Fifteen Fit & Foodie with... Jack Moody

So I’m Jack Moody - a professional triathlete based in Auckland. I took my professional Triathlon license in 2018 and have absolutely loved the journey. Outside of Half Ironman and Ironman racing you will find me working either in my local bike store Mt Eden Cycles or in the back office helping run a physiotherapy group called Sports Lab generally with a coffee in hand. I still compete in a few running races each year for some fun and have particularly liked looking for new adventures like the Whaka 100 MTB race while the borders have been closed. Outside of triathlon I love my Mountain biking and Skiing.


1. What is your fave strength exercise that benefits all 3 disciplines of triathlon and why?

I feel guilty and it's only question 1. I will profess that I am terrible at doing any strength work unless NZ is in lockdown and then I end up doing nearly an hour a day to make up for the pools being closed. Currently I work 6 days a week. Fortunately though, 4 days are at a physio so I always have an array of experts on hand to give me some exercises if the body is showing any signs of wear and tear. Most of my strength work is focussed around my shoulders and back to help fix an old Mountain biking injury.


2. Who is your biggest inspiration? (Doesn’t have to be an athlete)

Definitely have an affinity towards some of the pro cyclists and it often changes week on week to which man crush I have in the pro peloton (been hard to look past Wout Van Aert this year). I am also I die hard mountain biking fan and for the last few years have looked up to Brook Macdonald massively. I think watching his come back to professional racing is just incredible.


3. Your proudest moment (life or sporting)?

I honestly can’t pinpoint a single race that’s been the proudest. I think one of the coolest moments was when I got my first big corporate sponsor. I had just missed out on the podium for the 2nd year in a row at Challenge Wanaka and was gutted that I had got so close yet again. I was back at our accommodation when I got a message asking if I wanted to meet with Garmin. It was the first time I think I really appreciated that there was people out there noticing how much hard work I was putting in.


4. All endurance athletes have to have a certain level of mental grit, to compete at the top level I imagine that must be immense. What is your top 'mental hack' to push hard when the going gets tough? What always gets you through?

Endurance sport in general is a bit sadistic. I think anyone that does it secretly loves the pain. For me it's that constant hunt for the absolute limit. I always find it’s a sense of optimism that always has me pushing. I never dwell on the negatives.


5. Favourite food/meal after a key training session?

I usually aim to get through all my tough sessions in the morning so I can then sit down for a decent lunch which doubles up as my favourite recovery food. Most days I'll have a bagel, eggs, spinach and a protein shake. Some of the bigger training days mean I end up having breakfast again (muesli, nuts, Greek yoghurt, milk and a banana).


6. What is your current go-to race day breakfast?

I'm an absolute creature of habit and my breakfast is pretty much the same everyday of the year. Muesli, nuts, Greek yoghurt, milk and a banana, usually washed down with a coffee. If I am racing away I will always pack nuts and muesli as the rest is generally easy to source. If it's a long race I'll probably double down on the bananas that morning

7. What is your favourite quote that’s resonated with you for life?

"The reason aeroplanes don’t have rear vision mirrors is because they know exactly where they are going."

 

"I think a lot of people underestimate the sheer volume of calories required for Ironman training."

 

8. What is something you have learnt about nutrition that had the biggest enhancement for you with your overall performance?

For a couple of years I was having a series of GI issues but over the last year and a bit I have been able to dial this in and understand my body a lot more. Particularly around the combination of stress management and what I eat. This has lead me focussing on trying to get the bulk of my training done in the morning so I can focus on fuelling appropriately for the rest of the day. Within my training group we all learnt what our own relationship with food was and I think that was an awesome reminder for me to reinforce what I had been doing. I think the easiest take home for me is if I feel hungry then my body definitely needs food… so eat. I think a lot of people underestimate the sheer volume of calories required for Ironman training.

9. What is your advice for any young triathletes out there aspiring to represent NZ one day?

Enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it there is a million other awesome sports out there. I wouldn’t be doing this sport unless I absolutely truly loved it. It's an incredibly tough sport so don’t overdo it while you are young. I don’t think anyone should call themselves a pure runner or swimmer while at school. You want to try as many sports as you can get hold of while you are young. Time is on your side. I didn’t go semi-professional until I was 24.

10. What has been your biggest setback in your triathlon career and how did you overcome this?

Covid. Na, Covid aside the most memorable setback was back in 2017 as an amateur. I was out mountain bike training for world xterra champs and I had a classic over the handlebars bail. Popped my shoulder out and broke my collarbone. Luckily the next rider through was a doctor as he lay me down and tried to pop it back in. I ended up in a sling for 14 weeks but I think the way I overcame this was it became the defining moment for me as an athlete. It made me realise how much I actually enjoyed competitive sport and wanted to be on the startline at Xterra World Champs. I remember sweating away in my sling on the indoor bike twice a day at times for weeks on end.


11. If you didn’t decide to pursue triathlon, what do you think you would have pursued instead (in terms of lifestyle/work)?

I studied Mechanical engineering with every intention of one day ending up in aerodynamics in the automotive or cycling industry. I have been incredibly fortunate in my short career as a mechanical engineer working at some incredible companies and I would be shocked if I didn’t pursue it further after Triathlon. I mean if that fails I had a side hustle at university as a DJ but I am not sure if I am still barred from the Chch Student Bar, so Engineering it is.



12. Your favourite meal choice at your favourite local?

I'm probably the easiest customer to please. I am like a Labrador, I will just eat till I feel sick. I do love a cooked breakfast at just about any Cafe though Cafe Baku is definitely a favourite whenever I'm in Taupo. My most frequent local haunt is a coffee and a Muffin at Mont Cafe on my walk into work each day.


13. What’s been your favourite triathlon event of all time and why?

Crazily it was my last overseas race. In 2019 I got to line up for 70.3 World Champs in Nice. Standing on the beach against so many of my idols was probably one of the most surreal moments of my life. Then to come out of the water with Sebastian Kienle was probably one of the highlights of my career so far.

14. When was the moment you knew you wanted to pursue triathlon at the next level?

To be honest I stumbled into Triathlon. This entire crazy pursuit started off as a bet between friends to complete Rotorua suffer and a little over a year later I had taken my pro license and left my full time Job. I think the defining moment was when swimming with a bloke I knew of and met for the I first time asked me as we were getting out of the Water at Kohi beach when I am going to leave my job and go pro. Was honestly the best meeting I have ever had and he is now a good friend and mentor I suppose.

15. What would be one thing you would tell your teenage self, knowing what you know now?

Learn to swim you egg. I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing. If I could have it again I would do it exactly the same again.



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