Road to Rio: Checking in with Andrew Yorke
One of the three Canadian men with a good shot at Rio 2016, Andrew Yorke has been focused and determined to earn his sport on the Olympic team for a while now. Yorke has some impressive finishes under his belt, with several top 10 finishes at major races in the last few years. Right now, he’s Canada’s most promising male athlete to make it to Rio. What will it take to secure that spot? Yorke filled us in.
TMC: Have you started your 2016 training yet? How’s it going so far?
Andrew Yorke: The start to my 2016 campaign has gone quite well. In the fall and winter I focus on a lot of strength work, so higher mileage running and swimming and lots of time in the weight room! With the great weather we had in the fall, I was able to do a lot of outdoor riding and I’m feeling confident on the bike already, now that we’re into winter training. In the fall I also raced some cross-country events with my friends on the Hamilton Bombers team. Practicing “racing” has been a lot of fun! I’ve raced Provincials and Nationals XC, the Boxing Day 10 miler in Hamilton and will race a 3 km this Friday as well as an indoor 5 km at the end of the month.
What races do you have planned for 2016?
Right now I’m finalizing the schedule….but let’s just say you’ll see me in some of the WTS events leading up to the Rio cutoff.
What are you most looking forward to in the triathlon world in 2016?
That would have to be the Olympics!
Any specific goals for the year?
Everything is geared towards a top performance in Rio! I still have to qualify for the team but currently I’m the only Canadian male to appear in the top 55 on the Olympic Simulation. I’m looking to have a stand out performance early this season and then focus on a lifetime performance at the Olympics.
What does a typical training week look like for you?
Generally I swim six to eight times a week going hard in the water Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I’ll average around 30 km in the water each week. I’ll ride three to five times a week totaling about 250 – 300 km. We do two quality sessions followed by a longer ride on the weekend. One ride is with a large, fast paced group and the second is either a variation of hill repeats or a brick-style session. For running I’ll do between 80 – 100 km per week. I’ll do a long tempo once a week (40 – 50+ minutes), a track session at 5 km pace or faster and a long run 90 – 120 minutes. We also do weights 2 times per week.
Are there any specific challenges you think you’ll face this year? How will you tackle them?
The biggest challenge is always executing your fitness on race day. So many factors go into your preparation and a lot of the time Olympic selection can come down to a single two hour race. Being ready to execute regardless of the demands that day is always a challenge and is my favourite piece of the “performance” puzzle. I’ll be working hard with my coach Craig Taylor and the entire Integrative Support Team here in Guelph to make sure I’m ready when that time comes!