Pete Moysey was my first ever triathlon coach as I was growing up in the early nineties. He took me and other young athletes under his wing and not only trained us, but taught us good training habits and methodology.
QK: Thanks for doing this for me. I really appreciate the guidance you gave me in my early triathlon/endurance career. I model my coaching and philosophies on what you taught me.
It has been many years since you were involved in the New Zealand triathlon scene. For readers of my blog that have come into the sport since you moved to Europe, can you give a quick summary of your experience in triathlon and what you have gone on to do since leaving New Zealand?
PM: I started triathlon in 1982 in Nice, one of Europe’s first ever triathlons. It was crazy. I think 31 competitors with the great Mark Allen, Scott Molina and Rob Barrel taking part. So I was lucky to grow into this amazing sport where people thought you were crazy. These guys where friends and I still have contact with these great guys. Scott and Rob are still loving the sport. I then went onto win over 150 triathlons worldwide. Since I left New Zealand I have competed for New Zealand in Cross country skiing and Biathlon in the World Cup and World Championships. Then in summer competing in multisport vents, winning two age group world titles in Quadrathlon.
QK: I was privileged to have met you early in my triathlon and endurance career. You have helped shape and guide a number of young and influential triathletes from Gisborne in the early nineties. Your coaching and mentorship I have taken with me and employ in both my training and the coaching I do today. Recently I heard an interview with Spencer Smith (Reader note: Spencer was an athlete who completely dominated triathlon in the mid nineties). In that interview he speaks of your involvement in his early career almost as identically as I remember your involvement in mine. Did you have someone who was as influential to you as you were to Spencer and myself? What sort of an impact did they have on your athletic career?
PM: Thanks for the lovely compliments. Lots of people have helped me. Three that stand out are:
- Brian Smith, husband and coach of Joyce Smith, who won the London Marathon. He coached me for a long period as a child and I improved for over two seasons with every race that I raced in. I travelled nearly two hours each way to be coached by him. It was well worth it.
- In my cross country ski career – Jack Sasseville from Canada, who helped me so much and allowed me to stay and work with him in Canada. I look back and am so thankful for him and his wife’s help.
- Triathlon was different. We were learning ourselves and coaches as there were not really any “triathlon coaches”. Alex Hunter from London kicked our backsides when we got started and showed us that hard work was necessary.
QK: Over the years you have been involved in a wide range of athletic pursuits. What is your greatest or most proud athletic moment?
PM: Hard to say really. Winning the world age group title in Florida in 1990. Winning 1985 British championships. Coming second to Matt Brick in a Duathlon. Winning races such as Winaui, Ohope triathlon. For me it was important to have fun with a great team around you, such as the Thames Turbo Triathlon Club and Eastland Triathlon Club.
QK: What is your all-time favourite location to train?
PM: Boulder, Colorado and Gisborne, New Zealand. Favourites because of the climate, location and also the people.
QK: What is your favourite or most memorable event/course for a race?
PM: Avignon. World championships. Doing a 1500 meters swim in fast flowing water. I think the swim was 2.200 meters in France. It took the same time as a 1500 meters. Then again Japan. The Strongman Triathlon in Miyakojima. Racing in Japan was always amazing. You were looked after like a king.
QK: What is your favourite swim workout?
PM: My favourite swim work out is to swim in a beautiful lake in Austria. It’s a great feeling to swim in healthy water.
QK: What is your favourite bike workout?
PM: A fast 20 km time trial on a beautiful triathlon time trial bike.
QK: What is your favourite run workout?
PM: I still love running on an athletic track. It does not matter if it is a grass track in Gisborne, New Zealand or an Olympic stadium in Sweden. For me it’s the truth. You can´t hide. The stopwatch tells the truth.
QK: What is your favourite kayak workout?
PM: Kayaking with friends and when you start racing each other. It’s a great feeling. Just like a child playing catch.
QK: What is your favourite ski workout?
PM: -5C to -10C snow and a beautiful crisp track to skate or classic cross country ski on. Intervals of any kind. I just love being out in the nature.
QK: I remember you having a number of key resource books about training (Rob Sleamaker’s SERIOUS Training for Endurance Athletes and Peter Janssen’s Training, Lactate, Pulse Rate are two I remember you guided me to and that I still reference today). What would be your top three top reads relating to endurance sports?
PM: 1. My all-time favourite is “The Legendary Jackrabbit Johannsen”, written by his daughter Alice Johannsen. It is about a skier who lives till 111 years old. Skis until he is 106 years old. What I loved was that at the age of 50 he takes out the US cross country ski team and hammers them into the ground. It tells of the setbacks that he and his family go through and how he bounces back. He loved the outdoors as I do and lived life to the maximum just as I want to do till the day the world takes me. I have read the book at least 4 times.
2. Chrisse Wellington’s “A life without limits”/ The book is so well written and the lady is not just sport talented. The book is an inspiration about life and sport. I had the chance to meet her quickly cross country skiing in Davos, Switzerland. Every time I read a part of that book I have had a great race.
3. “Body, mind and sport” by John Douillard. A great read that teaches you how to work on your weakness and not just your strength.
QK: What have you learned over the last 12 months that you wish more people knew?
PM: My biggest success over the last 12 months is that I have finally learnt to enjoy races without getting so nervous before them. This was destroying the fun in the last five years. It was I guess because I knew if I had a great race that I could still get on the podium and I started to think about giving up because of the pressure that I was putting on my body.
QK: What are the two biggest training mistakes you have made and how did you come back from them?
PM: The biggest mistake training wise that I made was doing too little strength work. As a kayaker I do a lot more, but still too little. The second was getting a disease called Bornholm’s disease and still racing in the late 80s. I just found it so hard to miss a race. That was bad for my health. I had to start from 0 and was only allowed to train at a maximum heart rate of 150 for many months afterwards. Took a lot of patience.
Thanks Ray, for thinking of me and asking me to do this interview. It’s been great to reflect and think about the past. Now it’s time for me to coach further here in Austria. Although my dream now would be one good chance to coach a team of athletes. So any associations or clubs out there that need a coach please let me know.