Julien was born in Hawkesbury, Ontario. After competing in basketball, soccer and running track in high school he decided to attend the University of Ottawa in 1995 to complete a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics. He continued his studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 2000 and a Masters in Exercise Physiology in 2003. He competed in his first triathlon in 1999 and went on to win the Canadian Championships for the 20-24 age category in 2001. Since then, he has moved to Victoria BC in order to train full time as an elite triathlete and compete on the ITU circuit. 2005 saw Julien move to France for six months in order to race on the Grand Prix circuit for Gonfreville l’Orcher.