Jake Birtwhistle won the Nepean Triathlon last weekend and is getting ready for tomorrow’s race in Noosa. Trizone caught up with him to get his strategy for the race.
“I just need to have enough in the tank for the run,” says Birtwhistle, chatting from Noosa as he prepares for Sunday’s race. “I’m confident [as to] where my running can get me. I used to wait for the run, but in the past few weeks I’ve changed my approach.”
Like many other athletes racing in the two iconic Aussie events, Jake trained intensively in the weeks leading up to Nepean. This training pattern usually differs from the rest of the year as the events are both held in extreme heat, and allow only one week of recovery in-between.
“In the last few weeks, I’ve done more specific time trial training for the first time ever,” says Jake. Nepean saw the implementation of his new strategy: to win the race from the bike, rather than wait for the run. “It was good to get in the race environment and make that strategy work,” he says proudly. The new approach is obviously a good one, with Jake having won the Nepean Triathlon only just last weekend.
RACE STRATEGY FOR NOOSA
“I’m going to start by treating it like a swimming race,” Jake explains. “I’ll try to get a really good position from the beach start and go from there.” Few athletes are strong at all three disciplines, with many relying on the bike leg to propel them through the pack. Jacob Birtwhistle, though, is strong throughout – making him a fierce competitor.
“I’ll play it by ear and decide on tactics as I go along,” he adds. “I might go hard from the start or sit in the pack and make a move later. I’ll just have to wait and see.”
JAKE BIRTWHISTLE’S TOP PICKS FOR NOOSA
“Ryan Fisher is a really strong swimmer and I just saw a tweet that said Josh Amberger is racing, and he’ll definitely push the pace on the bike,” says Jake. With the Elite start list yet to be released just one day before the race, the field is still a little unknown. “It doesn’t really matter too much who’s there, as long as I’m there,” notes Jake confidently.
POST NOOSA & HAMILTON ISLAND TRIATHLON
Unlike many of the other athletes, Noosa isn’t the end of the season for Jake Birtwhistle as he still has one event to go: the Hamilton Island Triathlon. “I’ll take time off before and after that though,” he adds. “Hamilton Island will have a relaxed feel to it.” A relaxed feel for elite athletes like Jake is not quite what most people would call relaxing, but his motivation and drive is what ensures he’s a feature of the lead pack in all his races.
Cycling legend, Bayden Cooke, meanwhile, has also noticed this unique drive in Jake Birtwhistle and was eager to include the athlete in the Factor Bikes team. “Bayden was really keen to get me on board,” says Jake modestly. It’s no surprise the world’s best brands are scrambling to work with the keen athlete who has an exceedingly bright future.