Sit-down with Brodie Gardner – 2017 Australian National Cross Triathlon Champion

Congratulations on your win of the 2017 Australian National Cross Triathlon Champions, how did you find the event?

Winning the national championships was simply amazing and such a buzz especially being able to do it on ‘home-soil’ at my local track in front of family and friends which really was the icing on the cake. As for the race itself, I lost probably a lot more time in the swim than I would’ve liked and took quite a while to find my rhythm on the bike, but I just kept focusing on staying calm and sticking to my race strategy. After a few km’s into the bike I started to feel stronger and stronger and took this momentum onto the run where I was able to take the lead with about 4km to go. Due to the heat and lack of recent running, I wasn’t confident I had the win till a few hundred metres to go which was when it all really started to sink in that I was going to be national champ.

 

In your own words, what does it take to live the life of Brodie Gardner?

3Ds (Dedication, determination and discipline)! I’m sure there’d be people on the outside who think I might be naturally talented, but I think my biggest talent is sticking to the 3Ds and the resilience I’ve shown to be able to overcome hurdles and consistently train and compete whilst working 50-60hrs per week. Second to this is definitely going to be keeping a positive mindset as much as possible and a diet that is healthy and conducive to the training loads I demand from my body.

 Explain a little about your profession, and how that has helped you progress in both of your careers

I work as a sport scientist and exercise physiologist and run Intune Sports and Health’s high-performance athlete development and allied health centre on the Sunshine Coast. For myself, creating Intune has allowed me to have daily access to the World’s best equipment (strength training, indoor cycling, gait analysis) and testing facilities (VO2max, lactate analysis) which would otherwise only be available to athletes based at the Australian Institute of Sport or similar exclusive training institutes. Also, as I work with world class athletes daily, I often find their success as a great a source of motivation to push myself further as an athlete.

Xterra (or Cross-triathlon) is the dirty form of triathlon as we like to call it where the swim is standard (1500m) like an Olympic distance tri, but the bike and runs are replaced with mountain bike and trail run legs, respectively.

 

You have a massive number of events coming up this year, tell us, what is the Xterra all about, and how can audiences get involved?

Xterra (or Cross-triathlon) is the dirty form of triathlon as we like to call it where the swim is standard (1500m) like an Olympic distance tri, but the bike and runs are replaced with mountain bike and trail run legs, respectively.

During the first half of the year the best option for Australian’s to race is in the Xterra Asian tour where races are held at the beautiful destinations of Saipan, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Malaysia. Otherwise, at home you’ll need to wait till May for the Straddie Salute (Qld) or later on in the year for the TreX Cross Tri series (Qld, Vic, & NSW).

 

How many athletes do you generally expect a race?

Most races there’s usually between 300-500 competitors.

How does the community interact with each other, and is the environment supportive and encouraging of new athletes?

It is by far the most supportive community found across all forms of triathlons. Every time I meet someone who has completed their first Cross-tri/Xterra event, one of the first things they always comment on after how much fun they had is how friendly and supportive all the competitors are. I’m not sure if mud has that effect on everyone, but it certainly is a lot more welcoming than on road tri’s have become.

 

Which is your favourite track?

As far as courses goes, I think Lake Crackenback (NSW snowy mountains) has to be one of the most fun mountain bike courses we get to race on as well as being scenically beautiful. On the flipside though, it’s at altitude and the course generally hasn’t suited me too well so I look forward to turning that around next season.

 Best ways to keep up to date is either following me on Instagram @brodiegardner, Facebook or at www.brodiegardner.com.

Where can we expect to see you next?

I’ve got a massive few months of races coming up including the full Xterra Asian Tour from March-May (Saipan, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, Malaysia and Tahiti), the Straddie Salute in May, and then later on the year the ITU Cross-Tri World Champs and the end of the Xterra Asian Tour in Korea and Japan. If everything goes well you might catch me racing a few of the Xterra American Tour races and perhaps the Xterra World Champs. Best ways to keep up to date is either following me on Instagram @brodiegardner, Facebook or at www.brodiegardner.com.

What’s the greatest challenge you’ve faced as an athlete, and how do you feel that you’ve overcome your challenges to become a greater athlete?

Injuries! I’ve unfortunately had far too many injuries which have been significant hurdles and challenges to overcome at times. There’s been plenty of times where I’ve looked to quit sport but for whatever reason I’ve managed to hang in there and obviously after recently picking up the national title I’m grateful to have had the support of friends and family who helped me to tough it in the tough times.

Never give up.

What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned as an athlete?

Never give up.

 

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you out on the course?

I ended up getting lost several times out on course at Xterra Saipan last year. Although certainly not funny at the time, it’s always a good story to look back on.

 

Out on the course, what would you say is your biggest strength?  

I think it’s probably my bike run combo, but this isn’t always the case.

 

What do you like to do in your down time?

Downtime . Not that I get much, but generally spending time catching up with friends or family whether at beach or over a bbq

I think having a goal is always important and vital for discipline.

What’s your philosophy on discipline? How do you cut the crap?

I think having a goal is always important and vital for discipline. If there’s no goal, there’s probably no point in being disciplined as either option (negative or positive) won’t affect an outcome if there isn’t one there. For diet for me, it’s always about what I want to achieve and how I’d like to feel. Even training 20+ hrs per week, when the diets not right, you’ll still feel like crap and lack energy the same if you’re a couch potato.

What coaches, teacher or other people have been great influences in your life and why or how? 

As cliché as it may sound, I think my family has been the greatest influence on my success both in and away from sport. My brother has always been someone I’ve looked up to greatly, and my mum’s always pushed for me to find the positives out of every outcome whether it may seem like a backward step at the time, and has always encouraged and supported me to follow my dreams no matter how ridiculous or crazy they may be.

 

When you’re out on a race, how does it make you feel? What’s the feeling you get inside?

Generally feels painful haha! But when you cross that line and take a win there are no words that can adequately describe the feeling. I remember having goosebumps at nationals recently when I realised a was within striking distance of taking the win.

Never give up. Simple, but very true.

For others looking to follow in your footsteps, what advice would you give them?

Never give up. Simple, but very true. In triathlon, everyone wants to be great straight away and currently we’re seeing a lot of age group athletes prance around like they’re pro’s. As with every sport, you really do need to do the time.

What does a day-on-a-plate look like for you?

Typically the alarm goes off at 4:03am (yes very precise), some pre-session activation, mobility, 5am training starts followed by a PSA Protein smoothy of the day, 7am start work and then I’ll try and fit in another 1-2 sessions during the middle of the day before finishing work usually around 7pm. Pretty hectic schedule I know!!

 

What is your approach to supplementation, and what’s your favourite PSA product?

Being someone who is time poor and having high energy demands due to large training loads, supplementation is a crucial part of my diet as it helps ensure I’m able to consume enough micro and macronutrients. As for favourites products, I can’t go past a vanilla 360 Whey Protein with Colostrum and frozen banana smoothy.

Follow me at www.brodiegardner.com, on Instagram @brodiegardner, or facebook.com/brodie.gardner.1

 

2017 Race Schedule