6-5-1 @ SPARTA: interview with Trent Chapman

Let me introduce you to the 2010 Australian Ironman Champion, Trent Chapman.

Trent is a former professional triathlete who was ranked as high as 7th in the world triathlon rankings before he retired from the sport a decade ago.

He recently rediscovered his love of the sport & returned to racing as an age group athlete at the age of 34 with considerable success.

Trent went on to finish 3rd overall at Ironman Australia in 2010 and, as the first Aussie across the line, became the Australian Ironman Champion.

He can often be spotted proudly wearing the red and white strips of the Penrith Institute of Sport (Team PIS).

Without further delay, here we go –

1/. Trent, what is the biggest challenge to your motivation & how do you overcome that?

Accept that everyone at times lacks motivation, or doesn’t want to get out of bed.

Resist the temptation of succumbing to the little voice saying “there is no need to train today, you can catch up tomorrow” solely for the reason that you will feel better for getting out and doing it.

The reward..the feeling post exercise/ training is something we can all relate to and that sense of ease or satisfaction far outweighs the feeling of laziness or guilt that you get when you don’t train.

The only real challenge to motivation for me comes about when I do NOT have a goal.

You need to have a goal! This might not be to win a world title, it may simply be to lose 5kg. But you need to aim for something.

If I have a goal, motivation doesn’t seem to be a problem

2/. Aside from training for the 3 disciplines, what other training do you do (eg, strength, stretching, core etc) and how important is it to your performance?

Triathlon along with family/ friends and work fills the day quickly.

In saying that I try to do core work and light leg weights (mainly hamstrings) 3 times a week. Just a 30min circuit but it seems enough.

As I get older this seems imperative to keeping body balanced and strong across all three legs

3/.  What impact did your parents’ input have on your success?

None. I actually think my results would illustrate they are definitely not my biological parents 🙂

The truth is the impact they have had can’t be put in words.

From the early morning swim sessions, not just the transport and waking at awfully early hours but developing the drive that resides within.

That drive to compete doesn’t come overnight it is built over years. With it comes discipline to stick to a cause. Add to this Dad actually competing in triathlons which in turn led to me falling in love with it says everything.
[Ed note: Trent’s dad Greg Chapman, a local Penrith legend in his own right, has completed 10 Ironman races including the Hawaii Ironman in 1989].

4/. Who is the person that has had the most influence on your sporting success?

As per above my parents. With this goes my two brothers. Having an older and younger brother keeps you on your toes…one driving you to perform above your age allows, the other biting at your heels keeps you honest.

Then there is Dave and Andy Richo. They were the ‘gun local athletes’ and happened to become my closest friends. Just so happens they worked at the bikeshop, and like any young boy you needed a sweet ride. Spent many hours logging miles with these guys.

Then there is young guy named Adrian Comminotto. Young local guy desperate to train with me when I was racing professional. He had the passion I had when I was younger and he helped me fall back in love with the sport.

And everyone has a special coach. For me it was controversial figure Brett Sutton. He taught not just what triathlon was about but a hell of a lot about myself.

5/.  What strategies do you use when you have an injury or a disappointing result?

When I have a poor race or am injured I probably get more depressed then anyone I know.

I try to balance this with the fact the sun will rise again tomorrow and there is always another race to tackle just around the corner.

Injuries have taught me patience….time heals all wounds

6/.  If you could go back & give one piece of advice to yourself at 18, what would it be?

I always doubted myself/ my ability. It took me till I was retired and back racing as an age group at 34yrs of age that something clicked and I thought hey I do ok at this tri caper.

My advice – believe in yourself

Thanks Trent!

Photo credit: (c) Kim Kohen, 2010