The Final Countdown: HJ Preps in Tucson
Ed. Note—It's almost Kona week, which means the best triathletes in the world are putting the final touches on their training and climbing on planes to the big island. We grabbed one final catch-up with HJ and Wattie as they close out their time in Tucson, getting ready for Worlds.
"We really put a lot of the heavy lifting in August," Sean "Wattie" Watkins tells me of HJ's work for Kona. "After we got back from Spain, that's when we put in the seven hour rides and three hour runs. Last year we did a lot of that in September and showed up on the Big Island worn out. So most of what we've done down here has been sharpening work."
HJ on the iconic climb of Mount Lemmon
With local hero Paul Thomas on Lemmon's Slopes
"We've done a lot of continuous swimming, both in the river back home in Bend, and then here in the pool using bungees and tethers. HJ's been doing sets of 4x5' at race effort with the bungee, alternating paddles and no paddles for race-specific strength," Wattie tells me.
Bungee work, for the uninitiated, is no joke
The Oro Valley pool sees many pros in September; HJ has been sharing workouts with Linsey Corbin, and Lionel Sanders has also posted up in town
Runs along the Tucson River Trail
Tucson, if you haven't been there in September, is surprisingly humid—perfect Kona preparation
See you in Kona!
"She's super fit right now," Wattie says. We've done, this past weekend, our final big ride of four-and-a-half hours with four or five by twenty minutes at race effort, and HJ was chatting through the whole thing. After that we did nine miles off the bike in 60 minutes, on a pattern of two miles at race pace and one mile easy. Same thing: chatting and smiling the whole way. We're excited for race day."