Find out how profiled athlete Oliver Hallström felt when he crossed the line at the 2019 Western Sydney 70.3, his race day tips, what he says to himself to keep going when he’s in the pain zone and which tennis celebrity he’s played with.

How was your 2019 Western Sydney 70.3 race?

– I was happy with a 4:51 time, but my swim was a little slow and was once again clinging on for dear life in the run – there’s lots of room for improvement!

How did you feel crossing the finish line?

Thirsty…

Why did you choose this race goal?

I did 5:13 at Port Mac, so to aim for sub 5hrs seemed like the next natural target. I’m also doing Taupo Full distance in March, so this was a good training race.

How did your preparation training go?

It wasn’t ideal, I had a two-week holiday a month before, so I ended up cramming lots of last-minute training in and I only gave myself a three-day taper.

And how where the celebrations and holiday afterwards?

The finish line was the official start of silly season, so the celebrations were a little OTT and everything’s a bit blurry.

Why triathlon?

I had to give up team sports due to injuries but have always enjoyed cycling and commuted by bike. I’ve never been good at endurance sports, so I wanted to see if I could turn my weaknesses into strengths and working on three different disciplines helps keep the training fresh and interesting.

What was your first tri? And how did your performance compare to now?

My first tri was the Wollongong Sprint in March 2018, time-wise it was a bit of a disaster as I didn’t train, and it was 40 degrees. I absolutely loved it though and was hooked straight away. Safe to say that since joining MP I have got stronger in all disciplines.

What do you put this significant improvement down to?

Consistent training, racing experience and trying to spend as much time out of my comfort zone as possible!

Lessons learnt?

Don’t try new equipment or do anything for the first time on race day! It’s also worth spending a few extra seconds drying your feet in T1 to help avoid nasty blisters that’ll cost you big time later on.

What was your best race?

Port Stephens would be my favourite, it has a fun ocean swim in the surf, national park ride and then a run that is broken up with some cross country.

What’s your favourite meal pre-race?

Spag bol and garlic bread

What are your nutrition tips during a race?

Practice race day nutrition in training so there are no surprises on race day and don’t be afraid to stop or walk through the aid stations – I like to use them as a quick recovery on the run.

How do you keep motivated to get up at 5am or finish a gruelling set?

I don’t really need the motivation, I’m a morning person & the gruelling sets are my favourites! Chasing all the stronger athletes usually helps me dig that little extra effort out.

What is your favourite ride/run or swim?

Riding, although I do enjoy a nice long ocean swim. Running is very far from being top choice!

Have you had to overcome any injuries and how did you do it?

Do hangovers count as injuries?? If you do the crime, you gotta do the time!

Otherwise, I have a history of torn ligaments and dislocated joints that tend to flare up, so I just listen to my body and know when to start easing off.

Memorable quote/catchphrase to keep you going when you find it tough:

“Rest time’s over”, “Stop being a **** ****(insert expletive depending on how deep in the pain zone I am).”

Why do you like training with Danny / Moore Performance squad?

Training in a group means there’s nowhere to hide and I’m always surrounded by stronger athletes that push me to work harder. It also helps that everyone is so encouraging, welcoming and experienced so I keep picking up tips and tricks when I’m least expecting to.

What was your favourite MP moment?

Port Macquarie race weekend, with so many of us in town it felt like a little holiday.

What did you do before triathlon?

I played a lot of football, did a fair bit of boxing and got pretty into calisthenics.

Which athletes inspire you?

All of the MP crew for consistently turning up, pushing themselves and creating such a positive culture! Special shout outs to Lisa, Thomas, Pete and Sam, when I see them rocking up at 545am I know I’m going to be hurting later.

What’s your ideal weekend?

Renting out a beach house with a big group of mates and spending plenty of time in the ocean and having bbqs.

What’s something we didn’t know about you?

I’ve played tennis against Roger Federer.

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