Q&A with Brendan Johnston

27 May 2022

Brendan Johnston
Photo courtesy of @photosforsale and @rapidascent

What motivates you to get up in the morning and train day after day?

It’s a difficult question, I obviously love the process of training and that training produces results, but to explain the crazy early mornings? I think there must be a deep internal drive to continue being motivated enough to do it, something I cannot describe but it compels me to get up and out the door every day.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Someone told me a long time ago that cycling is one of the hardest sports there is and to never underestimate the effort in vs the rewards, something like 99% effort 1 reward.

What are your unwritten rules that you stick to when training for a goal?

I’m very disciplined when there is a particular goal and I have a program for it. I figure that I must not miss a session or get lazy with the sessions as it would then derail the whole campaign. I try to not let other activities get in the way in these periods.

What is one thing that people may not know about you?

I spent the later part of my teenage years in hospital battling cancer.

What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?

Sleep in, with a visit to the Go Kart track.

What has been your most memorable country to visit?

I would say South Africa, it is a very memorable place.

What were some of your favourite moments from your career?

For sure the National Titles in XC marathon are all standouts. Melbourne to Warnambool victory in 2020, also signing with Giant Bikes in 2018, this was big for me and kept me in the sport for another 4 years and counting.

The 2022 National Road Race (where you claimed bronze) and the Otway Odyssey, (where you won) had very similar finish times, but what was the harder race to complete and why?

For road nats this year I was in such good shape, thanks to coach Ben Hill. It was by far the easiest edition of the champs for me and most successful, I was able to attack from the main group on the climb in the final laps and chase after the 2 out front. Being in that kind of shape made it a bit easier for sure, I was not just completing I was competing. The Otway was really tough this year, I was cramping with 30km to race and basically had settled for 3rd. Somehow I turned my body around and went all in and rode in solo for the victory, absolutely spent.

Who has been your toughest rival? 

For sure it would be Cam Ivory, we have been battling at all kinds of events for over a decade.

Are you a numbers person or do you just want your coach to tell you what to do?

I sit somewhere in between, I am not ONLY about the numbers and I like being told what to do. But I also really like to use the tools we have with Today’s Plan to be able to see where I am at and how the training is going.

What feature do you look at/use the most on Today’s Plan?

I use CTL the most.

How do you get enough recovery when you work full time and are a parent?

I don’t.

Brendan Johnston
Photo courtesy of @piperalbrecht

Quick fire round:

  • Zwift or bunch ride? Bunch in summer, Zwift in winter
  • MTB or road? MTB
  • Coffee or tea? Coffee
  • Breakfast or dinner? Dinner
  • Hot or cold weather? Hot
  • Wednesday night criterium or weekend MTB race? Wednesday Night
  • Marathon or stage race? Stage race
  • Heart rate or Power? Power
  • Bike racing or car racing? Car racing
  • Olympic Games or F1 Grand Prix? Olympics