Tri Alliance Victoria’s Male Ambassador for the 2013/2014 Season, Lance Willie shares with us his story on his life outside of triathlon, his years growing up playing Gridiron and his passion in seeing his son learn to love this amazing sport called triathlon.
(Read about our Female Ambassador here)
I married my high school sweetheart and we have 3 wonderful kids. I am a CFO for a property development/ asset Management Company and have lived in the Western suburbs of Melbourne my whole life. I played Gridiron (American Football) for 13 years and loved the high intensity/ impact of the sport. I had success with my club and also representing Victoria many times over those years. I was honored on 2 occasions to have been selected for the national team but unfortunately due to injury, I didn’t get to travel overseas to play. Being a CPA I also spent the last 12 years engaged with the profession on various committees and work groups with my last 3 years sitting on the Victorian executive committee.
Q. Share with us your training/racing plans this year.
For 2014 my plans are to simply get myself back into consistent training and racing after discovering an injury to my foot at the end of the 2013 season. I have entered the Gatorade Series and hope to improve on last year’s performance. My “A” race this year will be the St Kilda Olympic Distance in January. This year I have spent more time working on my cycling strength and technique in the pool. (Running has been nonexistent). I was hoping to complete my first half marathon and then move onto my first half ironman by the end of this season, but have now put those goals on hold. It is still a goal of mine but I think I will reassess this at the end of the season.
This year I am also focusing my time on introducing my 10 year old son, Xander, to triathlon. He has now shown a keen interest in the sport and I am getting great pleasure in seeing his development and desire to improve his skills and share this great sport with me.
Q. What does it mean to you to be Tri Alliance Victoria’s Male Ambassador this year?
I am very honored to have been selected the Victorian male ambassador. To receive this above the many dedicated and talented Tri Alliance athletes is something special. I have gained a lot both physically and mentally as an athlete with Tri Alliance and this will be a great opportunity for me to give back to the squad.
Q. When did you start with Tri Alliance and how has your experience/journey with us shaped you?
I started with Tri Alliance as part of the Try the Tri program in 2011 when I entered the Gatorade series. I remember loving the training and learning new skills. In fact, before I had even raced my first sprint distance Race, I had signed up for The Noosa Olympic the following year. When I made it to the start line for my first sprint race, the longest run I had completed in many years was only 5k. And at the end of that race thought I must have been insane to think I could do an Olympic distance. But with consistent base training through my first winter, I built the endurance and confidence to achieve the goal of completing the event. I broke my goal of 3 hours by just over 15 minutes. I know that without Tri Alliance I would never had achieved this on my own.
Q. What are 3 pieces of advice you can give to anyone starting out their own journey with Tri Alliance?
The first piece of advice I can give anyone starting with Tri Alliance is to give everything of go. I loved the first session I ever did that included transition practice. I have always been coordinated so I loved practicing the flying mount and dismount. If the entire race was about T1 and T2 I would be very happy! 🙂
Second piece of advice is not to be shy when it comes to asking questions. The coaches and other athletes have so much knowledge about this sport that you are continually learning. I find that if I ask the same question of 3 different athletes you will get 3 very different answers. And this shows that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for the next. But it is good to hear what others have done to succeed and what they have failed at. Then make your own judgment as to what will and won’t work for you.
The last bit of advice is consistency. Without consistency you will not reach the goals you set yourself. Only consistent training will allow you to exceed those goals.
And one extra as I feel it is the most important thing to do when training and especially racing. And that’s have fun. When I started this lifestyle I took racing very seriously and when I had a bad race it ate away at me. Now that’s ok if you want to turn professional and reach podiums, but if you don’t enjoy yourself while you take this journey there really isn’t any reason to do it. For me it’s a lifestyle and something I want to enjoy for many years to come!
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