Another 17 Questions…

This week we’ve heard from Fergus Roberts, and now ahead of the British Triathlon Championships in Liverpool this weekend its time to hear from his older brother Doug (left). I’d like to thank them both for their open honest answers and the insight into their sport.

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1. How did you get into triathlon?
Triathlon seemed an obvious thing for me. I was swimming at my local club, running for Richmond and Zetland Harriers and biking with my parents. Someone suggested that I should try one which I did and won my first event. From there I have been hooked.

2. Mid way through the season, how have things gone so far?
The beginning of my season started off quite well winning some early season races and gave some top athletes a run for their money out in a senior European cup in Spain. However the past 5 weeks I have been unable to run so I haven’t finished a race since the end of May.

3. What’s your strongest discipline?
I usually say to people that I’m quite consistent at all three disciplines and that I’m only good when the three disciplines are put together. However at my fittest I would say my run has always been a strong point and many of my races have been won by this.

4. Do you have any pre/post race superstitions?
No, although I usually race best after a good breakfast.

5. Any advice for aspiring athletes starting out in their first season of multi-sport racing?
Consistency is key! 8hours of training every week is better than 14 one week then 2 the next. Also try to make the training and racing fun, meet up with people and find inspiring routes on the run and bike.

6. So far this season you’ve made several trips to Europe, what’s the best/worst thing about travelling?
The best thing is defiantly experiences different place and cultures and cycling and running in some brilliant countryside. The worst thing is waiting in hot sweaty airports for connecting flights etc. I usually bring a good book or update my ipod with a few videos.

7. What are your aims for the future?
My long terms aims are to represent Scotland and Great Britain at a world level at either the Olympics or Commonwealth games.

8. What’s the best advice you’ve had regarding your sport/racing?
Make sure you enjoy what you’re doing or else you will never achieve your full potential.

9. Who are your sporting/non sporting heroes?
Lance Armstrong was a huge sports hero in my house when I was growing up, I used to get nervous every year for him racing the tour de France. Even though things have changed slightly now and he has admitted to doping, I am still inspired by his dedication to training and attitude to winning. Alistair Brownlee has also had huge influence on my comeback to the sport and my younger brother Fergus.

10. You come from a sporting family how did that influence you growing up?
Having an active and sporty family was a huge influence and is probably the main reason why me Ferg and Jessie are all competing at an international level across Europe. At a young age cycling holidays in the Alps or running up and down hills in the Lake District and Scotland didn’t feel like training but it was giving us a huge endurance base that helped when it came to swimming, cycling and running in a race. Some days I will maybe lack the motivation to go out training, but seeing other members of my family going out training gives me that kick up the bum to get it done.

11. What kind of diet do you have to follow?
My diet is generally sorted for a made healthier by my mum. We are not over excessively strict on what we eat but as a whole I prefer fruit and veg to chocolate and sweets. My diet contains a lot of carbohydrates such as pasta and potatoes.

12. How does what you eat affect your performance?
Generally eating unhealthy makes me feel lethargic and sluggish during training or racing. Your body works similar to a car. If you put the wrong fuel in then the performance will deteriorate significantly, but with the correct fuel and care then it runs smoothly and efficiently.

13. What support did you get at school and do you feel this has helped you?
My school days were another important factor in my development as an athlete. In secondary school at Allertonshire my P.E teachers Chris Byrne and Sandra Horner were brilliant in terms of cross country and athletics encouraging me to compete at a national standard and to continue with my sport. They taught me that being good at something takes lots and lots of dedication and it’s only the tiny minority that continue after they leave school. Several of my teachers at College had an influence on my development. Matthew Uffindal who taught me A level P.E introduced me to the outdoors which I pursued through to degree level and Steve Merrifield always had time to chat about his experiences as an elite basketball player and he helped me decide on a career.

14. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Concentrate on your own race, your own strengths and how you’re going to win it. Let the competition worry about you and wonder what shape you’re in. If you have prepared well you will race well and deserve to.

15. What advice would you give to a young person considering competing professionally?
It’s not about having the talent to compete professionally it’s whether you have the guts too. It takes months or years of dedication and commitment to become the best with lots of low points, but those single high points will out way them all.

16. What is the biggest challenge you face as an athlete?
Believing in myself that I can beat people. Even in local races which I know I can win comfortably I start to doubt myself and to worry about others. I have become better over time but I do still struggle with self-confidence.

17. How important is it to have support from Ed Pratt Sports Therapy?
Having the support from Ed is brilliant. He doesn’t just help to heal and fix my body but also to prevent future injuries from occurring. He also has great knowledge of the sport and what it Is like to compete at an international level. Having people like Ed supporting me as an athlete is key to success and the level of trust between the athlete and physio is key when the times get tough with severe injuries.

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