An Interview With John Nicholson
John Nicholson is a member of Farnham Triathlon Club and regularly represents the GB Age Group team in Standard Distance Duathlons (a 10km run followed by a 40 km bike ride and a second, 5km, run). He is also a media volunteer for Diabetes UK. bagSOLO caught up with him to gain some insight into life as a duathlete.
How long have you been competing in duathlons and how did you get into the sport?
I started competing around ten years ago after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise is an important element of diabetes management and, after watching the triathlon where we live in Crondall, I realised that triathlon / duathlon would be an enjoyable way of keeping fit.
What is your favourite discipline – running or cycling?
I enjoy cycling more – I’ve cycled for pleasure on and off all my life. However, I’m arguably more competitive against my age-group peers as a runner, which means duathlon gives me the best of both worlds! Swimming is definitely my weakest discipline, which is why – although I still do the occasional triathlon – I focus on duathlon.
How often do you train?
Three or four times a week – which is not as onerous as it sounds. Working with a coach over the last couple of years has shown me that a properly structured programme, including short sessions with a focus on technique or an aspect of fitness, is far more effective than just clocking up the kilometres.
Does your competing ever take you abroad? If so what was your favourite place and do you travel with your bike?
I’ve represented the GB Age Group Team at World and European Championships in Canada, New Zealand and, several times, Spain. My wife and I always take a holiday after a championship and, as we love Spain; duathlons there are really well organised, and the host communities are always really welcoming, it has to be my favourite venue. I always take my own bike and , most recently, had it shipped by BagSolo to and from the World Championships in Canada. It was great to be able to enjoy our holiday once the championships were over without having to worry about bike transport or security.
What are your goals for this year and beyond?
I’ve already qualified for the World Championships in Denmark in July and the Europeans in Ibiza in October which gives me the focus for 2018. After that, I’ll be looking to qualify for the 2019 Worlds – which are again in Spain – and to take on some longer distance events.