Russell White on what's coming in 2018... A memorable 2017In 2017, Russell White cemented himself as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. The momentum built all season, culminating in Russell taking four top twenty-five finishes in ITU World Series races, one of which was an incredible 15th at the ITU Grand Final in Rotterdam last October. "The last few races it just built up, 24th in Montreal, 20th in Stockholm and the 15th in Rotterdam so it was gradually building the last couple of races which is a good boost to the confidence and a nice way to end the season because you then go in to the winter sort of happy with the season and good results. (It) Gives me some good confidence going into this year."the commonwealth gamesRussell has since been selected to represent Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games, taking place in Australia at the beginning of April. This will be his second Championship appearance, something Russell's certainly excited about. It also means an earlier start to the race season;"Yeah, the whole winter that’s what’s on my mind but I guess the last week or so when you realise Abu Dhabi is coming up it sort of dawns that race season is coming around fast...It’s been a good block with this training group and I’m really happy. I’ve definitely not been as fit as I am (now) at this time of the year which is good because I nearly have to peak so early this season with the Commonwealth Games...last year just built the whole way to the Grand Final but I need to hit the ground running from the start.(I am) Feeling good, everything is going to plan and probably feeling better than what I was even going into Rotterdam last year. So I’m feeling excited."It's official! I'm going to my 2nd Commonwealth Games! @GC2018Honoured once again to race for Northern Ireland @GoTeamNI#GoTeamNI#sharethedream#GoldCoast#Triathlon#NorthernIreland#NornIron#ourweecountrypic.twitter.com/EHVYSFtyDm — Russell White (@russellwhitetri) January 3, 2018the 2018 season2018 is going to be a busy season for Russell, being a full time triathlete means travelling all over the world to train and to race."I’m not used to racing so early but with the Commonwealth in first week of April, I had to go with a different race plan for the season. So, Abu Dhabi’s first, first week of March and then straight to Australia the following week to race World Cup in Mooloolaba which will get two races under my belt. I’ll be in Australia until the Commonwealths and just sharpen up then after Mooloolaba until the Commonwealth Games and anything that doesn’t go to plan in those two races. But at least I have those two races to find my feet and make sure the winter has gone to plan.""I’ll come back to Tucson for just a week and then race Bermuda World Series and then after Bermuda I’ll have three weeks at altitude in Boulder, Colorado. From then I’ll be back home racing and basing myself in Europe for the European season starting with Leeds and then the other European WTS and World Cup series.""It still has to be finalised but that’s the plan up to Leeds anyway."the off seasonAs Russell trains in the USA, he travels for much of the year between Ireland, the USA and races. He did, however, get some time at home over Christmas, and at warm weather training camp with the Triathlon Ireland High Performance squad."The off season is nice, I had more extended time at home because I shut the season down a bit earlier because I was going to start back up earlier...So I had all of October, November, December at home and I guess even with being at Uni before going full time I hadn’t even had three solid months at home. It was nice to chill for a month and not do too much training, bit more family time. I trained November and December at home, with friends from the cycle club and different things, it was nice and then it was great to have the camp with Triathlon Ireland in December to really jump start the training and be fit for coming out here.""I'll come back and I’ll maybe have the last week of May and first week of June so I’ll have those two weeks at home which will be nice because my sister’s getting married and it’ll be my birthday so it will be a nice time to come home.""It’s been tough this time because last year I spent three months here in America and then came home. Now with Commonwealths, I do two months here and then I’m straight on the road to Australia and I won’t be back until the end of May so it will be a much longer stint, it is a new thing to be away from home for so long."being part of a teamIn his second year of training with the Origin Performance triathlon team in Colorado, USA, Russell feels he is getting the benefit of training with the team."With this squad we train a lot differently than I did at Uni the last couple of years. We work three days on and then one day, not ‘off’, but easier and more active recovery. So, there’s a bit more intensity and a bit more rest at the same time because you’re getting that easier day every fourth day. Asides from Sunday, because we don’t have pool time, we’re starting in the pool at 8am swimming, back for breakfast, out on the bikes around midday and then run sessions in the evenings...it just works on a three day rotation. It’s different but all the sessions have a focus, intervals, a lot less aerobic, easy miles and a lot more intensity. It’s a new training concept but it seems to be working at the minute. We’ll see how it goes! So, swim, bike, run everyday more or less."Sun setting on another solid training day.A post shared by Russell White (@russellwhite6) on Feb 3, 2018 at 4:10am PSTlooking to the futureWith the focus of the first half of this year firmly set on the Commonwealth Games, that will shift for the second six months of 2018."Olympic Qualification will open in May. Yokohama will be the first race but I’ll not do it because it’s just too much travelling...I’ll have gone from America to Australia and back to America. I just can’t fit in going another loop around the world so early in the year.""I’m really excited, I’ve never been to Australia, it’s one continent that I haven’t ticked off and this year I’ll be in Australia twice hopefully if all goes to plan, back for the Grand Final on the Gold Coast. The main aim is just, once the Olympic qualification opens up that I’m having consistent, good results on the World Series and World Cups...to get a head start the first year out of the two year process of qualification and just take the weight of my shoulders come the second year.""...The focus will be World Series and finishing last year with a 15th gives me the confidence that I can cut it at that level. So it’s just now trying to get the consistency of being in that ballpark figure of 15th and just constantly getting the points from every single race."Thanks to Russell for taking the time out from training to fill us in on what he's been up to, we wish him the very best of luck with the Commonwealth Games and his 2018 season. You can follow Russell on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram at the links highlighted to see his journey to the Commonwealth Games. We will also be keeping you updated here on the TI website so keep an eye on our news feeds.