Ryan Bailie sets sights on podium this year

Ryan Bailie is gearing up for a huge 2017, including taking part in the brand new Hamilton Island Super League. Trizone caught up with Bailie to chat about his down time and key goals for the year.

“It’s a different kind of [being] busy to training,” Bailie says, “I’ve been doing some school tours, catching up with sponsors and having tons of meetings. The off-season is tiring in its own way,” Bailie says of his recent down time. Earlier this year, Bailie spent a few short weeks with friends and family, and enjoyed “taking some time to get the mind and body ready for another year.” Now though, it’s business as usual for the young athlete.

Ryan Bailie’s laser focus on his swim

“I’ve been working with Paula Charlton for physio and swim stroke analyst Marc Elipot to see if there’s actually a reason I can’t get my shoulder into a certain position in the water,” Bailie said. “I’ve got some tightness there but we’re working on it.”

“It’s about making sure I’m solid in that front group. Swimming is a hard one to get feedback on if you’re not a natural swimmer.” With this expert duo helping Bailie refine his technique with a fine tooth comb, he’s eager to make as much progress as possible. The AIS have even given Bailie’s team a videocamera to give him real time feedback on his stroke, and his progress.

Like any triathlete, Bailie has his favourite parts of the sport, and he’s the first to say his swim needs more attention. “I’ve proven I can run against the best in the sport, but if I’m given time alone in the water with the top guys, it’s different.”

Not only is the swimming-specific training improving his stroke, Ryan is also enjoying the change to his training. “The analysis makes swim training more interesting,” he says. “It’s great having Jake in the squad working on the same thing.” Bailie isn’t after grand changes, but it’s the little tweaks that make a difference. “We’re not talking about getting a minute, just a few seconds.”

Bailie’s major goals for 2017

Bailie is focused on two things this year: avoiding injury, and becoming a permanent fixture on the podiums of big races like Rotterdam. “Staying injury-free is just so important,” says Ryan. “If you can avoid injury, the chances of medaling or making the podium are so much higher than someone who’s injury prone. I’m learning how to make my body more resilient to cope with the workload as I get older.”

This insight into body mechanics is hard for any athlete to develop but Bailie has been honing his relationship with his body and its warning signs. “It’s about listening to those small warning signs from your body that are precursors to injury,” he says. Even noticing when I’m tired and run down, and not over doing it.”

Despite an incredible calendar of races set for the year ahead, Bailie’s sights are set firmly on 2018. “I’m just looking towards the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast,” said Bailie. “That’s what I’m aiming for. I want to get Commonwealth Games qualification out of the way early.”

With a team of experts fine-tuning his swim stroke, and an already fierce bike and run in his armoury, Bailie is gearing up for a new kind of racing; the Hamilton island Super League.

Hamilton Island Super League is a brand new race format set to launch in early March. It’s spectator friendly, mixing elimination (think American Ninja Warrior) with the endurance and power of triathlon. Set over three days, the event is truly gruelling, and will favour those athletes who can last the distance and recover well, rather than those who expel their energy in one race. Each race day has a unique name, The Equaliser, Triple Mix and The Eliminator. Check out Trizone later this month for more details on the Super league. All we know now is Bailie is thrilled to be part of this exciting event.

It’s all about the podium for Bailie

Apart from the new Hamilton Island event, Ryan Bailie is already thinking about the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam slated for September this year. “I want to get on the podium at Rotterdam this year,” he says. “It’s a target race, like Hamburg and the Gold Coast. These key races are where I’m looking for those podium performances.”

After the pressure of the Olympics last year, Bailie is using 2017 for some reflection, but mostly for digging his heels into his training. “Post Olympics is a year of trying some different things, but not too much. What I’ve been doing has been working, so it’s about building on them and adding little bits and pieces.” Through his current intensive swim coaching program and his usual training schedule with the Wollongong Wizards, Ryan has been refining minute aspects of his racing for those key moments. “It’s all so I know when I’m put in the situation, I’ll be able to do it that bit better. It just gives me the chance to be a better athlete.”

Shawn Smith

A cyclist and tech geek at heart with a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of Australia's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.