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Taylor Forbes: Training, competing with his twin brother, goals in triathlon and beyond

Austen and Taylor Forbes racing in Magog in July 2015.
Austen and Taylor Forbes racing in Magog in July 2015.
TMC: You recently placed 10th at the CAMTRI Sarasota Sprint Championships . Were you happy with the result? What does the finish mean for the rest of your season?

TF: I am happy with a 10th place finish, but not satisfied. I have only been building my training since late December/ early January so I feel I at least performed as well as I’ve been training. I don’t think I have hit my full stride in training and same goes for racing. I likely won’t hit my full stride until I am done school in April. I try to keep reminding myself that it is only March and the season has just begun. For me personally, I think it would be a mistake to be in peak fitness right now.

What’s the main focus of your race season this year?
The main focus is to qualify for the U23 Elite World Championships for a third consecutive time and to execute a decent race there. Other than that, the plan is to race a world cup or two — hopefully at the Montreal International Triathlon – and maybe sneak into a World Triathlon Series race, which would be the first of my career.

As for the Olympics, I think I will leave that dream for the 2020 Games in Tokyo. As far as I am concerned the Olympic spots are already between a select two or three and I still need to climb up a few more ranks before I can consider myself a contender for the Games.

What does your training look like right now?
I recently joined Craig Taylor and the Triathlon Canada Regional Triathlon Centre in Guelph, Ontario. It has been a big change for me to have a high performance coach and a high performance team to train with. Currently, I am only training with the team a few times a week and I’m doing the majority of my training in Hamilton while I’m still at school. I haven’t hit my full stride in training as winter is only beginning to wind down in school at McMaster University. I am hitting some periodically heavy training but I cannot wait for April to roll around to become a full-time athlete again.

Hardest workout you’ve done so far this year?
To be honest we triathletes do so many workouts in a week it all becomes a blur. I can’t remember a specific workout but I do remember hitting a big block of swimming at the end of January which included swimming 32 kilometers over four days, on top of the cycling and running training we had.

What’s the dynamic like with your twin brother (Austen Forbes) when you two race against each other? 
Austen and I have a healthy competitive relationship. We are very good at keeping each other in check. The days where I am struggling through a workout he is there to keep me honest and keep me going and same goes for me if he is struggling. Neither one of us like to lose to each other so we often gauge our effort against one another. When there is a workout or day of training where the point is to recover we remind each other to keep calm and not push too hard.

In races, I never feel like I am competing against my brother. Even though we are always striving to beat one another I have never felt ashamed of losing to him — losing to him never feels like losing. Sure we bicker at each other about who was the better twin on race day but we are just egging each other on. If possible we try to work together or help each other out through the majority of the race, but once we hit the ground running it’s fair game between us.

Short term and long terms goals in and outside of the sport?
For short term goals, I would like to clinch my first ever ITU win, which will most likely happen in a continental cup. I would also like to win the National Championship for the second time and qualify to race at the U23 Elite World championships for the third consecutive time. I’m also aiming for my first World Triathlon Series race.

My long term goal would be to race at the WTS level and put myself in contention for the 2020 Olympics Games. Considering that Tokyo is another four year cycle away the Games are still more of a dream than a goal at the moment. Aside from triathlons I would like to eventually continue my education and complete a Masters degree. That is, if triathlons don’t work out in the end.