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Pro Tri Blog
Over the next while, we'll be bringing you question and answer series with top professional triathletes. Get tips on racing, training and inspiration from the best triathletes around.
- Surf the event website. Study the course maps and take note of any steep descents, climbs, corners and aid station locations (and what food and drink they offer so you can factor this into your nutrition plan). Look at wave start and cut-off times, and the times of the athlete briefing and registration. Seek advice and insights from athletes who’ve done the race before. If you’re driving to the venue, plan your route and pick a place to park (taking road closures into account).
- Know the race rules. You don’t want to risk getting penalised or even disqualified and having to explain the DNF to work colleagues/teammates/the police. If you’re unsure, speak to the race director or head referee.
- Massages are great, but not the day before a race as they can leave you feeling sluggish. I always have a gentle rub down on the penultimate day. Shave/pluck/clip/wax and make sure you clip your toenails.
- Don’t overhydrate or overeat. I cut down on fibre and spicy or rich foods three days out to reduce the likelihood of GI distress. I stick to plain foods, with a lower GI index, such as white rice, bread and pasta. Retaining the same calorific intake, coupled with the reduction in training, should ensure your glycogen stores are full but not overflowing. Avoid eating anything new in race week; there are a lot of freebie food samples at race expos – don’t be tempted to try them! "Chrissie Wellington" by Mariano Kamp used under a CC 2.0 Licence
1. What do you enjoy most about triathlons?
I enjoy the challenge and the diversity in training the most.
2. What is your typical weekly training schedule?
A typical training week (when I'm not injured and in a full training block which is quite rare for me..!) will include 6 swims totalling around 25k, 3-4 bike rides including a hilly ride, a tempo time trial ride, long base ride and an interval ride of up to 6x10minute efforts. I will run 40 miles per week which is mainly quality rather than dead miles, including a grass speed endurance session and track session with Mick Woods's athletics group in Aldershot, and a run of the bike alongside a couple of steadier runs.
3. Do you remember how you felt doing your very first triathlon/duathlon? Can you give our newbies any tips?
I remember my first duathlon very well, it was the nationals which I won!! I was quite calm and fairly naive as I had no expectation and was just really excited to take part in my first multisport race! My first triathlon was in Mexico at a World Cup - literally got thrown in the deep end and my feelings for this were completely different.
(Image courtesy of Delly Carr / ITU)
1. Personal bio:
Country of residence: Scotland
Age first started triathlon: 21
2. Three words to describe yourself?
Little Miss Tenacious
3. What is your training schedule in a typical week?
1-2 physio sessions, 5 swims, 6 bikes, 5 runs, 25-30hrs in total plus 3 functional stability sessions
4. Any nutritional advice?
Practice in training what you plan to do for racing. Keep it simple and always have a back-up plan
5. How do you prepare for a big race?