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The habit series: the athlete

Habits. When done right, they can become the secret to hacking fitness and reaching goals. We talked to four people with (incredibly) busy lives on how they run regularly through the power of habit.

BEN ALLEN - athlete, Sydney 


Ben Allen is an Xterra Triathlon legend, multiple podium winner and professional athlete for over a decade. The Australian champion was born with the sea in his veins, but the mountains in his heart. He soon found a love for adventure, for movement and for travel, which spurred him in to the world of sport. We caught the incredible triathlete preparing for his season, and asked him about the habit that have got him to where he is today.        


This interview is part of the habit series. To see all interviews, click here.



Ben - as always, a please to talk with you. I'm sure many people often wonder what an average week looks like for an athlete such as yourself - could you take us through it?


An average week for me is always changing. I have a structured swim, bike and run routine and I incorporate, family time, cycle spin instructor sessions, social coffee catch up’s, travelling up and down the east coast searching for good waves and organising my next adventure.



How did you get to here? Was being a professional athlete always the plan?


I was always an active kid growing up and loved competing in sports. As I started to understand people could do this for a living, I was intrigued and excited to think I to could be one of them: a professional athlete.

I dedicated myself to my craft, worked hard and never gave up. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have been given to do something I love each and every day.

We’re talking a lot about habits at On – what are a few of your good habits that got you to this point in your fitness?


Once I have set a goal I don’t let anyone or anything get in my way of steering me off my chosen path. I develop tunnel vision, my team and I support each other to enhance my quest for glory. I leave no stone unturned and focus solely on that one obsession. It can get a bit intense at times, but I believe that only brings the best out of myself.



What have you had to give up to make your habits happen?


I haven’t had to give up anything! I have made investments, so that my habits happen. It's an obsession that I choose, and I’m grateful for the gift as not many people can do what I love to do.



How do you achieve so much with only 24 hours in a day?

Someone always told me a busy person is a productive person. I love fulfilling my day knowing I didn’t waste anytime and was able to achieve everything I set my mind or body to do.


What was the moment you knew your habits had paid off? Tell us about it.


There’s no one moment that made me think I had made it, because I continually search everyday for improvement in everything I do, not just in sport in life also.

It's the small improvements you feel that give me the greatest satisfaction.


Would you say fitness goals for you are better achieved solo or as part of a team?


I have created a team that enhance my performance on and off the race course. They push me to limits I can only dream of, and it's with their support and love I feel you grow and improve beyond your limitations.


Many people use new years as a chance for new habits – were there any on your list this year? (e.g. change diet, run to work vs train etc).


For me life flies by and more often than not I don’t really get a chance to sit down and “smell the roses” so to speak! This year my new year's resolution is to embrace the moment and sit back and enjoy what I do, even if it is for a second. Embrace what I have achieve, because before you know it the moment has passed and tomorrow, it is forgotten.



And what are you training for next?


I have the Xterra Off-Road Triathlon Asian Pacific Championship Tour coming up in the beginning of March, that I am preparing for. Plus I am marrying the girl of my dreams, which is also very special to me!



Finally, what advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Don’t be afraid to fail. I have made many mistakes, I don’t see it as a negative. I see it as an opportunity to learn and improve next time round. Live life the way you want too and don’t let anyone else tell you any different.