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With the recent announcement from top female professional Rachel Joyce that she had moved on from her longtime coach Matt Dixon – with whom she scored victories at Challenge Roth (2012), the ITU Long Course World Championship (2011) and Ironman Lanzarote (2011), among other events – I was curious to learn the reason for the change and Joyce’s plans going forward. I asked Joyce for an interview on a day when her schedule was particularly packed, thus I promised to keep our chat brief. Therefore, after covering the subject of the coaching switch, we transitioned to a rapid fire round of questioning in which I requested that she answer each of 10 questions in five words or less.
Triathlete.com: Why did you move on from coach Matt Dixon?
RJ: Matt and I started to work together after my first Kona in 2009, where I finished sixth. Although I had had a couple of podium finishes at Ironman that year, I was pretty green and I credit Matt to a large degree with my development, both physically and mentally over the course of the next three years. Towards the end of 2012 we agreed the time was right for a change in my coaching set up. A tough decision, but one that I knew was right.
Triathlete.com: Who will you work with going forward?
RJ: Dave Scott. Last summer after I moved to Boulder I was a regular at Dave’s swim sessions at Flatiron Athletic Club. I got to know Dave, got an idea of how he works and liked his approach. We had a chat at the end of 2012 about working together and now I’m back in Boulder and getting stuck into my 2013 training.
Triathlete.com: What will be your key 2013 races?
RJ: I am still in the midst of planning my season. I’m signed up to race Challenge Roth again in July. Before that you can expect to see me at an early-season Ironman, and I will race a couple of 70.3s before Roth. My main focus is Kona in October, but I haven’t ruled out Vegas just yet.
Triathlete.com: Now it’s time for the rapid fire round. What’s a theme song for your 2012 season?
RJ: Call Me Maybe (especially the U.S. swim team YouTube video).
Triathlete.com: What was your best sporting moment in 2012?
RJ: Solar Hill at Challenge Roth.
Triathlete.com: What was your best non-sporting moment in 2012?
RJ: Meeting my nephew, Walter.
Triathlete.com: What’s your number one tip to develop mental toughness?
RJ: Stay in the moment.
Triathlete.com: What’s your favorite food after a tough training session?
RJ: Strong cappuccino, then scrambled eggs.
Triathlete.com: What do you value most in a race rival?
RJ: Good honest hard racing. Sportsmanship!
Triathlete.com: What are five places you’ve yet to travel where you would love to race?
RJ: Brazil [Ironman Brazil], St Croix [Ironman 70.3 St. Croix], Norway [Norseman Xtreme Triathlon], Penticton [Challenge Penticton], Phuket [Laguna Phuket Triathlon & Challenge Laguna Phuket].
Triathlete.com: What was your favorite thing about being home in the U.K. during the month of December?
RJ: Family, friends and Sunday roasts.
Triathlete.com: If you could perform in a circus act, what would it be?
RJ: Trapeze artist.
Triathlete.com: If you could spend a day riding bikes with one past Kona champion, whom would you choose?
RJ: Lyn Lemaire: first woman winner .
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