With more than thirty years of Triathlon experience behind him, Richard Hobson has evolved from a 5 times national champion to a performance coach working with Olympic competitors, elite athletes and dedicated triathlon training camps for the everyman. At the heart of his Tri Living coaching program beats a passion for helping people enhance their performance and their lives through tailored training that works in harmony with their life balance.
Sound familiar? It’s no wonder, then that given Richard’s credentials and his philosophy, Dupl are delighted to welcome him to the team as a partner.
CEO, Tony Kypreos sums it up:
It’s incredible that Richard has joined us – his decades of sports-specific expertise and infectious passion for triathlon are a perfect match for our mission: to help people find joy in an active life and improve their performance with tailored support. Richard’s insight, our innovative mobile and sensor technology and the experience of our sports dietitians and performance experts – all of whom are athletes themselves – add up to make Dupl the best source of support for athletes of any ability to succeed.
So Richard, tell us what lit the fire for you in the first place – when and why did you get into triathlon?
Well it might say something that I had to look up the exact date! It was 1986; a friend at university organised a race and it looked like fun. By the end of uni I was so hooked on the triathlon culture that I abandoned my plans to become a teacher in favour of a year’s training, and never looked back. One of my early influences still sticks with me and shows the power of triathlon – it’s a clip of Julie Moss crawling across the finish line for the Iron-man triathlon in Hawaii, 1982. That image of a person breaking every barrier is pure inspiration. Julie’s conviction that nothing would stop her from getting across the line put triathlon on the map that year – participation in the race quadrupled following year and triathlon hit the mainstream.
And from highlights of the sport to highlights of your own, what are your big moments?
It’s fair to say that winning five national champion titles was incredible! Some races just stand out for the experience rather than the competition, though. Israel, for example, wasn’t just a great course for me; the race falls at the end of race year so people tend to stick around, share and soak up the experience. And Kona is a special race all round. It’s the ‘Holy Grail’ of the sport because you have to qualify just to take part and there’s no other course like it. I raced there as a pro in ’94 and ’95, and then again as an age grouper in 2010 and ’13. I blogged about my time there this year to try and capture the unique spirit of the place, the race and the joy of having my family along for the ride.
Your passion for the sport is infectious – why do you think people are so drawn to triathlon?
Where do you start? The sport is a lovely one. It’s amazing to push your abilities across three disciplines and discover what you can do with the right training programme. But much more than that, the culture of triathlon is friendly, supportive and so much fun. It’s a different vibe to other race sports because it’s so inclusive – your age or athlete status doesn’t matter. You’re all suffering the same conditions and the same mental battle so you share a connection beyond competition; it’s much more like friendship. And for so many triathletes, it’s as much about living the experience as it is getting your best times.
Switching up swimming, cycling and running is far better for your overall health than committing to one activity and it really keeps things interesting. The variation in your training mixes things up to keep you motivated and keep you on your toes – getting all three disciplines up to scratch before a race isn’t easy!
So what’s drawn you to Dupl as a partner?
That’s easy. Dupl is bringing personalised coaching to people passionate about sport on an accessible scale never seen before. It’s connecting you with the experts in the sport you love most and qualified performance dietitians, giving you access to guidance, motivation and insight when you need it, wherever you are.
As an example, people who have completed a ten day intensive Tri Living training Camp will be able to use Dupl to continue to track their progress and access 1:1 performance and nutrition support once they’re back in the daily grind.
Sounds like a dream pairing. And finally, what’s next for you, Richard?
Racing as an age grouper won’t ever get old, so lots more of that and lots more coaching. But the thing that has brought new life into my sport for me is my sons. They’re great athletes themselves and I’ve been supporting them with their training – now we can enter races together and share some terrific experiences. And the fact that they’re beating some of my times every now and again doesn’t bother me at all. Much.