Jaxon Taylor prepares for triathlon world champs
The many hours of combining training, work and study will pay a dividend when Invercargill triathlete Jaxon Taylor represents New Zealand for the first time in Australia next month.
Taylor will compete in the junior world triathlon championships as part of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final on the Gold Coast from September 12-16.
“It’s my first time representing New Zealand so I don’t have anything to expect, but I’m definitely looking forward to the experience. It’s going to be a really good development opportunity,” Taylor said.
“At the moment I’m trying not to have any expectations, because I don’t want a lot of nerves running through my head. I’m trying to look at it as an opportunity to just race as well as I can and just go out there and have my race.”
Taylor will utilise the mental skills training he has received through Academy Southland to ensure he doesn’t let the occasion get the better of him in Australia.
He’s learnt plenty during his first year with the Academy, including the realisation that rest is as important as recovery.
“I didn’t know how to rest really. I used to just smash my body all the time and I’m starting to learn through my new coach Jansen (Rogers) that resting is good and needs to be done because that’s when you improve,” he said.
“That’s had a massive affect - my training times, everything feels so much better. Injuries, I don’t have those little niggles, and my head space is a lot better, I’ve got more time and I feel more relaxed.”
The Year 12 Southland Boys’ High student is not afraid of a bit of hard work.
Along with a heavy training load, Taylor also works part time at Windsor New World, as well as staying on top of his studies.
“It definitely requires a lot of time management. It’s about 18 hours of training, 12 hours of work and I’m trying to get excellence endorsement this year because I got that last year. I wake up early, get my training done early so I’ve got time after school to do the other stuff. There’s a lot of discipline required, you can’t just go out with friends when they want you to, but that’s the commitment I’ve chosen.”
A talented runner who would sometimes go out for a ride with his father and brother, Taylor fell in love with triathlon in Year 7 when he entered the Southland schools championships and won in his first attempt.
He got in touch with the Southland Triathlon and Multisport club, joined Glenn McLeay’s training group and the rest is history.
“The thing about triathlon - I love those dark, dark days when you are out there by yourself and you really get to know yourself. There are days when you are on the bike, it’s freezing cold and you know that you are probably one of the only ones out there doing it. I just love that. I love pushing myself, getting to know who I am - everyday is a new challenge that you have to overcome.”