We caught up with Aiden Longcroft-Harris, fresh off his top-10 World Triathlon Cup result, to share a race recap along with his pathway from a youth athlete to the international stage.

Can you share a bit about that experience; How many days were you in Yeongdo prior to the event, what was your preparation like days prior to race day, and how the race went down on the day? 

I arrived in Korea on the Monday before the race but left Canada on the Sunday. It is pretty intense and long travel so I like to arrive early to reset the sleep schedule and ensure I’m the most prepared and recovered I can be before race day. Preparation for the days leading up is quite simple from a training perspective but there are always extra challenges like finding food, organizing transportation and setting up your equipment. It was very hot there so I made sure to do sessions outside for heat adaptation but then immediately get in the air conditioned hotel room to replenish fluids. It sounds so simple but hanging around in the heat for an extra 10-15 minutes can take a lot out of you.

As for the race it was a relaxed swim for me in 2nd position and then into a breakaway on the bike. As a good swimmer I have the luxury of coming out of the swim not redlined but it is far from easy. On the bike there was a good group of very motivated athletes that allowed us to push hard and gap a gap of about a minute on the rest of the field. Unfortunately, about 5 minutes into the bike I started having some very serious diaphragm cramps that didn’t allow me to get much rest even sitting on the wheel. This cramping continued onto the run which made it a game of survival. I really just pushed as hard as I could to try and get everything out of myself but I am still disappointed I wasn’t able to showcase where my run abilities actually are.

What does the rest of the season look like for you?

The rest of the season is a bit up in the air at the moment. My next race will be in Veracruz, Mexico but after that things are still being decided. There are a ton of World Cups this fall and I hope to execute well at those moving forward. PanAm Games would also be a dream to be selected for as I’ve never been part of a major games.

Can you share a bit of your history: How did you get started, what got you into triathlon?

I used to be a competitive swimmer who ran in high school to burn off extra energy and stay fit. Then I just decided why not add another sport to keep me occupied!

Were you part of a club or training group when you were younger (under-16)?

I didn’t start triathlon until I was 16 so before that it was just swimming, running and gymnastics.

What is the most important skill you learned or developed as a young athlete?

Probably mental toughness and not being phased when things don’t go my way. I was never the best at any sport so I really was doing it because I loved it. I definitely had to learn to shake off being absolutely crushed in competition and return to training with passion and focus. My first coach, Kelly Guest, really helped develop this mindset as well.

Did you compete in BC Summer Games, or Canada Summer Games? if so, what was your favourite memory of the games?

I’ve had the privilege of competing in both the BC and Canada Summer Games and cherish a lot of memories from both of those. BC Games I was just a young kid so my best memory was probably just being able to travel with a bunch of my friends and experience a really cool environment. For Canada Games it was probably being selected for World Championships after the race.

Did you compete at National Championships, or World Championships as Junior, if so, what was the best experience from those events?

I’ve competed at multiple National Championships and World Championships as a junior and U23. My first Nationals was a big step in my career as I was one of the 3 juniors to make the final. Just made me believe I could actually achieve something in this sport. On the other hand, my first World Championships was an absolute smackdown. I came basically dead last but ironically it was one of the most motivating experiences I’ve had in sport. I went into that winter season with a hunger to be better that I had never felt before. It really laid the foundation for a good 2018 and an even better 2019. 2019 was also a year I got to redeem myself in the World Championships with a top 25 finish.

You have been a CSI Targeted Athlete since 2017, can you share a bit about this support and how it has helped you develop as a high performance athlete?

It’s a game of details in triathlon and the more details that you can let other people focus on and handle competently the more you can focus on your training. That is how I would describe how CSI helps me; allows me to more fully focus on training.

What does the average day look like for you right now, training wise?

It changes quite a bit with racing and training but there is a general theme of increased intensity sessions when in the summer. I am hovering around 28hrs this time of year which allows for a good balance of volume and intensity.

Who is your sporting Idol?

Micheal Jordan. Intensity, focus, passion, work ethic. Hard not to respect that.

What is your favourite pre race, and post race meal?

I have a terrible time eating race morning so not really a favourite but always go with rice and oatmeal. Post race I actually try and find the local dish of wherever I am staying and try that. Of course if all else fails I’m never saying no to a burger or pizza.

What’s on your pre race, or training, playlist?

Not much of a pre race music person but training I have a mix of relaxing music for easy riding and the most aggressive and intense music for hard training. Couldn’t name you a song if I tried though.

What advice would you have for any younger athletes starting their triathlon journey?

Make sure you are always doing the sport because you love it. And I mean truly love it. It is an insanely hard sport with not much financial reward for a while so I think it’s key that you love it and aren’t just doing it for your parents.

Thanks so much for your time, congratulations on your performances so far this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing more great results in the future!