Rapid Fire With Development Team Athlete Maia Watson

Rapid Fire With Development Team Athlete Maia Watson

This is our second installment of a series of deeper-dive interviews with our 2024 Development Team!

Follow Maia on Instagram here ->

Favorite pump up song? Why? Spotify playlist to share?

I don’t have one - is that weird? Usually I’m just chatting before races or preparing in silence. During bike workouts I will listen to Spotify electronic workout playlists :-)

Favorite local training route? (Run, bike, etc) Why?

🏃‍♀️ Run: I am grateful to live right by a wide bike path on the canal, it’s beautiful all times of the year!

Biking: Tough one… Probably the south shore of Montreal. Montreal isn’t particularly known for its riding but once you’re 40km off the island, the farm roads are smooth and rolling. Second place goes to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which hosts the F1 every summer. The remainder of the year, it’s a fast, closed off 5km loop for cyclists

Swim: Parc Jean-Drapeau aquatic complex. Beautiful 50m outdoor pool, ‘nuff said.

Favorite place/town to train? Why?

I’m biased but of course, Victoria, British Columbia, where I grew up. I just think the location checks all 3 boxes. There are fantastic running and riding opportunities right outside my back door, and the pool is a five-minute drive away. Aside from the freak snowfall, you can train outdoors year round.

Rank Swim-Bike-Run from most to least favorite & why!

Run (1) The first sport I loved and excelled at. Also, there are major points for the simplicity of being able to run nearly every where I travel

Bike (a close 2) Hard to think of anything better than a summertime scenic bike ride with friends, featuring a café stop.

Swim (3) Besides being a little emotionally scarred from swim-club as a kid, improving technique can be pretty frustrating. But, it is satisfying to see progress.

What was the time/stats for your kick challenge? (if you did it)

I’ll be honest, I only did it after I saw this question... 1:52 for short course meters.

What is your big goal or A-race for the year?

My primary goal is to gain experience and build confidence at the 70.3 distance so that I can race professionally in 2025. I would love to podium over all in the amateur field.

How did training in Victoria over the winter impact your power / overall training?

Going home for a month during the holidays, I spent a lot of time outdoors on the saddle. My coach provided me less structure than when I am riding indoors, so I mostly rode aerobically, and included plenty of hills. Returning to Montreal, I got an all-time best FTP test. That felt rewarding!

Your Dad is a prolific triathlon coach, Lance Watson. What’s it like having him in your corner?

I spent A LOT of time at triathlon events growing up, and around accomplished athletes, so that became the norm for me.

Despite being in the niche my entire life, my dad consistently provides a holistic view when it comes to balancing work, family and friends and sport. At the end of the day, he’s my dad, and I am grateful to have his support in all areas of my life!

I will also shout-out my mother, an accomplished professional runner and triathlete herself. She has supported me immensely on the psychological side of the sport.

{From Eric} Is he YOUR coach? If so, is that a hard dynamic to manage or does it come naturally to you both? I’ve had experience blurring the lines between a professional relationship and a friendship with a coach in the past, that’s why I ask.

Yep, he’s my coach, but he hasn’t always been. I’ll keep our story brief :-)

I first asked my dad for cross-training support when I suffered from shin splints my first year as a varsity runner at McGill. From then on, he helped me navigate the ups and downs of varsity running. Every summer, when I’d return to Victoria, I would follow a “triathlon plan lite” - essentially a run plan with a strong emphasis on cross-training. His training helped me build endurance and stay healthy going into the autumn cross country season.

At the end of my 4th year of McGill (2022), I had the opportunity to race Age Group World Sprint Champs in Montreal, and he helped me build for that. It was honestly, really fun. From then on, he’s been writing my training plan, (except for my swims which are with Kyla Rollinson in Montreal - thank you, Kyla!) and I am the healthiest, happiest and most consistent athlete I’ve ever been.

I feel lucky to say that the dynamic comes quite easily to us, and that triathlon is another way for us to connect. I’m always excited to text him after I nail a hard session!

With the funds we raised through TTL Nation kit sales in December, we pay the development team athletes a stipend to help fund their racing and training expenses. If you bought a kit, we can't thank you enough for directly contributing to their success and we hope you'll follow their racing throughout the season and ideally, the rest of their careers.

We also supply free TTL gear, Castelli training and racing apparel, and a variety of other supplies we pull together from our extremely generous sponsors.

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