Q&A with World Triathlon series winner Richard Murray

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Richard Murray photo: Getty

Were you confident going into the race against a stellar field including World Number 1 Mario Mola, two-time Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee and Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman?

I was confident. I have had a few bad races in a row and it has been a tough past 3 months, but I never doubt myself and know when it all comes together I can have a great day out.

Was this your first World Triathlon Series win over the Olympic distance?

This has eluded me since I’ve started WTS racing. I’ve had one or two 2nd places but never managed to get on top of the podium over the 1500m, 40km, 10km event. I’m so happy I’ve finally done it!

Why did you battle in the 1 500m swim?

I’m not sure. Sometimes I just don’t feel great and battle to find a good stroke. I got very weak and was falling off the back on the pack. I need to find out the cause, with my coaches.

Weren’t you afraid that by cycling so hard in the 40km ride you would have nothing left for the run?

I never really thought of that, my legs felt really good and I just focused on cornering well, as there were so many corners. The tight course really played to my strengths. After the bike I didn’t feel that tired which helped me on the run.

Any doubts creep in during the 10km run?

Once or twice around 7km when Mario started to close in and was only 9 seconds behind, but I put the hammer down and held him off.

What do you think about when you are out there competing for hours?

It’s like meditation and complete focus; there’s a lot happening when you are flying around corners and have to focus 100 percent on the bike.

When the pain hit, where do you find inspiration?

I knew this was my moment and I could not let it go. I just believe that if I’m hurting the guys behind me must be in agony as well, so just handle business! It’s always going to hurt but who can handle the hurt the longest wins.

What is the best way to treat a sore body post the race?

Massage, burgers, milkshake, friends, family, hydration and a hot bath.

What do you eat and drink before, during and after the race?

I stick to a similar diet leading into races and test what I’ll eat in the days leading up to race day. It’s good to get my digestive system to train on the food where I am competing, and stick to it, don’t try new things. No garlic, spicy stuff or sea food. And not too much veggies or bran the night before a race.

While you were winning in England, your fellow PUMA athlete Ann Ashworth was winning the Comrades. Is that iconic race on your bucket list?

Comrades is not really on my radar yet. I do enjoy long runs but I’m not much of an extreme distance runner.

What attracted you to PUMA?

I have been working with PUMA for 8 years. I love this brand and have gone through 3 different phases of running shoe developments with the company. It’s a brand that’s laid back, fun and works well with my personality. I love to give feedback on the technical running shoes and how to improve things. It’s a treat that the company uses my feedback.

You run in a pair of PUMA Speed 300 IGNITE 3 – why?

They are soft, responsive, medium weight, have enough support and a good toe off for fast running. I looked for a shoe that I can race a LOT in and this shoe with a 8mm drop from heel to toe is perfect.

What next?

Next up is a Bundesliga event in Düsseldorf in July followed by Hamburg, the next stop for the World Triathlon Series.

Your advice for young athletes considering the triathlon path?

Believe in yourself, find good coaches, don’t be soft, listen to your body and take recovery days. Don’t be too serious, have FUN.

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