Recently named emerging sportsman of the year at the University of Waikato, Josiah is one to watch in the New Zealand (and international) Triathlon scene.
Watching Simon Whitfield coming second at 2008 Summer Olympics was a defining moment for Josiah at the age of 9, one that made Triathlon become a goal for him. Originally from Canada, he and his family came to New Zealand for a holiday in 2014 and stayed in Gisborne , with Triathlon Nationals being held there that year. The whole family loved it so much that they decided to move over in 2015 -he's been competing for New Zealand since then.
We're thrilled to have an athlete like Josiah joining the Negative Split family and look forward to be part of his story. Just before the racing season kicks in we sat with him to talk about TRI, taking the opportunity to introduce an athlete with a massive growth trajectory to the nscarbon community.
Josiah on joining NS;
'Negative Split embraces the same image as myself. I loved the ethos of the company. Growing up in a small town I always felt like the underdog. I wasn't ever a known entity until I raced. And it's that drive to succeed that's taken me to where I am now -someone who, I suspect, has become less of an underdog'.
NS: Indeed. We think champions aren't born, are made. And before there's a champion, there was an underdog. Hard work bridges the gap.
So Josiah, let's talk about the sport -what's your favourite discipline in Triathlon?
JN: I'm pretty sure it changes daily! My swim is my strength at the moment and I love it during the summer (the surf swimming in Gisborne is amazing) but there is also something to be said about running or biking somewhere beautiful so I guess it really comes down to where I am.
To build mental strength, learn to enjoy the training. Be in the moment, take as much as you can from each session, don't look too far ahead.
NS: Agree, that's the beauty of this sport! Triathlon is a sport that demands one to be (very) fit -physically, but also to have a very strong mentality. Which one is more important to you?
JN: Oh definitely mentality. There are so many triathletes in the world that are training just as hard as myself or harder, what makes the difference on race day? I'd say the mental aspect.
NS: How do you build mental strength?
JN: You've got to enjoy the training. This means being in the moment, taking as much as you can from each session. This is something I've struggled with in the past but really it's just about taking the session as it comes and not looking too far ahead.
NS: Training, Uni, part time work...give us a snapshot of a day with Josiah.
JN: Actually, Uni has been a lot more relaxed than trying to train and balance high school. I'm managing to take a full course load, train around 20 hours a week and have a part time job! In saying that though I'm up most mornings at 5AM for swimming.
Nutrition has been a little bit of a struggle as the Uni food isn't always the greatest but I've been making due by supplementing it with smoothies, etc.
As for social life I've got a lot of friends in the sport so most trainings are a good chance to catch up.
NS: What's the hardest part of maintaining life balance?.
JN: Probably just keeping everything organised. I'm not a super organised person with time management so stuff can get a little messy at times.
NS: Well, so far it seems you're doing all right! Hey, let's talk about wheels, shall we?
Can you recall your first encounter with a carbon wheel?
JN: I’ve really never had a proper set of full carbon wheels. All I’ve used in the past are wheels with carbon fairings so I’m really excited to try NS wheels out. Especially with the low weight, they should be ideal.
One thing that can make a huge difference when cycling: skills. Especially, knowing how to conserve energy during a technical course.
NS: Why do you think one would need carbon wheels?
JN: Cycling is becoming more and more a major part of triathlon which I personally think is great. I doesn't make for much of a race when the bike is so uneventful. With this in mind any aspect for improvement is important and carbon wheels are a massive advantage.
NS: How often do you ride?
JN: I usually ride around 200-250km a week during the warmer weather. With it being colder and wetter now now I'm spending a bit more time on the trainer, so around 7-8 hours a week.
NS: That's quite a bit of cycling! We often ask very similar questions to our customers to help them find out whether carbon wheels would be a good investment for them. Performance and riding frequency (outdoors) are some of the fundamentals aspects we ask them to think about.
So, as a cyclist, when you're on the bike, what is that one thing that can make all the difference (and is under your control)?
JN: Skills -it becomes huge on a technical course especially when you're trying to conserve energy for the run.
// Getting to know the true Josiah a bit better.
Tayler Reid has always been someone to chase and a great mentor.
NS: Your inspiration to do Triathlon?
JN: Well Simon Whitfield was obviously what got me started but now that my brothers and I all do Triathlon I'd have to say them. It's pretty hard to let yourself take an easy day when you know they're right behind you and working just as hard.
NS: Someone you look up to?
JN: I've had some great partners in the past and especially during my training in Gisborne. Tayler Reid has always been someone to chase and a great mentor.
NS: The RACE you dream winning?
JN: Winning the Olympics.
NS: Last one! You come out of the water first and you're leading on the bike now, do you wait for the rest of the pack to ride together or do you take off?
JN: This has actually happened a few times and I've always been one to give it a try. I tried at future champs last year and ended up solo for almost the whole bike before getting caught. So it's never worked so far but I've always been of the mindset that in a situation like that the reward outweighs the risk. You're usually able to tell if they'll catch you pretty early on.
Josiah plans to race in the domestic circuit before heading over to Australia for his first U23 Oceania Champs in late February. He rides deep-V section 50mm front and rear full carbon wheels, coupled with Continental GP 4000 28mm tyres.
Simon Whitfield, 2008.
Photo by David Guttenfelder.