Triathlon legend Javi Gomez is stepping into a new unknown over full Ironman distance. And there’s perhaps no-one more important in the support network helping him get there than his fiancee Anneke Jenkins. We spoke with her to get her perspective on Javi’s ability to always find new limits. Learn more about how Javi’s journey into the unknown here.
Q&A with Anneke Jenkins
Anneke, even after all he’s won, Javi’s drive to push his limits seems as strong as ever. Where does he draw his ambition from?
Javi loves triathlon and the lifestyle. He likes to be fit and active and then to enjoy eating good food at the end of each day. He is still strong, fit and fast, and isn’t slowing down. He has achieved so much, but at the same time he is always looking forward and wants to make the most out this moment, as triathlon at this level won’t last forever.
Javi always appears so calm yet is a fierce competitor. Away from competition, is there anything that gets him fired up?
Javi is a very calm person, he’s not aggressive at all, but in racing he is so strong mentally, and with all his experience he races smart as well. Away from racing he likes to play music – loud and heavy! He would actually love to be a professional musician. Music is definitely his next passion and something that fires him up!
Does Javi’s mood change at all in the lead up to a race?
Yeah, he gets pretty grumpy usually – nah he’s ok haha! There can be nerves and stress in the lead-up to big races, but that’s normal. Overall he’s pretty confident in his ability, especially when he’s trained well. He definitely knows how to prepare himself physically and mentally.
Have you ever known Javi to doubt himself?
For sure! Everyone does right? There has been times leading up to races when his preparation could have been better, for one reason or another, and it can become a worry or a doubt for him. He is so strong mentally and has so many years of training and racing in his body that he can usually still race well, no matter what.
I get super nervous before racing and Javi has helped me a lot with that. He gets nervous too, like most athletes, but he has learned every aspect of triathlon and has trained himself to have no weakness. He takes confidence from that.
Setbacks are part of a sporting career. How do you support each other during the tougher times?
Javi has been a huge support for me. Obviously I’m at a different level and have only been doing triathlon for a few years, but Javi has really believed in me, backed me, and always encouraged me to keep going. I haven’t really shown my potential in a race yet, but he has seen me train well at different times and wants me to have the chance to perform well too.
Javi’s had his share of setbacks too. He deals with problems really well and is always able to block it out and give his best. Things still affect him, of course, but he’s someone who can handle the difficulty in his life and still perform at the highest level.
I just try to support him and support him how I like to be supported. Generally it’s just being there for him. It’s also important to get away from triathlon too, so we always make sure that we have time for ourselves, which really helps when there’s a setback. He is really good at switching off, which has also helped teach me to relax I’m still working on it haha!
What would it mean to you to see Javi on the podium at the Ironman World Championships in Kona?
It would be great if Javi finishes on the podium in Kona, it’s seems to be really difficult to get your debut race in Kona right and to have everything go to plan. I would be so proud if he has a good day out there and races how he has been training.
Congratulations on your engagement – how do you think pre-wedding nerves will compare with pre-race nerves for both of you?
Haha I think the Kona nerves are the only ones on our minds at this stage, the wedding is exciting and will hopefully be a fun day and night with our closest friends and family. Maybe closer to the time the nerves will set in!