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Q&A with off-road triathlete Kieran McPherson

Posted by Myovolt on 23rd Oct 2020

Myovolt had the opportunity to have a Q&A with professional off-road triathlete Kieran McPherson, recently dubbed the first person to triathlon the length of New Zealand.

Q: Kieran, you have just recently finished a two-week triathlon across the length of New Zealand, there was a forced break due to Covid making the entire trip take 5 weeks. Did you ever think that you were not going to be able to finish the triathlon? Or was not finishing never an option?

A: Giving up was never an option. I had discussed with my support crew what would be the time frame for having to restart completely vs completing when we got out of lockdown. The three week gap wasn’t too long so completing from where we stopped seemed like the best option.

Q: Which part of your journey was the most grueling and had your training prepared you adequately for the challenge?

A: Probably the gravel road section between Hunterville and Ohakune was the toughest section on the bike. It was 3-4 hours of uphill on corrugated gravel. This was slightly more gravel and elevation gain than I had anticipated. During training we had trained back to back hard days, so this had only prepared us for the first couple of days for my LoNZ tri. Any further back to back days during training would’ve been more of a hindrance as I may have burnt out. Preparation was still roughly 30+ hours a week during the middle of winter.

Q: What was essential to helping you get through each day of the triathlon? Did you have specific routines at the start and end of each day?

A: Nutrition, hydration and recovery. Making sure I got the right amount of calories, enough water, and being recovered enough for the following days were essential for my journey. Along with counting calories we also had a nightly and morning recovery routine which included good food, some light massage and making the most of my recovery tools that were provided for me during my trip by Myovolt and RadRoller.

Q: Did you encounter any problems with old or new injuries along the way?

A: Slight alterations to the cranks to my bike to accommodate a power meter a few days before I embarked on my journey led to an unfortunate ITB tightening. This was the worst on day 4 where I had to hobble the last 5 of my 15km run into the Rakaia Gorge.

Q: As a professional triathlete, how important is recovery for you?

A: Recovery is just as important as the training you do itself. The quantity of quality training is only as good as you're able to recover. A twice daily ritual of compression, stretching, vibration and myofascial release all aid in the process of me being able to train at the best of my ability.

Q: How do you use Myovolt as part of your recovery routine?

A: Being a full time athlete while working and having a young family, Myovolt is the perfect on the go recovery with such a busy lifestyle. I am able to recover while cooking dinner, driving to and from training sessions and even while winding down in bed at night.

Q: We designed Myovolt as a tool that can be taken anywhere and used anytime, did you find it convenient to use on-the-road?

A: Something as simple as recharging with a car charger made Myovolt a fantastic opportunity while freedom camping NZ. This wearable recovery device also made life easy for recovering on the go. I was able to massage while preparing my wetsuit for my morning swim as well as massage during our nightly debrief.

Q: In the current environment with Covid being taken into account for everything, what does the new normal look like to you? Working your way up to your two week triathlon we imagine it would look very much like your regular training prep for an event. But what about now, given you aren't training for an event?

A: I do have at least one more adventure planned before the end of 2020 and this should not be affected by Covid. It is important to have a goal set so you are able to maintain motivation during a season where events are not always guaranteed.

Q: Looking ahead for the rest of the 2020 race year and into 2021, are there any events - Covid permitting - that you are looking at attending or where we might see you?

A: I am unsure on any scheduled events until the end of the year. It would be great to have some more certainty from the Government around events as I know these companies must be struggling.

Q: Due to Covid you have pivoted as an athlete from being a part of races to coming up with your own races to push yourself. From literally digging out your own Ironman distance course to completing a triathlon the length of a country. Do you have anything else brewing in the background for your next adventure?

A: My next upcoming event will be announced very soon. With backyard off-road Ironman on a self made course and Length of NZ triathlon, this next adventure may be my most ambitious yet.

Q: Any words of advice for those struggling to stay motivated as races and events are generally getting postponed or cancelled across the globe?

A: Set yourself a goal that also pushes your limits as well as being achievable. This can be done with an event or even with a small group of friends, Covid permitted.

Thanks, Kieran, for taking the time to chat with Myovolt and congratulations on your incredible journey. The Myovolt team has been glad to be a part of your journey and being one of the tools you chose to use on the way. All the best for your upcoming ventures, we can't wait to see what's in store.