This month Fitness Journal profiles its second Waikato Pathway to Podium athlete; triathlete Fynn Thompson.
The nationwide Pathway to Podium programme includes 45 Waikato pre-high performance athletes selected by their National Sport Organisation (NSO) and aims to recognise and help prepare them for life as high performance athletes. Waikato Pathway to Podium is led by Sport Waikato, and is part of the national Pathway to Podium programme that has been established by High Performance Sport New Zealand and Sport New Zealand.
Name: Fynn Thompson
School and career path: Wakatipu High school in Queenstown finishing in 2013. I am currently coaching swimming part-time and my future career path is to follow my dreams in triathlon and then there are a number of things I would like to pursue in the future.
Current NZ ranking: National U23 Champion, 3rd Elite Male
List of achievements: 2016 National U23 Champion, 2016 3rd Elite Male National Champs, 3rd NZ Junior Champs 2015, 5th Osaka ITU Continental Cup 2016,
Short term goals: Top 15s at ITU World Cups in Tongyeong, Korea and Miyazaki, Japan.
Long term goals: U23 World Champion 2017, 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2020 Olympic Games
What is required to reach them? Keep progressing in each discipline, gain more race experience and keep enjoying what I am doing.
How you first got involved in your sport? I did my first triathlon in Queenstown in 2006 when I was still at primary school, then did one or two a year, along with playing a variety of sports before taking triathlon more seriously in 2010 and it has just evolved from there.
What other sports are you or have been involved in? Rugby, Futsall, cross country and downhill mountain biking, snow boarding.
What is the highlight of your time in the sport? There have been a number of highlights so far. I have met some awesome people and seen some amazing places but my highlight would have to be racing my first Junior Worlds in Edmonton, Canada, in 2014. Even though my race didn’t go to plan it was my first time racing on the world stage for New Zealand, and I loved every minute of it.
What is your greatest challenge? The greatest challenge is race day. There is so much training and work done behind the scenes and it all comes down to a 60min or 2hour race. There are so many scenarios that can unfold during the race and the challenge is knowing how to adapt and execute on the day.
What is the greatest misconception about your sport? Training doesn’t always need to be hard and listening to your body is key. It is easy to train hard, but it is hard to train easy.
What does your training involve? 20 to 25 hours a week, nine hours of swimming, nine hours of riding, five hours of running and two gym sessions. Mix of quality, long and easy sessions.
What motivates you? Seeing progression and the challenge of balancing three sports.
What does it mean to be part of the Pathway to Podium programme? It’s huge to be involved in such a great programme. It is really cool to work with and learn from athletes from a range of sports, and also utilise HPSNZ support to help bridge the gap to carding.
Who are your sponsors/the team around you? I have an amazing team. My coach is Tim Brazier, who I haven’t been with long but it has been going very well and I really enjoying working with him. I am lucky to have great training partners in the NZ High Performance squad and also a number of other athletes also based in Cambridge, support from Triathlon NZ and also HPSNZ / Sport NZ / Sport Waikato through the Pathway to Podium programme.
Last word: I am not doing this sport just to take part, I am doing it because I am striving to be the best and will do everything I can to try and achieve that.