NUTRITION 18 New Season, New Research, New Nutrition
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