What’s happening with Joe Major?

February 12, 2015 11:20 - I love Balaton
What’s happening with Joe Major?

We asked Józsi Major about the year 2015, his experiences, preparedness…

- Last year there was a lot of anticipation regarding your participation in Keszthely, where unfortunately you were unable to win. What was the reason for your restrained performance?

2014 was the most horrible year in my 25 years long sports career. I started at 4 higher ranked contests in the first 5 months, but all of them were very hard fought and from the point of view the results were rather disappointing. Then after the Keszthely race, my body completely threw in the towel. Weakness, exhaustion, a drastic drop in my performance, and I was tortured by sore joints and intense waist pain. I was forbidden from training for weeks, which was difficult to tolerate after my weekly 35 to 40 hour routine. After 3 to 4 months my condition started to improve continuously, but unfortunately – despite the multitude of medical tests and consultations – it still isn’t clear to this day, what exactly the problem was. From this everyone can figure out that I am very unsatisfied with my 2014 performance, and I think that from here it can only get better.

- What conclusions have you drawn from the experiences of recent years? In hindsight, what would you change, what do you pay more attention to, than you did in the past?

I have experienced a lot of new things in recent years. I wouldn’t change my training sessions, a lot of work is necessary for the achievement of good results. However, there are two things that I would pay closer attention to. The first is continuous, systematic, competent medical examinations and recording the results, the lack of which I can really feel now. The other important thing is to build a future life besides professional sports. The absence of these is currently greatly influencing my daily life.

My current training sessions are greatly influenced by the fact that the long distance sessions of the past 15 years have significantly changed my body, thus naturally, my training sessions are now structured differently than in the past, and nowadays I have to devote more time to regeneration.

- Tell us about your plans for 2015!

For me 2015 is a year of questions. I have been living in Phoenix (Arizona, USA) for three years. In recent months, besides a reduced training routine, I have started to train local triathlon athletes. To my great pleasure even Hungarian fellow-competitors have come to me, with whom I am glad to work and share my experience. It’s very exciting to follow events from the point of view of the coach, I am learning a lot from it. For example, when I perform my own training sessions I focus on the task in front of me, but in a way that I also enjoy what I am doing. At this point it appears that in the first half of the season I will compete in a few local races, and if my body is ready for it, starting in the second half of the year I will concentrate on the 2016 race in Kona. Since we didn’t have another choice, my wife Luca, has been working in Hungary in the past half a year, so I am planning to visit her in Hungary during the summer and I will possibly link that with a competition, but unfortunately it’s very likely that it will not be the Keszthely Triathlon, that would still be very early for me. Last year’s race was sensational. Not my performance, rather the course and the level of organization. For me it was also an experience to remember that after 2 and a half years at this race was the time when I met many of my friends, fellow-competitors again.

- How is your preparation going now, what changes would you mention compared to the past?

As I have mentioned before, in the past year I was forced to miss a lot of training and many competitions, thus I couldn’t complete my planned program. Currently the situation is already better than it was 5 months ago, but my training sessions still lag behind the usual, considering both quantity and intensity. I train about half as much as I was used to in past years, however at these training sessions I have been trying to perform accelerating workouts. Unfortunately, it’s at these training sessions when I can feel the most that something is still missing. Compared to the past, I train more often in the company of others, mostly with the local amateur contestants. I am in a fortunate situation, since I am the member of a nearly 300 person team, who like training together with me. I take advantage of this.

- Let’s touch on some less serious subjects. Tell us a funny story about something that happened to you in the course of your travels!

It was almost three years ago when I first traveled to a competition in Thailand, to the island of Samui. Thanks to the organizers I got free accommodation and breakfast, but since I didn’t trust the local restaurants, I had lunch and dinner at my hotel’s restaurant on the Ocean shore. They brought me the bill every time, and I, as a cool guest, always wrote the amount of the tip on it as well. After a few days something was starting to be very suspicious. Everyone was very nice to me, too nice, and I had no idea why. Then when I was checking out at the reception I received the final bill, which somewhat froze the smile off my face. I didn’t need to analyze it for a long time to figure out that I had been writing the receipts incorrectly the whole time. I wrote the amount of my total bill in the place of the tip every time. Essentially, for every day I spent there, there was the amount of the bill plus this same amount as tip. Fortunately, the receptionists were very understanding and realized that I wasn’t a millionaire Hungarian tourist, just an unlucky professional triathlon contestant, so eventually I didn’t have to pay that much.

Thank you for the interview, and I think we can say on behalf of every reader, we wish you a lot of strength for your return. And of course, we hope to see you live on the shore of Lake Balaton in the future!

Joe will only compete in our 2016 race, but we hope that you will be there with us this year.

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