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Jake Birtwhistle's 5-rings goal

I started training for this sport when I was 17 and competing at an elite level meant spending hours and hours training and focusing on a healthy lifestyle that is the basis for success.

Jake Birtwhistle, born in 1995 in Launceston, Australia, has always been an athlete and met the glory of World Cross Country School champion in 2012 in Malta at the age of 17. But that title was only the culmination of a series of successes that saw him win 11 Australian junior track and field titles in the 1500m, 3000m and 200m steeple in 2009-2012. With such a pedigree, Jake decided to dedicate himself to triathlon in 2013.
2020 was to be the year of his consecration. His declared goal was the Olympic throne in Tokyo, but the global epidemic caused by COVID-19 stopped him from achieving his dream, for now. I was training abroad with my team and our coach, says Jake, and we were planning to hold several competitions during the year. With the pandemic worsening and the cancellation of more and more events, we decided that the safest course of action was to move temporarily to Tasmania.

Before the pandemic, Jake was training in groups under coach Joel Filliol, travelling around the world to compete in various events and training locations, making life as easy as possible for the triathlete. They used to spend between 25 and 30 hours a week training on a regular schedule to grow consistently.

How did you manage your training during the isolation period?
2020 was a year of adjustment and adaptation to changing situations. My schedule changed several times: for a while I tried to keep ready for the next race, then I decided to take some time off and treat it as an off period. Once it became clear that we would not be able to compete for some time, together with my coach, we decided to take the opportunity to let the body rest until the situation became a little clearer. It was at this point that I became quite dependent on indoor training, which the "old me" avoided as much as possible. I continued to train indoors on my bike and treadmill many times a week during isolation. This made it easier for me to do my regular training faster: it's nice to avoid the rain sometimes!
Did you have the chance to compete with the virtual Ironman races during isolation or to compete with other athletes?
I didn't take part in any virtual competitions during this period, because most of the official events took place during the night (since I was in Australia), so it wasn't an interesting initiative for me. As I was saying, I also decreased the intensity and the training load, so I didn't feel ready to run anyway. I completed 90% of my training on my own while I was at home in Australia, so in the last 6 months I have had a lot of time to push myself, but not to make comparisons with other athletes.
Can you give us some feedback on the Technogym products you train with?
Having the Skillrun at home gives me a lot of confidence that I can do my training regardless of the weather conditions. My need was to have a product from a serious company that was fast. I needed a tool on which I could do all my training in case I needed it and with a maximum speed of 30km/h the Skillrun also performs perfectly on that front.
The treadmill is an essential piece of equipment for a triathlete. Skillrun is suitable for those who want to improve their running performance both athletically and technically. Thanks to biofeedback and different training options, Skillrun can best train triathletes with cadence training. You can evaluate and modify your running style in real time to improve efficiency by monitoring various parameters such as running power, cadence, flight time, ground contact, propulsion time.
One last curiosity Jake, when do you have the strongest adrenaline rush during your competitions and races?
Crossing the finish line gives the best feeling. Whether it be a good performance, or a race you are not so proud of, there is a relief once you finish and get to either enjoy the success or begin working towards the next opportunity.

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