Issue ID: September 277
220: Where are you training now Stu?
Hayes: I’m back in Loughborough, back to the training as I’m getting ready for Hy-Vee in Iowa (where Alistair Brownlee is also racing). Its nice to have another goal after the Olympics otherwise I’d stop training now. I’m training with Michelle [Dillon] and the cross-country U23 champion, Emma Pallant, is with us. She’s taking up tri as she saw the Brownlees’ success and wants a piece of it at Rio. She’s actually doing the London Triathlon, which I’m doing too.
Will you be racing ITU next year?
If I get funded I’d like to carry on until London. The BTF are having a review at the end of the year but hopefully they’ll get more chance to get more athletes on the program. After what happened at the Olympics, I think the other countries will be looking at racing as a team which means we’ll have to go with the domestique option almost every race now. The Brownlees will always be marked now and all the other countries will be thinking ‘How can we beat Alistair and Jonny’? Their rivals can’t out run them but they might be able to do something on the bike.
How will the Brownlees’ success change triathlon in this country?
I spoke to someone in Birmingham in May and he said the BRATS were inundated with people wanting to do triathlon and I’m sure that’s going on all around the country.
The great thing about triathlon is that we have the age-group scene so they can race on the same courses as the elites and compare their times. Unlike other sports, we get to mingle because of the age-group scene.
You said the Brownlees ‘made you feel 20 again’ before the Olympics. Is coaching something you’re keen to get involved in? It seems a natural career path with Team Dillon.
I’m definitely going to go into coaching when I retire. I love triathlon, I love being around triathletes. I love waking up in the morning and going training and if I can carry on doing that and teaching them on all the things I made mistakes with in my 20s. I took the long road when there are so many short cuts you can take and that’s what I’ll teach when I retire.
I’ve learnt so much, every year I learn more and I think with Alistair definitely pushes it the limit on what his body can take but every couple of years people come up with new stuff so you never stop learning.
Will you be UK based from now on?
The Olympics really made people realise that the UK has the best coaching and the best facilities in the world. It’s nice to train in the sun but realistically when you’re 20 years old you can just train in Britain and still be the best; Jonny and Alistair have proved that you can be the best in the world and live in Leeds.
What advice would us give those of us who are struggling with that motivation to train?
For the older guys like us, enter an event, even if you’re not fit, so you’ve got some kind of goal. Get out there and train with other people, have a program and get a coach. It’s someone to talk to about your training and someone to get you out of the door when it’s raining.
How has the domestique training affected your run?
I’ve gotta be careful because it’s quite easy to get injured when you rush back so I’m not running to my full capacity. I think by the London Triathlon I could be running fine, as that’ll give me six weeks of straight running.
Is 70.3 on the horizon?
Possibly, it depends on what happens with funding. I’d love to be in Hyde Park next year [for the ITU World Series Grand Final] because I think that’ll be one of the best races of the year, especially after what happened with Alistair and Jonny. That’ll definitely be it for me with the ITU scene. But I still wanna be part of it because of how special it is.
Eventually we’ll move back to London because I’m coming to the end of my career and are looking into running sessions in Richmond park and Bushy Park. No more Gold Coast for me, it’ll be winter sun in Lanzarote.
Stuart was speaking on behalf of Speedo (www.speedo.co.uk).
Images: Janos Schmidt/ITU