07 Mar 2011

Iain Dawson: World Paratriathlon Champion

All Articles, Athlete Profiles, Triathlon No Comments

Iain Dawson takes time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for Orbana.  He sheds some light on his background,  his training and how he got involved in Paratriathlons.

QIain, you’re only in your second season of Paratriathlon and you’re already National, European and World Champion, what has been your most memorable moment so far amongst these great achievements?
The whole of 2010 was just fantastic, but winning the European championships in Ireland was a highlight as it perhaps came as a surprise to everyone, even to myself!

Q For those that don’t know visually impaired athletes in Paratriathlons compete with a guide. They swim tethered by a rope, complete the bike leg on a tandem and run side-by-side with blackout glasses – all must have different challenges but which do you find the most taxing and why?
Each discipline is quite technical but for me, running in blackout glasses is by far the most difficult to get used to. I have some limited sight that I have adapted to and use quite effectively. Taking that away affects your balance, co-ordination and confidence It is something that is hard to train for and it’s not a nice feeling!

QYou must place a great deal of trust in your guide – how often do you train and do you always train with each other?
You have to trust the guide totally throughout the whole race. They have a lot of responsibility. I am lucky enough to have three great guides who all have different strengths so it’s a case of working out how to get through the race as effectively as possible as a pairing. We do some training together, especially around the more technical aspects of each discipline and transitions but we also do a lot of our general conditioning training separately on a day-to-day basis.

Q What events have you in your sights for 2011 and what are your goals?
I’m basically looking to repeat the results I achieved last year but go a bit quicker! I’m planning to take part in the European triathlon championships, World triathlon champions in Beijing and the World duathlon in Spain. I will also be racing at the world invitation triathlon in Hyde Park during August, the national championships in May and some local events here in Norfolk.

QWhat is your most vital piece of equipment, the one you can’t leave home without?
My Bob Jackson racing tandem – I could probably borrow a wetsuit and find a pair a shoes to run in but it would be hard to find a good tandem! 

QIain, away from Triathlons you’re a full time physio that specialises in working with people who have learning difficulties – how do you find balancing work, training & competing?
I try to be consistent in the way I train so as not to over do things, I eat reasonably well (and almost all the time!) and I try to relax when I get the chance. Work is also reasonably flexible although it can be very busy sometimes. I try to have at least one rest day each week too.

QDo you have any superstitions when it comes to competition day, left or right trainer on first?
No not really, I just get on with the race without worrying too much about anything, but I like matching tyres on my bike..

QAnd finally, what’s your favourite pre – competition meal?
– Pasta with chicken and spinach is pretty good (and an Orbana drink!)

Iain thanks for taking the time out to do a short Q & A with Orbana.

We’ll keep you all updated with Iain’s progress throughout the race season, he will also shortly be launching his own website – when it’s live we’ll let you all know about it!