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Tue 5th Jul 2022
Triathletes Anonymous: the Tej blog
Posted by: Tej Thaker
Posted on: Wednesday 10th September 2014

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If you have ever wondered what motivates people to take up our slightly crazy sport then Tej Thaker might have the answer to that question.

5:45am. The alarm goes off. I wake up knackered and have a choice to make. Dream about my goal or get up and chase it?

Off to the pool! Followed by 12 hours at work, sandwiched with a run session dodging suits in the city.

Eat, sleep, work, train, repeat.

Over a year ago I could barely do two lengths in the pool and would wonder how overweight guys nearly three times my age dressed only in speedos, albeit with a fashionable beard, would go lap after lap effortlessly for an hour. I also thought it was rather boring!

I'm eating my own words now – as well as protein shakes, wheatgrass, vitamins, flaxseed and other difficult to pronounce cocktails (nothing naughty, I'm not Tej Armstrong!).

So here's my 'Triathletes Anonymous' introduction: I'm 27 and have absolutely no background in endurance/cardio training. I hated running, couldn't swim and only learnt to ride a bike at 10.

Having Indian heritage, I love unhealthy (but very tasty), oily and fried foods and lots of sugary cakes and sweets. Yes, all at once!

I'm six times more likely to developing diabetes and twice as likely to have heart disease. Challenge accepted!

I used to play club level hockey and set my goal as high as Rio 2016. However, in October 2012 this goal was crushed when I was tackled aggressively playing a friendly game of footie and ruptured a tendon in my wrist. (I understand I shouldn't be using my wrist for football, thanks). This broke my confidence, but I'm a fighter, so I did what I do best and got back up!

For fun, I just about completed the London Triathlon Super Sprint in 2012. It was after this experience that I decided to dip my toes back into the challenge that is: triathlon.

This meant training five times a week; going out in the British winter weather for runs and bike rides in my hockey kit. Oh, and learning to swim by watching countless videos on YouTube.

In July 2013, I signed up for the London Triathlon Super Sprint. I had put a lot of effort in the pool and on my hybrid bike (that's heavy enough to be a world's strongest man event). I finished fourth place, out of 300!

On that day, I realized I had potential to be good at triathlon. Importantly, like anything in life, only if I put in the hard work. By September 2013 I decided to take triathlon seriously.

I train 8-10 times a week, watch my vegetarian diet closely, bought a watch that's more like a clock on my wrist, analyse my training data and try to improve every single day!

You must wonder why I do this day in and day out?! What's my motivation?

Age Group Team GB!

The desktop background of my computer is a Team GB vest and my phone has two words on it: No Excuses.

Coming from a non-swim/bike/run background, it's a massive goal. But I believe in hard work and that it will pay off! Why settle for having dreams which are never reached. Why keep dreaming?

Every single day, I will continue putting in the hard work to reach my goal, making all those sacrifices worth while. Failure is not an option

Inspired? Please click here to find out more about taking part in a Human Race Triathlon.

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