Tim Don, back for the 2019 ZA Tri Team

Tim Don, back for the 2019 ZA Tri Team

ON January 21, 2019 by Craig Taylor
The Don is Back! With his wealth of knowledge and easygoing attitude, Tim Don is ready to teach the 2019 ZA Tri Team the ways of “Train Hard, Race Easy.”

Since 1999, Tim’s competed in ITU short-course races, scoring 14 UCI World Cup wins and 4 World Championships in both triathlon and duathlon. He’s also a repeat Olympian, racing for Great Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2004 Athens Olympics, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In 2013, Tim set his sights on the IRONMAN world. Initially, Tim focused his efforts on the IRONMAN 70.3 distance, winning the 2013 IM 70.3 Calgary, 2013 IM 70.3 Augusta, 2014 IM 70.3 Monterrey, and 2014 IM 70.3 South American Championships.

In 2014, he kicked it up a notch, taking on and winning his first full IRONMAN at Mallorca! He continued setting the IRONMAN world on fire, and in 2017, Tim set a new world record at the South American IRONMAN Championships in Brazil with a time of 7:40:23!

After finishing third at the IM 70.3 World Championships, Tim was hit by a car in the days leading up to the 2017 IRONMAN World Championships, resulting in a fractured C2 vertebrae and three months in a halo neck brace.

Faced with the uncertainty of whether or not he’d be able to walk again, let alone race, Tim beat the odds and came back strong in 2018, winning IM 70.3 Costa Rica. He also settled unfinished business back in Kona, crossing the finish line at the 2018 IRONMAN World Championships.

Learn more about Tim’s plans for his 2019 journey.

What’s your race schedule for 2019?

South Africa IRONMAN, Cannes International Triathlon, A few 70.3 races in Europe and North America, World 70.3 Champs, and Kona

What’s your biggest goal for 2019?

Winning races!

From all your years of racing, what’s one of the best pieces of advice you received, and who did you receive it from?

Less is often more when it comes to training and don’t forget, listen to your body, from one of my early coaches.

Who’s your biggest motivator pushing you through those hard training days?

My family, as well as everyone else who believes in me and goes above and beyond to support me.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

This is my 22nd year as a professional triathlete, and I’m still at the top of the game. I’ll take that!

With his previous Zwift Academy Tri Team experience in mind, we thought to ask Tim a few questions about this year’s team and his expectations for it.

What are you looking forward to most with the Zwift Academy Tri Team?

Meeting everyone and helping them achieve their 2019 goals.

What do you think the Zwift Academy Tri team represents for the sport of triathlon?

It’s massive for our sport! It’s simply the best triathlon team out there a collective group of some of the best minds and products in our sport.   

What did you learn from the 2018 Zwift Academy Tri Team that you want to pass along to the 2019 Team?

It’s a team, just like any real-life team, working together supporting each other. I really want that side of it to grow.  

What does an opportunity like the Zwift Academy Tri Team represent to the lucky participants?

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to Kona and leave no stone unturned to achieve the best performance come race day. Oh, and to have a lot of fun on the way there!

Any key pieces of advice you plan to impart to the 2019 Zwift Academy Tri Team?

Enjoy the journey and focus on the process, not the goal.  

And finally, we chatted about his favorite things in Zwift as well as a couple fun in-game ideas.

What’s your favorite workout leading up to a big race?

A 20-minute easy spin into a 30-to-45-second max four times with 2 minutes of recovery, followed by 4×2 minutes at race pace, fully controlled in aero position, with 20 minutes of easy spin warm down.

What is your favorite world/route on Watopia?

The Volcano.

Free-ride, structured workout, group workout, or Zwift Race, which is your favorite?

Mostly structured workouts, but an easy free-ride is always a nice way to switch off and chill.

Anything you’d like to see added to Zwift?

Zwift Swim! Only joking maybe some bike/run races?

If you could create a new Zwift Power Up, what would it be?

A Ghost Rider look with full-on flames flowing around the rider for a few kilometers!


Applications for the 2019 Specialized Zwift Academy are now open. Entrants must be at or above Level 12 (cycling) and Level 3 (running) on Zwift.

Still have questions about the team and how to be selected? Head to our FAQ page.

To review the program rules, see our Terms & Conditions.


During the application period, Zwift will be hosting a series of TT Cycling Races and 5K Running Races, giving you a chance to see how you stack up against the competition. Plus, you never know which pros might drop into your event. After all, many of the world’s top triathletes use Zwift to train and stay at the top of their game.

To learn more about the Zwift Academy Tri Race Series, visit our Event Series Page.