Episode 85

Hayden Wilde: From XTERRA to the Olympics in four years

Hayden Wilde will be the first to tell you the last 3-4 years have been huge as he pursued his goal of trying to qualify for the Olympics in triathlon, following a background in more off-road endurance sports. When the Covid outbreak began in 2020, the young New Zealander wouldn't have foreseen not racing abroad for 22 months. He made the most of his time, becoming 2x National Champion in the 5,000m on the track and also spent quality time with friends and family. He returned to triathlon action with a 5th place finish at WCTS Leeds and is one to watch heading into the Tokyo Olympics and beyond.

You'll hear

08:27 Hayden talk about leaving New Zealand for the first time in 22 months and what it was like travelling to Europe having had so much freedom during the Covid outbreak in NZ

14:54 Hayden says if racing hadn't been on the cards, he would have been happy staying in New Zealand but "Watching racing continuing was pretty gutting. I just wanted to get out and do what I love to do and get my job back to normality."

16:20 Was Hayden surprised with his 5th place finish and running alongside Alex Yee who would go on to win the race?

19:45 About his rapport with Alex Yee "I really rate him as an athlete and as a person too. I am absolutely stoked for him to get that Olympic sport. There's about 3 or 4 months between us and there are going to be a lot of battles over the next few years. Our track times are pretty similar, our swimming is the same, I just have a better power to weight ratio on the bike, but the way he performed in Leeds was awesome to see. It's going to be an exciting few years for Hayden and Alex"

22:23 What does being a strong runner bring to the mix when it comes to confidence? "All these track times are well and good, but the reality is it's a different game running off the bike"

24:35 His hopes of representing New Zealand in the 5,000m on the track at the Tokyo Olympics. He made the criteria to qualify for selection for the New Zealand Olympic team for the 5,000m, but he did not make the team.

29:15 "Back in primary school I used to do a bit of cross country, but I only really played football and hockey and only started to do half marathons when I was 16 or 17, but they were mainly off-road. I just had such a big base when I was young and when I transferred to triathlon four years ago, I just needed to find the right coach to build on top of that and get some speed into me."

31:15 How he met his coach Craig Kirkwood at a local running race (which Hayden won) and his coaching team around him

31:41 Why Hayden prefers to train alone and bases himself in Tauranga, a beach town, away from the Triathlon New Zealand team. "It makes me balanced and extremely relaxed coming into races. I can do things other than work. Mentally I just really like it and if I train with others it just doesn't work for me. When I train with others, yes it pushes me, but I'm lucky because I can push myself pretty hard."

39:50 His love for boats, boat flipping and having a project on his hands, so he can go out fishing enjoy the New Zealand summer, not not talk shop and enjoy life and time with friends and family.

47:24 Him reflect on his victory at Coast to Coast in 2015 "man, how did I paddle 80km for like 4 hours and not be too tired? It was a battle, but it was fun! Being that young, you just sort of go full-gas."

50:0 If he misses the more relaxed nature of Xterra triathlon and more off-road sports and why he might be heading to Maui later in 2020

54:52 What he was doing when the OlympicTriathlon was taking place at the Rio Olympics in 2016. "After Rio was actually when I made the transfer to triathlon. I've had the normal four year cycle! I knew the household names, but going to my first World Series was like 'woah, these are the guys you watch on TV" It has been quite a surreal 3 or 4 years"

01:00:25 His tattoo which he got done for his Dad who passed away 14 years ago.

Find out more about this week's guests

Hayden Wilde Instagram

Move Charity Raffle Justgiving page

Sam Sills instagram and Sam in action on the water

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About the Podcast

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Inside Tri Show
Helen Murray brings you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond

About your host

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Helen Murray

Helen has been working in triathlon for a decade as an athlete, coach and broadcaster.

Helen hosts the Inside Tri Show podcast bringing you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond