After dealing with an Achilles injury, Joe Gambles successfully defended his title at Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens and now the Aussie has his eyes set on Ironman Wisconsin and qualifying for Kona.
Slowtwitch: Joe, we are glad we get to chat with you.
Joe: My pleasure.
ST: You had a great race at Lake Stevens and mentioned to us post race that you finally found your running legs. Where were they hiding?
Joe: It wasn’t so much that they were hiding. I just didn’t know if I had done the work after my forced 4 weeks break from running due my Achilles injury!
ST: Well, we did not really think your legs were hiding, but want to know where you are with your injuries.
Joe: I took the time to let my Achilles completely. It was tough not being able to run but luckily as a triathlete you can work on the other two disciplines.
ST: So the forced break might have been a blessing in disguise?
Joe: In this case, yes. The injury actually forced me to get to the bottom of some issues I have had my whole career. I learned a lot about my body and feel as though in the future I can become a better athlete because of it.
ST: You said that the injury forced you deal with issues you had your whole career. So how long ago did that injury start?
Joe: Not really an injury. Just tightness is certain areas that I could never get right. All good now!
ST: Timberman is also in the books now. Tell us about your day there.
Joe: I have always wanted to race Timberman and I was going to be in the area anyway. So I thought, why not! It was a little ambitious trying to back up against three of the best athletes in the world currently but I was happy with another solid performance and 4th place.
ST: We have heard before that you might be racing an Ironman down the road, but it appears that you signed up for Wisconsin now. Is that faster than originally planned, and if so, why?
Joe: Yes, I have signed up for Wisconsin. When I couldn’t run I rode a lot and feel as though my bike is Ironman ready. I would really like to be at Kona next year so I had better get some points for qualification. Also, doing an Ironman now will free my schedule up for next year to continue to race over the half Ironman distance.
ST: With the Abu Dhabi Triathlon already on your resume, we know you have been riding long, but what about your run?
Joe: Running is my background and I feel if I can come off the bike in good shape I will be ok. I won European Long Course Championships in 2008 with a 30km run off a very hard bike and I really enjoyed the distance. At the end of the day I need to start learning about Ironman if I want to do well in Kona some day.
ST: Having won the European long course champs and mentioning that you like the distance, how come you did not opt to race Long Course Worlds? Well, at least your name doesn't appear on any results.
Joe: I like racing in the USA and I travel enough already. I would like to race long course worlds when it fits my schedule. Generally, I want to race where my sponsors are and that's mainly in the States.
ST: Especially this year's race in Immenstadt, Germany looked quite interesting. Was that not at all on your radar?
Joe: Again, it didn't fit with my schedule and as it turned out I was still recovering from my injury.
ST: How has your longer distance riding been going?
Joe: Since December 2009 I have increased my volume considerably. This coupled with the 500 miles a week during June and July should get me through.
ST: How long has the Ironman bug been biting you?
Joe: I went and watched Kona in 2005, so I guess since then! I couldn’t believe the energy that surrounded the event. It’s like no other triathlon that’s for sure.
ST: After Wisconsin, is all focus set on Clearwater?
Joe: Definitely. I will recover from Ironman and then go into run focus Clearwater program.
ST: Will you go back to Abu Dhabi?
Joe: I would like to. I feel as though I have unfinished business after having some problems this year. It is a great event and also gives me an early season focus.
ST: Are you going to be in Kona to hang out, train, scout for next year and support all your teammates?
Joe: I just booked my flights! It’s a perfect opportunity to support the TREK/K-SWISS team and learn about the race for 2011. It’s not a bad place to visit either ☺
ST: Have you had some fighting words with Kenny Powers yet?
Joe: I'm not sure who this is? Please fill me in!
ST: I can assure you that you don't really need to know, but you can look him on youtube. Meanwhile though is there anything else we should know about you?
Joe: I just started working with Torbjorn Sindballe! I have always been self-coached so this is new for me. Having Thunder Bear on my team as I step up to Ironman is a huge plus.