This weekend Sarah-Anne Brault will line up with teammates Paula Findlay, Kirsten Sweetland and Amelie Kretz at the ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast. Following her ninth place finish in a very deep field in Auckland ten days ago, Brault is ready and roaring to go. “I was very pleased with the final result in Auckland,” she told TMC. “I had been riding well coming into the race, so I was excited to see how that would translate into performance on race day. I had a great swim and a strong bike. The run was below average for me, but fortunately we had enough of a lead after the bike that I could hold on to a top 10 finish.”
TMC: The stakes are high this year, how have you been dealing with the added pressure?
SB:Honestly, I try not to over-think the situation. As long as I keep doing what I’ve been doing and improving in every discipline, the results will come. I’ll let other people worry about results and points and rankings. I have a good support team with a sport psychologist (Sharleen) who has some helpful ideas and a good grasp on the situation. I trust my coach Jamie Turner and our High Performance Director Libby Burrell to make the best decisions regarding racing and peaking at the right times.
TMC: What, if anything have you and your coach done differently this year in training?
SB: It’s my second year with Jamie and I think we can make better choices this year regarding periodization and injury prevention/management since he knows me better and I have a better idea of what I need to be doing. It’s also my second year ‘on the circuit” racing WTS races all over the world, and I learned last year how to deal with the long season and racing every second weekend. In terms of training, Jamie changed things up a little bit (with some track work on the bike and the run to add a little bit of variety), but as a general rule it is a continuation of last year’s work.
TMC: What is the vibe among your teammates while you’re all vying for limited qualifying spots? How do you stay focused on your own game while being supportive of one another?
SB:We all get along well within the training group, and I’m sure having a lot of different nationalities diffuses that feeling of direct competition in many ways. The qualification period has just started, and I’m sure it will get more intense as we get closer to the Rio, but we are all aware that we help each other to be better every day.
TMC: What is your plan for Gold Coast this weekend?
SB:The game plan doesn’t change much from race to race. I want to have another solid showing in the water and set myself up for a bit of a quicker run this time around. The courses are very different and there is a strong possibility that the race will unfold quite differently (no two minute lead starting the run this time) but what I have to do remains the same.
TMC: Do you have a favourite race on the circuit?
SB: I’d have to say Auckland has been very good to over these past couple years, and I fell in love with New Zealand the first time I went there! I also quite like Hamburg, as it’s fast and furious and the atmosphere is unreal. I definitely wish they had more hilly courses on the circuit!
TMC: Do you have a pre-race ritual?
SB: I try not to have any specific pre-race rituals so that I can be flexible and ready for anything, especially when travelling to countries with different cultures and customs (Japan, South Africa, Brazil, etc). We do have a little swim set that I like to do the day before the race which incorporates start speed, threshold and surges and that we can do in a group which gets me ready to go on race day!