Member Profile – James Hammond

I’ve loved sports my whole life and have a fairly competitive nature. I grew up in New Zealand playing cricket, hockey and golf as well as competitive swimming up until 13 which has been handy to resume as an adult triathlete. I never really chose a single sport to excel in and was more a jack of all trades master of none sort of sportsman, perfect for triathlon!

I didn’t get into running until my early 20s where I was working FIFO in the desert as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. I had nothing else to do at the end of a 12 hour day but go to the gym, eat and sleep. I didn’t like lifting stuff so I ran on the treadmill in the camp’s gym. For years I used to just run about 30-40 mins and went as fast as I could. As a kid growing up in a small NZ city I did heaps of biking adventures all over the place, but never any proper cycling. I started cycling by commuting in to the city for work and doing spin classes in the gym which I also attacked with maximum intensity. I decided to give away the hockey and toyed with the idea of a triathlon for a while. My first triathlon was a gatti race out at west lakes at the end of 2015 and it was in the middle of a heat wave, racing above 30 deg C. As a kiwi that did a lot of training in an air conditioned gym my lungs were on fire by the end of the 6 km run! I got 7th overall and even though the heat made it really hard I probably overestimated how hard it was to complete a triathlon and should’ve signed up sooner.

Fast forward to the present and I’ve done 8 x IM70.3s, I’ve gone under 4 hours for a 70.3, comfortably sub 2 hours at Victor Harbor OD and I’m usually finishing in the top of the overall age group field. I still haven’t done a full IM and I’m not really driven by distance and endurance yet. I still get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from training hard, with purpose and intensity as opposed to big mileage. Being an engineer I’m also quite numbers driven so when I’m swimming I’m timing my laps and recovery, when I’m riding I want to know my heart rate vs power and interval duration, and when I’m running I want to know my heart rate vs pace. I’ve enjoyed being my own sports science experiment through the past few years and I’ve learnt a lot through linking up with Nigel for coaching. Being a part of the lakers has helped for extra motivation to go and out get the training done with some inspiring and likeminded people. There’s always someone to chase up a hill, hold onto on outer harbour laps or just to get out of bed and meet at the pool first thing in the morning. I still do a lot of training on my own because I enjoy the time efficiency of running from my front door and riding on zwift, but the swimming is good to do with others and I enjoy the Lakers’ company for the longer Saturday rides.

I’m always keen for a coffee and pastry on the way home from a ride though. I do triathlon to add to my life, not take away from it, so I still eat treats and love a bit of craft beer and wine. I love a healthy and active lifestyle but keeping the balance and enjoyment is the key for me.  

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