the news paper and watch TV in English. Being most countries Olympic qualifying race I doubt the Australian federation will miss a beat with organisation which always makes going to races more enjoyable when all you have to focus on is racing.
When do you travel over to London and then map out roughly the few days leading into the race ? (training/etc)
I leave for London this coming Wednesday. We have to leave this early as the race briefing is on Thursday which is compulsory. I haven’t been into massive detail with Jamie about the lead up to this race but I am sure I’ll get a little ‘freshen’ up a few days out. A general tapper for me is to drop the duration and increase the intensity a little. I think a successful tapper is making sure you are finishing each training session feeling better then what you did before it. I wouldn’t worry too much though if you don’t feel 100% days out from the race – I’ve had some of my better races feeling terrible the day before. The day before a race for me always includes a swim with efforts, 45 – 60mins spin on the bike, a nap (is a must), a 20 – 30 min run with drills/stretches/ run thrus and always, always finishes with a Pizza.
What, apart from our physio sessions, is your favourite part of Basque life?
Your and my relationship is sort of a love hate isn’t it! I’m always hopeful that I’m going to open the door for treatment and you’re going to have nice relaxing Rain Forest music on and that I’m going jump on the table for a relaxing, easy massage – But it’s never the case. But obviously I am always better off for it after every treatment, so thanks!
The Basque life is great – well I think the European lifestyle is great. Don’t get me wrong I love Australia and I LOVE both Newcastle & Wollongong, but living in Europe provides so many opportunities that you would otherwise not have if you are to stay in Australia. It is just impossible to succeed in this sport if you think you can make it by staying home. As you know in this specific area of the Basque country (Vitoria) everything is so sooo cheap! Especially groceries. 79Euro cents / kilo for Banana’s at the moment – I told my dad, who is a fruito that I’ll bring him a case home for a present He could almost retire and live of the profit from that one case at the moment.
There are very little distractions here – which 95% of the time is a good thing, it can get a little monotonous, but trips to races regularly break it up and allow you to find a good balance between training and living your life.
What are the plans following London?
As I’ve said Beijing u/23 Worlds is the goal and everything I do is in preparation for that. There is no race or training session that I would do between now and Beijing that would not be done to benefit my performance for World Champs.
After London I will come back to Vitoria for 2 weeks. After that I will then be racing the ITU World Sprint Championships in Lausanne. This is my first ever time representing my country at an open elite level and that is something I am extremely proud of. Post Lausanne I will join the Triathlon Australia base in Aix Les Baines, France for the final prep into Worlds. Two weeks before Beijing I will race for my French GP club in tours as a final hit-out before flying across.
Anyone you would like to thank?
Goes without saying a huge thanks goes to my parents who continually support me and also to New South Wales Institute of sport and Triathlon Australia who without their funding and support I would not be able to afford living in Europe for 4 – 5 months of the year. Also a huge thank you to my personal sponsors who have shown huge support over the past few years; 2XU, Giant Bikes, Spearman cycles, Saucony, High5 Sports nutrition & The Greater Building Society.
Thanks Aaron Royle for the chat. AP10 wishes you all the best for the rest of the season and many more to come.