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Everything Hurts: Craig Alexander Interview

Australia’s strongest and most successful triathlete Craig Alexander has been competing for over ten years at the top of the Triathlon sport. Crowie conquered one of the most difficult challenges and joined the elite list of triathlete’s who have won the Ironman Triathlon World Championship twice in a row.

Crowie was voted 2009 Athlete of the Year and also winning Male Performance of the Year for the successful defense of his Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. I sat down with him and asked him about his long career at the top of the hardest sport in the world, training and whether could he beat Armstrong in a time trial.

BNA: What first brought you in to the sport of Triathlon?

Crowie: I was always interested in multi sport events and after 12 years of playing soccer, I decided to give triathlon a go in my early 20’s.

BNA: You have been racing professionally for ten years now, what’s your favorite race; do you have any memorable moments?

Crowie: My favorite races are the St Croix IM 70.3 and Kona IM. There have been many many memorable moments, winning some of the big races certainly is right up there, but some of the amazing people we have met, and homestays we have had throughout my career are certainly great memories as well.

BNA: Tell us about training with Chris Carmichael and Carmichael Training Systems.

Crowie: I mostly work with one of the CTS coaches Nick. I have only met Chris on a handful of occasions, but they have been a handy resource, especially with the technical aspects of cycling, like getting access to wind tunnel testing.

BNA: How important was the win at the 2010 TriShave Australian Long Course Championships for you?

Crowie: This was my 8th Australian title, and it is great to race at home, especially now I spend so much time racing away now. Huskison is also a special place for Neri and I, as we spent some time on our honeymoon in the Jervis Bay Area.

BNA: What is your race schedule for 2010 and what are your major goals?

Crowie: My race schedule is pretty similar to last year, starting off with Geelong IM 70.3, Aussie Long Course Champs and then the Singapore IM 70.3. Then we moved on to the US for a mixture of Olypic Distance and IM 70.3’s in the build up to Kona in October.

BNA: You have already won the Hawaiian Iron Man World Championships twice, can you win it a third and what will it take?

Crowie: Anything is possible. If you have won it twice, then it is possible to do it again. Most of the greatest athletes in our sport like Mark and Dave and Paula and Natascha have all been able to do it on multiple occasions. It is all on me to prepare the right way, and to give nothing less than 100% every day I training. That is the absolute least I need to do, as there is so much depth in the sport at the moment, and a lot of great athletes will be vying for the title.

Craig "crowie" Alexander

BNA: Would you say you are more suited to a Hilly course or a flatter course or do you believe that you perform at roughly the same level compared to your competition on both?

Crowie: I think I am versatile, and can adapt to any course, and I think my level of performance is quite consistent whatever the course.

BNA: We see Tri’s won and lost in transition is this something you train for? What tips can you give other triathletes?

Crowie: Early in my career I used to practise it a lot, but now having done so many races it is like I am auto pilot when I go thru transition.

BNA: What is your best race day nutrition?

Crowie: Porridge or a bagel for breakfast, and a GJ’s coffee.

BNA: What does a typical training week include for you?

Crowie: It varies dramatically as to what point of the season I am in. It can be anywhere from 20 to 35 hours a week, and usually includes 4 to 5 swim sessions, 5 to 6 of riding, and 6 to 7 of running.

BNA: What is your sponsorship situation looking like this year?

Crowie: I am very happy that I have picked up some new sponsors outside the industry, like Toyota, Goria Jeans and 40 Winks, as well as a number within triathlon. We even made our first Australian TV commercial this summer.

BNA: Who are going to be your biggest competitors for 2010?

Crowie: At short course: Matt Reed and Greg Bennett
Half Ironman: Andy Potts, Terenzo Bozzone  and Tim O’Donnell
Kona:  There will be many, including Chris Lieto, Andreas Raelert, Eneko Llanos, Rasmus Henning, Cameron Brown, Marino Van Hoenacker, Rutger Beke, Ronnie Schildnick and Terenzo Bozzone.

BNA: Ok. In a 40k time trial between you and Lance Armstrong who would win?

Crowie: Lance by a long way!!!

BNA: Thank you Craig, good luck racing this year.

photos : Craig Alexander

has contributed this article to Bicycles Network Australia.
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