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How I Train: 70.3 World Champion Tim Reed

The training tactics of the Budgy Smuggler-clad world champ.

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The training tactics of the newly crowned, Budgy Smuggler-clad world champ.

Nicknames: Reedy, The Angry Gnome

Byron Bay, Australia 

Standout Results
2016 Ironman 70.3 world champion, two-time Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific champion, Ironman Australia winner 

Reed realized he wasn’t going to have much of a future in the team sports he loved—“I was getting too short for basketball and too small for rugby,” he says. So he started running to keep up his fitness, which led to triathlon in college, and finally getting “serious” about racing triathlon in 2007. He earned his pro card in March 2010 and has been steadily climbing up the podium in bigger and bigger races. In September, Reed won a close battle for the 70.3 world crown over former 70.3 and Ironman world champ Sebastian Kienle, edging Kienle out of first by just two seconds. Reed’s secret? “Top priority is to have fun,” he says. We also theorize it may have to do with the aerodynamics of the Speedo-style Budgy Smugglers he wears in races and training—“sometimes in my garage and of course for all my non-wetsuit swim workouts.” When it comes to goal setting, the 31-year-old says, “next on the list is world domination.” With one world crown under his belt, we’d say he’s already there.

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Typical training week:

In the middle of the season, Reed trains 20–25 hours per week, broken up as five swims, 4–5 rides, 4–5 runs and two 30-minute gym sessions. Within each discipline, he usually completes one or two aerobic endurance workouts, a strength endurance workout, a race-specific or higher-intensity workout and a recovery workout.

Favorite swim workout:

500 meters easy recovery
“Because I’m not a huge fan of following a black line for hours on end,” Reed says.

Favorite bike workout:

Three hours including 6×10 minutes, building from strong to very hard by the sixth interval. “It’s a solid duration ride with the intervals steadily building in intensity, allowing the body and mind to be fully ready for the really hard work in those final 10-minute blocks.”

Favorite run workout:

Two hours at Ironman pace, or 60 minutes including 6×1 kilometer at threshold
“[These two are] very different runs. I love locking in that solid aerobic Ironman pace. The aerobic intensity is difficult but never hard, while the strength component of the run becomes increasingly difficult as the duration progresses,” he says. “Six by 1 kilometer is a very common session used by many athletes to bring up their speed and lactate tolerance. It’s tough, but it’s over pretty quickly, and I feel I get a big boost to my running when I implement it at the right time.”

Favorite non-swim/bike/run workout:

“Touch football with my friends who do real desk jobs.”


Reed typically takes three weeks off in December and January, then another three weeks off in May. “I’m normally back where I grew up at this time of year on Lord Howe Island,” he says. “I don’t do any structured training, but I stay active just to be happy. I try to avoid exceeding 30 minutes a day, unless it’s a social activity. Typically, I’ll bush walk [hike] with my wife, play a lot of tennis, surf—poorly—and do a lot of fishing.”

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