Ask an Athlete: 5 Minutes with Thomas Bruins

4 November 2018

What’s life like for a champion Aussie duathlete?


Thomas Bruins – the world no.5 duathlete & 2012 Oceania duathlon champion – takes us behind the scenes.


1. How did you initially get involved in duathlons?

I started cycling in early 2010 when I was an elite track runner and I have been running since I was a kid. I claimed to want a road bike for cross training but really it was because my now fiancé had a road bike and could ride faster than me! As the year progressed I found my running fitness quite easily transferred across to the bike and I enjoyed cycling just as much as running. I did a few time-trials and then it was suggested I should try doing duathlon and triathlon. Since then I have been lucky enough to compete in 3 world duathlon championships and various other duathlons in Europe and Asia.


2. What shoes do you wear for training vs racing?

I use a variety of different Saucony shoes for training and racing. For training: Guides for volume; Kinvaras for tempo and some lighter threshold work; for anything faster, Kinvara, Type A5 and Type A6. I still get on the track for training and use the Kilkenny XC spike.


For racing I will use either the Endorphin Racer, Type A5 or Type A6 depending on the distance. Outside of training and racing I would not be without my Saucony Originals.


My favourite shoe out of the above has to be the Kinvara. It is such a versatile shoe with its plush sole that it can be used across a variety of distances and paces.


3. How many hours per week do you spend training?

Depending on the training phase and what event I am building up for, a typical training week involves 15 to 20 hours of training. Of that time, there is between 80-100km of running and 250-300km of cycling at a variety of paces.


4. What do you prefer – running or cycling? Why?

Running and cycling are so different it’s difficult to say which I prefer. Ultimately I prefer parts of each. I love the purity, simplicity and honesty of running; however, I love the technical and social aspects of cycling. I find it much easier to get up in the morning to go riding, but I’ve been running for so long that I find it familiar and comforting. Ultimately I prefer when I can do both, hence why Duathlon is perfect!


5. What do you eat before a big event?

Pasta, lots of pasta! I add some sauce and a few greens to a family sized serve of pasta and I’ve found it is the perfect pre-duathlon dinner.


6. Where is your favourite place to run and/or cycle?

I really enjoy riding and running in the South West of WA. There are excellent running trails, particularly on the coast of Dunsborough, WA. With the ocean on one side, bush on the other, and a decent hiking trail, it would be hard to find something else as picturesque.


If I have to do fast running, then my favourite place is on the track. WA is very lucky to have some excellent track facilities, with the WA athletics stadium and McGillivray oval which is arguably the best grass track in the world.


7. If you weren’t an elite athlete, what would you be?

Right now I am a full time mechanical engineer. If I wasn’t an engineer or elite athlete, I could see myself as a running coach or working with bikes.



Got another question for Thomas? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram or in the comments below!


By Hannah Begg



Men’s Kinvara 6

Women’s Kinvara 6