What does a three-time Ironman world champion wish she’d known at the beginning of her career? Plenty, as she shares with us here
What the 3 x IM champ wishes she’d known at the start
1 IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT SWIM, BIKE AND RUN When I first started and was doing short-course racing, I was clueless about nutrition. It just wasn’t a factor – or at least not one that I was aware of. When I made the step-up to longer distances, I realised pretty quickly that I needed to get my head wrapped around nutrition as a fourth discipline! Now, I feel like I have a solid understanding of what my body needs to function and recover at its best. 2 THERE’S ALWAYS MORE
At least, that’s how I see it. I’m a super competitive person, and so even beyond working hard to beat my rivals on the race course, I’m always looking for ways to get that something extra out of myself and to improve on my last best performance. Early on, I might have thought that would stop at some point – that I would reach that peak of success – but I’ve since learned that it’s an innate drive within me. I think it will always be there! 3 IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER It can be frustrating sometimes to have to fight your way through the field. But I’ve proven (to everyone else, as well as to myself), time and again, that you don’t have to lead a race start-to-finish to end up on the top podium step. 4 RACE MORE TO RACE BETTER No matter how hard you train, nothing compares to the feeling of racing in the heat of competition. So get out there, often, and learn from every experience. 5 TRUST YOUR GUT
Numbers and data can be great tools, as can advice from more senior athletes and coaches. But you need to balance all of the input you receive with what your body’s telling you. If you have a nagging feeling that something’s not quite right – listen. And if you’re in the midst of a magical moment, where you feel you can push past a previous limit – go for it. I think listening to my gut has helped me stay injury-free for so many years, and I know it’s helped me achieve my triathlon success. 6 KEEP IT FUN
Don’t ever forget that you’re in this sport because it’s fun. Yes, you may make sacrifices at times, but also try to keep it in perspective, and be sure to enjoy the social aspects of the sport. Triathlon has brought the most amazing people into my life, including my husband!