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.
Q – Iain, 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?
A – 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?
A – 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!
Q – You must place a great deal of trust in your guide – how often do you train and do you always train with each other?
A – 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?
A – 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.
Q – What is your most vital piece of equipment, the one you can’t leave home without?
A – 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!
Q – Iain, 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?
A – 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.
Q – Do you have any superstitions when it comes to competition day, left or right trainer on first?
A – No not really, I just get on with the race without worrying too much about anything, but I like matching tyres on my bike..
Q – And finally, what’s your favourite pre – competition meal?
A – 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!