She’s fast becoming one of the world’s top Ironman athletes, so if you’re keen to go long in 2018, check out Lucy Charles’ top six tips to Ironman success
1 QUALITY BEATS QUANTITY
It’s not all about volume; even as an Ironman athlete quality beats quantity. I know my training volume isn’t more than some of my competitors, but I always focus on getting the quality work in. At the start of my career I didn’t believe this would work, but overtraining often leads to injuries. And don’t compare your training to others either, we’re all different, what works for one might not work for another. Have faith in the work you’ve put in and you’ll have confidence on race day.
2 LOVE WHAT YOU DO
If you love what you do, then consistent training will be much easier. Keep training fun and social, train with others and just enjoy it. As soon as training becomes a chore it can be difficult to stay motivated.
3 LEARN FROM INJURIES
Injuries will happen, it’s part of sport, but it’s how you handle them that will make you stronger. Learn from them and prevent them from striking again. The truth is it takes a lot more than just training to be a strong and robust athlete. Recovery and nutrition are just as important as putting the swim, bike and run hours in.
4 WORK YOUR WEAKNESSES
It’s easier to train your strengths because it makes us feel good, but working on your weakness will make you a more well-rounded athlete and will have a bigger impact on your overall performance. Knowing your body is important but so is knowing your equipment. Getting to know how your bike works inside and out will save you time and give you more confidence in training and racing.
5 SET GOALS
With the range of things that can be achieved in triathlon, it can be a little overwhelming. Make sure you set your own goals and never forgot to stop and realise how far you’ve come (see p116). Having a coach or supportive training group can really help you work towards your goals.
6 SELL YOURSELF
If you get to the point where you’re looking for sponsors, it’s not just about physical performance but also how you present yourself online. Saying that, social media usually sugar coats a pro athlete’s lifestyle and makes it look a lot more glamorous than it really is! Don’t believe everything you see; the truth is that the only way to success is consistent hard work. If you’re looking for more insight into a pro athlete’s life, then blogs are usually a lot more honest.