Ben Allen is a World Class Professional Triathlete. He specialises in the non-drafting format from 70.3 Ironman, Long Distance and the Xterra World Off-Road Triathlon Tour. Ben is based in Wollongong, Australia and from April through to October he joins the World’s Elite Endurance Athletes in Europe, basing himself in France.
· Your European base is France; does that feel as much home as Australia?
BEN: I really enjoy living in France the culture; people & style of living is very unique. I try and make it feel as much, my home in Australia as possible, but nothing can compare to my hometown of Wollongong, Australia where I have access to beautiful beaches and mountains.
· Why and how did you get into Triathlon?
BEN: I started in the sport of Surf life saving winning numerous State, Australian and World Championship medals. I was targeted by Triathlon Australia’s in the High Performance program when I was training for my third Coolangatta Gold Ironman Race as having the potential to be a World Class Triathlete.
Now in my third year of triathlon, I have successfully raced in Europe, America & Asia on the ITU Triathlon World Cup series, Oceania Cup races, Continental Cup circuit and race in the Division 1 Triathlon Grand Prix French League. As well as racing the Ironman 70.3 and the World Xterra Championships Tour, which covers 16 races around Europe, 7 USA Championships Races and the World Xterra Championships in Maui, Hawaii.
· Do you spend more time training on one discipline more over the others?
BEN: I come from an Ocean Swimming/Surfing background, so I focus more on my riding and running. Riding my Giant 29er on fast downhill single tracks and running on endless trails with my On Cloud Surfers.
· If you could only compete in one discipline which one would it be?
BEN: Having competed in the Xterra Off-Road World Tour series, has really made me think I would love to try and be a Pro XC mountain biker. If that didn’t work out, definitely a trail runner… Especially running with my On Shoes, they have created a new feel that I search for, ever time I run
· Do you train on each discipline every day?
BEN: No, I don’t do as much swimming as when I was a Surf Ironman athlete, but I try and keep a balance of all three disciplines so I can maintain my fitness and feel for each discipline.
· You are nicely positioned 3rd in the Xterra tour; are you happy with the way things are going?
BEN: I started the Xterra World Tour, winning 4 World Tour Races and the 1st round of the Xterra European Tour in Italy with a second place finish. I was unlucky to be struck down by a virus in the lead up to this year Xterra France World Tour Championship race and fought on to finish inside the top 10. There are three races left on the European Tour (Czech, Germany & Switzerland) and I will be doing everything possible to finish on the top of the podium.
· With back-to-back weekends coming up on the tour how will you spend the week training in between?
BEN: After the race I will have a couple of days of rest & recovery and then 1 or 2 days training over the next race course to familiarise myself with the terrain & demands to be able to maximise my perform during the race.
I will do a little bit of training on all three disciplines the day before the race to check all my equipment and get myself in the right fame of mind…
· How many miles running do you cover in a week’s training?
BEN: I look at running 62 to 74 miles a week in training. For a big block of training with no races I would run around 74miles and in the lead up to races anywhere from 50-64miles.
· Do you follow any special diet?
BEN: I try and eat a healthy balanced diet of Carbs, Fats and Proteins. But I treat myself every now and again. ;-)
· I’m reviewing the ‘On’ Cloudrunners, how do you find them? They are certainly an interesting design, do you wear yours to compete in?
BEN: I love my On’s!
On has created a unique feel like no other running shoe. The evolutionary new cushioning and outsole technology called CloudTec is mind blowing. The faster you run the more you feel like the shoes are propelling you forward.
· I do a lot of trail running, how do the Cloudrunners cope with the terrain?
BEN: Perfectly! I have run in rivers, up grassy mountain, steep technical descents, down waterfalls & icy trails and never encountered any problems. I love my On’s perfectly suited to any Off-Road Terrain!
· How do the trails compare in Europe compared to back home?
BEN: The trails in Europe are some of the most challenging in the World. Back home in Australia, I would call my mountains, hills compared to the some of the Mountains I have encounter in Europe.
· What’s your mantra when the going gets tough?
BEN: I like it tough. I have had to deal with a lot more up’s and down’s compared to most travelling athletes coming all the way from Australia. But I always try and stay positive and focused on my goals and dreams. My family and friends back home are the backbone to my success.
· Who are your sporting hero’s
BEN: I really admire, Stuart O’Grady. He has a heart of a lion and a never say die attitude. He is a family man and an inspiration to many Aussie kids.
· What advice would you give your younger self, with the benefit of experience?
BEN: Give yourself time to develop as an athlete and don’t try and rush your development within the sport. You wont become World Champion over night. Always try to turn a negative situation into a positive one. Love the life you live and enjoy the journey.