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No Average Joe: Skipper on the work ethic which drives him on

British Ironman star is hungry to become the best

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The secret is in the Twitter handle for Joe Skipper – he’s not an average Joe, and he’s not competing in elite triathlon just for fun.

The 33-year-old British star is preparing to take on the best athletes on the planet at the rescheduled 2021 IRONMAN World Championship in St George on May 7.

Skipper says he’s going to Utah to win, and he believes that nobody in that star-studded field – Jan Frodeno included – is unbeatable. It’s a belief built on fierce ambition and work ethic.


Consistency matters

“Do you want to win the races and get good results? Or do you want to be, like, average or get terrible results?” said the 33-year-old in a new video released by the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO).

It’s clear natural talent can be a significant aid to star athletes, but Skipper believes the desire and hunger to go above and beyond is what separates the great from the good. It’s something he observes on a regular basis.

“When we’re training, there’s different people that come and they’ll come to like, one or two sessions, maybe three sessions. Then you won’t see them for like, two months or six weeks out.

“But that’s what it really takes, is the consistency, and that’s the hard bit. You’ve just got to think of the bigger picture. It’s just showing up day in, day out.”

For Skipper, who claimed IRONMAN victories in Bolton and Chattanooga during a stellar 2021, triathlon is not a lifestyle pursuit or a hobby – it is much more than that.

This is a job, not a hobby

“You’ve just got to look at it as a job. If you were working nine to five, you couldn’t just wake up one morning, feel tired and ring your boss up to say: ‘I’m not going in today, I feel tired. I’m going to have a couple of hours kip (sleep),’ could you? You show up, don’t you?”

While Joe has focus on his own personal improvement and pursuit of excellence, he is driven by the knowledge that his rivals are also pushing their bodies to the limit. Thank YouTube for that…

“What will the others be doing? They’re not going to be missing their training, are they?

“You can see the videos what Lionel Sanders is doing. That guy is 110% committed, Sam Long – all his training is online.

“Those guys don’t miss the training, and if you don’t put the work in, there’s no way you’re going to beat them. I was just using that as motivation.”

Stuart Dick
Written by
Stuart Dick
Stuart is a graduate of the University of Sunderland with a masters' degree in Sports Journalism. He spends a lot of his time running and cycling around West Yorkshire, England.
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