NU­TRI­TION 18 New Sea­son, New Re­search, New Nu­tri­tion

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - DEPARTMENT -

The break­through came in just her third pro­fes­sional race. When Stephanie Roy took sec­ond place be­hind Ali­cia Kaye and ahead of Helle Fred­erik­sen at Iron­man 70.3 Puerto Rico in 2017, triathlon fans took no­tice of this up-and-com­ing Que­bec ath­lete. She lived up to the hype with a sea­son of con­sis­tent top five re­sults, in­clud­ing wins at Iron­man 70.3 Raleigh and Iron­man 70.3 Cozumel. At 23, she is the youngest pro­fes­sional Cana­dian fe­male rac­ing in long-course triathlon by al­most a decade

and, thanks to her break­out 2017 sea­son, is al­ready prov­ing to be one of the best at the half dis­tance.

“I think my age is ac­tu­ally an ad­van­tage, be­cause I have so many years ahead of me to learn and progress,” she says. “Right now, the fo­cus is to get more mileage and strength in

on the bike and gain more rac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

While Roy seems like a nat­u­ral over the half dis­tance, par­tic­u­larly skilled in ex­e­cut­ing fast half-marathons in hot con­di­tions at the end of the race, she hasn’t al­ways seen this type of suc­cess in triathlon.

“I started triathlon 12 years ago and raced on the elite cir­cuit in Que­bec in draft-le­gal triathlon,” she says. “My pas­sion for the sport grew dur­ing that time, but I reg­u­larly took last place in races. I think I re­ally built up a good level of men­tal strength from that, which I can ap­ply now to my longer dis­tance rac­ing.”

Roy and her coach, Pascal Dufresne, are aware of the risk of burn-out and in­jury for young triath­letes who try to do too much too soon. The fo­cus on Roy’s train­ing has been build­ing strength (she trains in the gym three times a week) and mix­ing up the swim, bike and run train­ing with the right bal­ance of long, steady in­ter­val work and speed, de­pend­ing on the point in the sea­son. While she trains year­round with Dufresne and his “garage gang,” a group of elite and high-per­form­ing age-group long-course triath­letes in Trois-Rivières, Que­bec, she does some out­door train­ing camps pe­ri­od­i­cally through­out the win­ter.

While last year Roy earned her­self enough points to race at the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship in Chat­tanooga, Tenn., (where she fin­ished 16th), she has de­cided to sit out of the 2018 World Cham­pi­onships in South Africa this year.

“I want to gain more ex­pe­ri­ence in the sport, and then go in bet­ter pre­pared in 2019,” she says. “The goal is to one day win a world cham­pi­onship.”

Roy will line up at sev­eral Iron­man 70.3 races in North Amer­ica this year and will also race in Eu­rope for the first time at Iron­man 70.3 Nice.

De­spite her big goals in the sport, she isn’t putting all her eggs in one bas­ket – Roy is study­ing to be­come an oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist and has her eye on build­ing a suc­cess­ful ca­reer for her­self in post-sport life.

With her suc­cess in 2017, lots of new op­por­tu­ni­ties have come Roy’s way. That in­cludes gain­ing new spon­sors and learn­ing how to shape her brand and iden­tity as an ath­lete. A part­ner­ship with Que­bec-based fe­male triathlon ap­parel brand Brava was a re­cent ad­di­tion for 2018.

“I de­cided to work with Brava be­cause I re­ally liked the fact that it was a young, lo­cal com­pany that had bet on the risk of launch­ing a triathlon cloth­ing line for women only. I iden­ti­fied a lot with this while I am the ‘young Que­bec pro­fes­sional’ on the cir­cuit,” she says.—CD

OP­PO­SITE Stephanie Roy at Iron­man 70.3 Cam­peche LEFT Stepah­nie Roy takes the win at Iron­man 70.3 Cozumel

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