Brendan Sexton, who grew up in Maitland in NSW, has made his first Olympic Games for the triathlon which will be held on Tuesday the 7th of August. Brendan has had a great year, winning the ITU Oceania Championship in Davenport, which helped to secure Australia’s coveted 3rd Olympic spot. Since then Brendan raced San Diego and Madrid WTS races, along with many others in preparation for London, while basing himself mostly in Europe.
I was lucky enough to work with Brendan while he was living in Vitoria, Spain for much of his time in Europe and wish him all the very best on Tuesday for the race in the iconic Hyde Park.
Brendan was generous enough to take some time out to chat in preparation for the race:
A big congratulations firstly on making the team, I know it was a tough road. Is the selection something you have been dreaming about for a long time or is it just something you have been focused on the last couple of years?
Thanks. The idea of the possibly becoming an Olympian is something that only really occurred to me before the last Olympics when I was in the position of trying to qualify Aus a third position on the start line in Beijing. I realized that if I’m in a position to earn the country a place why not my own place next time around.
I know you grew up in Maitland in NSW, how did you first get into tri’s and where was your first race?
I’ve been involved in sport since a young age. I ran cross country at school, rode my mountain bike a lot as a youngster and have been involved in my local swimming club since I was 7. Giving Tri’s a go seemed natural and the Maitland Tri Club held their monthly race at the pool I swam at so it wasn’t hard to get hooked.
When did you feel you started your prep for London, was it after the team was selected or did you decide to start mentally and physically preparing prior to this?
My Olympic prep began back in November last year. Of course I had not gained selection on the team until just last month so there were many aspects of my training and competition plan that aimed at racing well throughout the year but the overall focus has been about being in optimal shape on August 7
Are there any specific areas you have been targeting in the lead up?
Not specifically different to usually top level competition. For me it is always about being at my best across the three disciplines. At this level, especially at Olympics, weaknesses will be exposed so every aspect needs to be rock solid.
Do you feel the London course and/or the competition require any specific targeting in training?
I don’t believe the course requires any specific training as it is quite similar to most courses used at this level. The competition is the same story: all of us athletes on the start line race each other year round – the only difference in London is everyone on the start line is at there best on the one day. The only specificity required for this is to ensure that my best is better than the rest.
I know you spend some time in Vitoria in Spain, but are now based in Font Romou at altitude in France. Outline a couple of the things which you like about both places for us if you could and how you feel they help your training?
Over the last 8 years I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe training and racing (between 5-7 months each year). I’ve found Spain and France great locations to base for several reasons. They are central to most a lot of the Northern summer competitions, they tend to have good weather and training conditions and they are have strong triathlon communities and are big supporters of sport in general.
I tend to time my time in these locations around the time that other athletes are also there. Most of the time I will spend time with other Aussies (like fellow VIS, NSWIS & AIS triathletes) but there is often the chance to do some training with international athletes from the Tri circuit and also pure swimmers, cyclists and runners.
Do you have anymore races prior to the 7th of August and if so?
I will leave altitude to race the Hamburg WTS race this weekend (just over 2 weeks prior my Olympic event). From Hamburg I will go into Pre-Olympic camp with the rest of the team in the final lead-up to travelling to London.
All the best for the last couple of weeks of preparation Brendan and thank you again for spending some time with me.