Suc­cess story

‘I lost two stone thanks to triathlon train­ing!’

Health & Fitness - - Welcome -

‘Iwas very sporty at school. I went to board­ing school and was cap­tain of sport, play­ing net­ball to county level and lacrosse at quite a high level, too. I wasn’t slim, though, and didn’t re­ally know about eat­ing healthily. In my 20s, I stopped play­ing sport, had kids and put on a lot of weight. In fact, by the time I’d had three kids, I’d put on four stone.

‘I played the odd bit of net­ball in my 30s, but noth­ing much and it was only three years ago, aged 49, that I de­cided I wanted to do a sprint triathlon when I was 50 be­cause it was on my bucket list. I started swim­ming, but got a ter­ri­ble pain in my shoul­der. As I work for Sim­ply­health [Kate is a part-time tele­sales ad­vi­sor for the ev­ery­day health­care com­pany], I saw a pri­vate con­sul­tant who found I had prob­lems with both shoul­ders, and I had to have three op­er­a­tions in a year as I’d torn my ro­ta­tor cuff. The sur­geon didn’t think I’d swim again, but now I feel bet­ter than I did be­fore the in­jury.

‘I still did a lo­cal triathlon when I was 50, and got the bug, partly be­cause I met an in­spir­ing woman called Janet Taplin who’s 63 and com­petes for GB. I thought, “If she can do it, so can I!” She told me about the lo­cal Stone­henge Triathlon and Road Club (stone­henge­trian­droad.co.uk) and I now train there in each dis­ci­pline ev­ery week. I can do the same triathlon 12 min­utes faster than I did it the first time and want to keep im­prov­ing!’

RUN CHAM­PION

‘I never thought I’d be able to han­dle the cleats on a road bike and was ner­vous at first, but I love it now. Run­ning is my least favourite part of triathlon, but now Sim­ply­health has part­nered with The Great Run Se­ries [a na­tion­wide se­ries of runs of dif­fer­ent lengths; greatrun.org], it gives me more mo­ti­va­tion to put on my train­ers. I ran a 10K Great Run in un­der an hour and that was more than I’d ever wished for.

‘We set up a run­ning club at work and I’ve been des­ig­nated a “run cham­pion”, so I mo­ti­vate oth­ers to make the most of our ac­cess to the Great Runs. I also help with the Sim­ply­health #mil­lion­s­mov­ing hub, giv­ing peo­ple tips on health­ier eat­ing or how to train (mil­lion­s­mov­ing.co.uk).

‘I’m go­ing to do an open-wa­ter swim on the an­niver­sary of my dad’s death to raise money for the Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion [he died aged 64 of a heart at­tack 20 years ago]. Heart dis­ease runs in the fam­ily, so that also mo­ti­vates me to stay as healthy as pos­si­ble.

‘I now have my level one triathlon coaching qual­i­fi­ca­tion and I’m a level two swim­ming teacher. I’m aim­ing to get my level two triathlon qual­i­fi­ca­tion by the end of the year. When I first joined Stone­henge Triathlon and Road Club, my chair­man and coach Shaun Green en­cour­aged me to get into the coaching side so that the club could ben­e­fit from some more coaches. I train in each dis­ci­pline mul­ti­ple times a week – I run three times, cy­cle twice and swim at least twice a week; one ses­sion be­ing in a lake! I also do a Pi­lates class as this re­ally com­ple­ments what I do.

‘I love help­ing oth­ers and am quite a mo­ti­va­tor. For me, I just want to keep go­ing for­ever and may ex­tend my triathlon dis­tance or try a half marathon if I stay in­jury free.’

TOP TIP ‘Mo­ti­vate those you know to get run­ning by telling them to start a Couch to 5k pro­gramme. Re­mind them they’ll get health­ier and live longer!’

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