Fresh from earning a Guinness World Record in Sunday’s London Marathon, Joe Spraggins filled us in on his triathlon plans for this year and his goal to qualify for the Ironman World Championship, Kona.
With Ironman World Champion, Chrissie Wellington
What bikes do you ride and what is your dream ride?
I’ve got a Cervelo P3 TT bike for my triathlon exploits and then a Boardman road bike that I train with and get about town on. As for a dream ride, I’d love to ride a Dimond.
Who is your sporting inspiration?
It has to be Chrissie Wellington. Throughout her Ironman career she has epitomised what sport should be about for me – giving it everything but enjoying it at the same time.
How did you first get into triathlon?
After finishing university, I found myself very out of shape and in a desk-bound city job. I decided I needed something to motivate me to lose some weight and get more active, so I signed up for the London triathlon – I haven’t looked back since.
What are your ambitions for 2017?
Now the London marathon is done, my focus is back to triathlon again. The Outlaw long-distance in July followed by Ironman Wales in September are my two A races this year. I’d like to go as fast as I can at the Outlaw after a slightly disappointing debut in Switzerland last year, before trying to place as highly as possible in Wales and potentially even grabbing a Kona qualification. If I’m honest I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but it’s definitely a lifetime ambition which is keeping me highly motivated. I’m also equally excited to share the race course with my girlfriend Katie; although she’s still getting into the sport, she’s probably already a better swimmer than me!
You say qualifying for Kona is a life goal. If you do, what’s next on the bucket list?
At the moment that is the thing I’ve always dreamed of so it’d be difficult to know where to go from there! However, Challenge Wanaka in New Zealand and the Boston marathon would certainly be on my list.
What has been your worst cycling experience?
The New Year’s Day triathlon in Edinburgh a couple of years ago. Who’d have thought Scotland would be cold and wet in January?! Wearing only a sleeveless tri-suit in icy wind and rain made for a ride I’ve never been so glad to finish.
What keeps you motivated?
My club mates in the Clapham Chasers always inspire me with their achievements. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist so I want to keep improving and getting faster – I’m curious to see how far I can progress in the sport.
What is your biggest cycling kit indulgence?
It’s all about having a nice bright pair of cycling socks. The louder the better.
Where is your favourite destination for cycling?
I spend a lot of time out in the Surrey Hills; they’re lovely on a sunny day. I would love to ride out in the Alps or Pyrenees one day, too.
What is your typical triathlon training schedule?
I’ve recently started coaching with Dan Holmes from Profile PT; so he puts my schedule together for me, which is great as I used to get a bit too over enthusiastic with the amount of running I was doing. I aim for 3 swims, 4-5 bikes sessions and 3-4 runs per week, with the longer stuff coming at the weekends.
You can keep up with Joe’s successes on his blog – watch this space!