PURSUING A WORLD DREAM, CLOSER TO HOME
A serious triathlete for eleven years, Reid won gold in the U23 Canadian National Championships in 2013. In 2014, he switched to long-distance triathlon and, last September, he placed 20th at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. He will not be going to the worlds this year, but plans to be there in 2019.
“In the last four years, I’ve been out of the country for about half of the year,” says Reid “And I’m keen on spending more time training in Canada.”
He’s living in Guelph, Ont., now, and his new coach, Craig Taylor, runs the Guelph Triathlon Project supporting junior, U23 and elite triathletes.
“There’s a great crew there and that gives me training partners for a good seven months of the year,” explains Reid.
His race season started in March with slower finishes than early 2017, but given all the changes this year, maybe it wasn’t surprising.
“Craig and I were still learning training styles together then,” Reid explains, “and he was finding out how far he could push me. Next year, we will gear up faster in the early races and, instead of big workouts in February, we will do that sooner. It’s a fine balance to reach, having an early start to the season and needing to maintain momentum for seven more months of racing.”
After getting the volume and intensity lined up in the early races, Reid moved ahead with a busy roster for the year. He especially looks forward to the Canadian events, and although he loves Victoria, Mont-Tremblant in June tops his list of favourites.
“Tremblant is one of the nicest events in the 70.3 circuit. The roads and the crowds are amazing and they really treat the pros very well,” he says. “It is the closest 70.3 to home, so it’s easier to get to and my parents and friends have come along to cheer us on.”
Reid has always done well at Tremblant and loves duking it out with all the Canadian talent competing there.
After a 70.3 in California in July, he’ll head to Super League in Penticton, a unique three-day triathlon event he’s excited about. “I’ve never done anything like the roster for day two where you swim, run, swim, bike and then run again,” he says. It could be similar to three days of hard training, but with more strategy. “Being a winner on day one doesn’t mean winning the whole thing. You have to choose when to expend the energy to win versus using less energy when you just need to qualify for the next stage,” he says.
In September, Reid has two more 70.3 races and the half-distance Barrelman Rev 3 in Niagara Falls.
“I’ve been out of the country before when this one was on,” says Reid, “but this time I’ll be here and it’s local, so let’s try it and see what happens.”
Reid estimates his physical training time at 25 to 30 hours a week during the peak season and 15 to 20 hours during non-peak time. He likes to train outside as much as possible because “the real-life scenario is more my jam.”
As a spokesperson for the Ontario branch of the International Dyslexia Association, Reid credits triathlon for teaching him perseverance and overcoming dyslexia when he was growing up. He also volunteers at the Kids of Steel race in his home town of Caledon, either on the swim deck handing out water and medals, or doing demos along with other triathletes.
Reid’s competitions have taken him all over the globe and yet this professional feels a strong pull to his Canadian roots. The extra time he gains on home turf will be worth whatever adjustments are needed as he ups his game with the new changes this year.
Helen Powers is a regular contributor to Triathlon Magazine Canada. In his fourth year as a professional triathlete, Taylor Reid has made a lot of recent changes to his game. A new coach and different approaches (and locations) for training are keeping him busy. He’s fired up about having more time in Canada as he refines his performance over the half-distance, his race of choice.
BOTTOM LEFT Taylor Reid taking the win at Ironman Puerto Rico 70.3 2017