Elite junior triathlete, Hamish Reilly, enjoyed another superb 2019 campaign as he picked up his first European medal at the Riga Junior European Cup and he also represented GB at the European Youth Elite Championships. 

We spoke to Hamish - who was named Precision Hydration's Ambassador of the Year for 2019 - after he returned from a training camp in Portugal (and before coronavirus put a halt to racing) to see how he was fitting 20+ hours of training a week in with his A-Level studies...

Hi Hamish, you've made some big changes since the end of the 2019 season, including moving to the south of the UK to becoming a sports scholar at Eastbourne College. What motivated that move?

The main reason behind moving was to join Team Bodyworks Performance Centre. The group down here is really strong, with a few senior pros, and a lot of National Elite Champions.

It's great training with a strong group who have a common goal of trying to achieve their best.

My coach Glenn Cook has taught me loads; he has a vast range of knowledge and has coached three Olympic teams, as well as numerous other pros. 

Image Credit: Hamish Reilly Instagram ©

Good stuff, so how do you fit your training in around your A-Level studies of biology, P.E. and geography at Eastbourne? 

I usually do upwards of 20 hours of training a week, meaning my training involves a lot of early mornings and it can get quite tough to find the balance between my school work and training.

I run about 60km a week (including two harder sessions), I swim around 20km a week and include two key sessions, and I usually ride 250km a week.

Hamish Reilly's Training Plan 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Easy ride (60 mins) Threshold Swim (105 mins) Long ride (180 mins) Speed Swim (105 mins) Aerobic swim (90 mins) Aerobic Swim (90 mins) Tempo or long run (80 mins)
Easy run (30-40 mins) Aerobic run (70 mins) Easy run (40 mins) Track session (90 mins) Long ride/long turbo session (180 mins) Technique swim (60 mins)
Gym (60 mins) Turbo session (60 mins) Gym (60 mins) Easy ride (120 mins)

You obviously made huge progress during 2019 and I wondered where you think you've made the biggest improvements in the past 12 months?

If you'd have asked me this question around the turn of the year I would have said my running had made big strides.

But I started to focus on my swim and took some big chunks out of my PB's.

I was pretty pleased when I did a 4:15 for a 400m time-trial in the middle of my training camp in Portugal. 

After assessing last season, it was clear my swim was my weak point and that was what we've been focused on improving this winter. I've seen big changes and I can't wait to get racing now!

Image Credit: Hamish Reilly Instagram ©

Last year wasn't all straightforward for you as your wetsuit zip was broken during a particularly violent swim leg at Super League Jersey and you ended up finishing the running leg still in your wetsuit! How have you learned to cope with those moments of adversity in a race?

Last season was a steep learning curve for me and, even though it was definitely my best season yet, it was far from all highs.

And when it comes to a violent swim, I've learned to swim the first 50 metres quickly and hopefully avoid the majority of the trouble. Lots of carnage also happens due to poor positioning, so I try to find the best line before the start of the race, and avoid being right on the inside at buoys.

I've learned to be more relaxed and calm if something goes wrong. I look for something I can do to not let it affect my whole race and just put whatever has happened behind me so I have a clear head.

I remember a few years ago I put my bike shoes on the wrong pedals when preparing my bike! I let this affect the rest of my race and ended up not getting the result I knew I was capable of.

Ultimately, there's always something you can do to try and combat the challenge. Without a clear mind your whole race will spiral out of control, but if you keep a clear head at least the rest of your race will go well.

You're obviously still in the early days of your burgeoning career and we'd be interested to hear how you currently approach your nutrition and hydration for racing...

My sprint-distance races are quite short so I don't normally take much nutrition during the race, but I always have a bottle filled with PH 1000 on the bike to have a few swigs to keep my mouth from drying up.

Before the races, I take my nutrition very seriously. The night before I always have to eat pasta - I try to keep the pasta fairly plain with no fancy sauces just to help my stomach out - and I'll have a PH 1500 tablet mixed with 500ml of water. 

If the race is in the morning I avoid dairy products as they don't sit well with my digestive system, so I usually have bagels and a coffee.

But, if the race is in the afternoon I have a big bowl of porridge to give me that slow-release energy. Two hours before the race I have a PH 1500 sachet and keep sipping on the PH 1000 throughout the day.

I used to get bad cramping during races so I found PH when researching ways to avoid cramping. The products have definitely worked and I haven't cramped in a single race since using PH.

Image Credit: Hamish Reilly Instagram ©

Good luck, Hamish! We look forward to working with you again this year.