Tim Reed: triathlon running through his veins

WE TALK to Tim Reed about becoming a professional triathlete and the sacrifices he's made to make it.

Tim Reed

Tim Reed was sport since school but it wasn’t until the age of 21 when he first got involved in triathlon.

TIM REED was always dedicated to sport but it wasn’t until after school that he started out in triathlon. However, once he found the sport he put everything he had into it and worked hard to get his swimming and cycling up to his already formidable running ability. 


Here Tim talks about his triathlon journey so far and how he’s gone from amateur to pro in a relatively short space of time. Read on to find out what he’s currently training for and his triathlon goals for the months and years ahead.


When did you start out in triathlon and had you always been a sporty person?


 I started dabbling in running and triathlon after I left school. I started to do what resembles proper training around the age of 21. Yes, I always very sporty. From the age of 8 or 9 I probably played sport at least two to three hours per day. 


Tim Reed

One of Tim’s first ever races was an Ironman. photo Australian Triathlete

What were some of your earliest triathlon successes?


I did an Ironman as one of my first races and I was far from impressive. Which perhaps given my limited training history I shouldn’t have been surprised at but I walked away from that figuring that there wasn’t too much talent. However soon after I did sprint races and was riding and running competitively against seasoned professionals so realised that there was something there and I just had to do the training to eventually be competitive in long course racing. 


Tim Reed

Tim has a strong family unit around him which has always supported him in his triathlon career.

Who were your biggest supporters and mentors at the beginning?


Geez, there’s a long list. To mention a few- Phil Whistler- kicked off my whole interest in the sport and helped me dive into the sport, my parents and twin sister, Grant Giles (Aeromax coaching) and Matt Dixon my current coach and mentor. There were also sponsors who took a leap of faith very early on and made it possible for me to initially break even in the sport and later on make a good living from it. 


Tim Reed

Triathlon has taken Tim to countries all around the world.


At which triathlon discipline do you have to work the hardest and at which do you excel at?


Running came incredibly quickly and cycling developed steadily over three to four years. However I hadn’t swum more than a few laps in a pool since I was ten years old when I started triathlon so it was a huge process to learn how to swim efficiently and eventually become a long course front pack swimmer. There were plenty of 30km swim weeks as an age group athlete desperate to bring my swimming up to a professional level. 


Tim Reed

Tim was always a competent runner but has had to work hard to get up to standard in the other disciplines of triathlon.

Where in the world has the sport taken you and what have been some of your biggest triathlon triumphs?


It’s been an amazing journey and allowed me to see dozens of different countries. My biggest triathlon triumphs are not always the most obvious ones. Of course in recent years, winning the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, the Asia Pacific Championships and Ironman Australia were huge accomplishments however along the way there were huge milestones not so apparent to outsiders that gave me the belief to really have a red hot crack. For example, my first pro race where I finished third, 40 seconds off Pete Jacobs, my second place in the 18-24 age group in Kona before I turned pro or even those races where I would finish very high up overall while still racing as age group competitor. 


Tim Reed

Despite achieving much already Tim has many more triathlon goals for the future.

Can you tell us about your phenomenal success in Ironman races?


Ha, it’s been far from a phenomenal success. I’ve done six pro Ironman events and have only nailed one of them and finished 2nd in the other. There has been quite a few poor races but I finally feel like I’m getting a good understanding of the training and racing strategy required to do well in these races. 


Tim Reed

Tim makes another impressive finish.


What are you currently training for and what races and other projects do you have lined up for the rest of the year and beyond?


I’m currently training for the Ironman World Championships. Along the way, I have some intermediate goals including one of my favourite events, Ironman 70.3 Philippines and then I want to put forward a very strong race at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. However for this year, I’m really targeting Kona. I don’t just want a top 10. I’m training to be on the podium. 


Tim Reed

Strong family values and being a good role model are key in Tim’s philosophy.

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