2) What thoughts and influences contribute to making the decision to go Pro? Was this a difficult decision to make?
I lot more than what people think. Am I good enough?? How is this going to affect my day to day living. Do I need to train more? My full time job? My coach, family and friends. Is it what I want? What are my goals in the sport? In the end I had a fantastic support network around me and after a couple of years of racing Pro getting some experience and still working full time I was decrease my working hours and have never looked back. I am loving it!!
3) On average, what does your training week involve?
Funnily enough there is no such thing as a normal or average week. That is the exciting thing about the sport, always building towards a goal race or competing in a local running, cycling, or triathlon that is on. At the moment I am trying to swim 5 – 6 times a week including an open water session. Cycle 4 – 5 week with a long ride on Saturday’s with the local crew and run 5 times a week but all base work because it is the beginning of the season!
4) What is your favorite training session for each discipline?
Swimming Paul Newsome from Swim Smooth runs a mean and nasty Fresh and Fruity session on a Friday morning. It is not a big session in regards to volume but for a non sprinter like me it equals PAIN!!
Run would be there the progressive 2 hour run, building at 30 minute increments to a faster pace. I always go out way to hard the beginning of the Marathon in my Ironman races and this sessions is teaching me to build into it and finish strong. Now I just need to get that happening in a race.
Cycling – Any of my sessions on my Computrainer!! I am addicted to it!! In 2 hours you can get a quality interval session done without even leaving the comfort of your own house!
5) If we were to look in your fridge, what would we find?
The good and the bad!! My partner Guy Crawford is a Professional Triathlete as well and is totally addicted to chocolate so there has to be plenty of that around. But mostly day to day we eat healthy, cereal, eggs, toast for breakfast, left overs or some sort of sandwich or roll for lunch, and a protein like salmon, steak, chicken with vegetables or salad for dinner. Snacks though out the day include fruit, museli Bars and off course chocolate!
6) Is there anything that you would prefer to eat the night before a race?
Yep, a chicken, sundried tomato, pine nut and pesto pasta has been the staple for a few years before all of my big races. Guy has the same so it makes it easier. Quick to cook and very filling!!
7) Do you have any tips for recovery?
Yes, get as much as you can!! Even though I am now a full time Pro, recovery is still something that is neglected. Sleeping is the best!! It is free and your body recovers the most while you are asleep. Massage and stretching also go a long way!! Eat…within 30 mins of finishing a long or intense work out. All these things will help you train harder and back to back sessions.
8) What would be your best advice for someone starting out in the sport?
Just enjoy it!! It is so easy to get caught up in all the gimmicks but we love the sport for the challenge of swimming, biking and running!! Practice getting in and out of your cleats on the grass first!! I can’t remember how many times the bitumen and I became friends when I first started out. And realise once you have done one…you will be hooked! Great people are attracted to the sport of triathlon and the socialising is just as important as the hard ride or run!!
9) What advice would you give an Age Grouper who is looking for sponsorship?
Sponsorship has to work both ways. You need to be able to explain to them what you can do for them. Get some good results but also involve yourself in the community and become an ambassador for the sport. They love things like that.
10) Do you have any tips on ways to stay injury free?
I wish I knew the secret. Unfortunately 2 years ago I had a horrible run of injuries with 18 months out of the sport due to 3 stress fractures in my groin and back. I didn’t think I would ever race at the elite level again. But thankfully I stuck with it! I had been injury free until 3 days before Ironman Western Australia just recently in December but ended up having to walk parts of the Marathon due to a dodgy Hamstring! What is the secret?? Good recovery!! Stretching, Massage, physio! Knowing your body and what it can and can’t handle. I know Guy is a lot better at that than I am!! If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, stop and get it checked straight away. Don’t train through it! Be sure first!
11) What is the most important piece of equipment to you and your success?
Definitely my family, friends and Guy and there Belief in me! On good or bad days they are there no matter what and are proud of me and what I achieve. I was so disappointed after Ironman WA just recently, I was going in as defending champion, I was in the best shape I had been in over the last 2 years and I was ready to win again! But circumstances leading up to the race changed everything and not being able to run the day before had me in tears. To get through although in 6th position was one of the toughest days for me, but in the end, the love me all the same!
12) And what don’t we know about you?
I have an amazing group of sponsors that include K-Swiss, Novatron, GU, Blue Seventy, FELT, ROLF Wheels, Computrainer, Ryders Eyewear, Selle SMP Saddles, SKINS, SRAM, Tri Town Boise, Garland Cycles Perth, Swish Design. They deserve a mention every opportunity I get!!!